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Oct 18, 2011
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Road to Victory
The Multimatic Shelby takes the win and the championship at Road Atlanta
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The nine-race IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Grand Sport season came to a close last Friday at Road Atlanta and the Ford Performance/Multimatic Motorsports Shelby GT350R-C ended on a high note. Over the course of the nine-race season, drivers Scott Maxwell and Billy Johnson earned six wins—including the final race—to take the championship.

Scott put the Multimatic machine on the pole for the sixth time this season, earning his 16th career pole position with a 1:31.045-minute lap.

“I got a pretty good first lap in. I’d told the team I really just wanted to do one lap to save the car. Even if I was third or fourth, I didn’t really care. We have two polar opposite races to run tomorrow,” he said. “We want to be conservative for the first 45 minutes and go off-strategy to get Billy his lap in early for the driver’s championship, then he’ll have to race to the front to win the manufacturers’ championship, but he’s good at that.”

On race day, Scott had to run 45 minutes in the race to secure his portion of the driver’s championship. He simply wanted to drive a safe race and put Billy Johnson in a position to take it home for the win. “It was the longest 45 minutes of my life,” Scott said. “The car was fine, it was just trying to go around and not get involved in any trouble.”

From there he turned the driving over teammate Billy Johnson to finish the race and the season with a win. As he has five other times this season, Billy did just that putting the GT350R-C into first place and taking the checkered flag over 34 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor.

“That’s definitely a very special win today. I’ve been in the series a very long time, and to be able to tie Matt Plumb like that is a highlight of my career and being a part of this series. Scott checked out and put some distance between himself and the No. 33,” Billy said. “We’ve never had the out-right pace all season, so to go out and pace like that and have perfect stops really helped us win this race. It’s everyone who touches the car, whether they are over the wall, or back in the shop, it takes everyone to come away with results like that.”

In all the duo lead 55 of the races 58 laps to take the win at Road Atlanta and closed out the season with the Grand Sport race win as well as the 2016 driver, team and manufacturers’ championships.

“We’re very pleased with how the Shelby GT350R-C has performed on the track since its debut,” Dave Pericak, global director of Ford Performance, said. “It’s just another proof point where we have used the race track as a laboratory to help develop an outstanding performance car for the street. Congratulations to Scott, Billy, Multimatic and the whole Ford Performance team on their efforts this year.”

Watch the drivers reflect on the successful season here…

[video=youtube;HDDd0R0-Tfs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= HDDd0R0-Tfs [/video]

“With Scott Maxwell and Billy Johnson in a Ford Shelby GT350R-C, my sheepdog could’ve run that race and won it,” Multimatic’s Larry Holt joked. “That’s not to say anything about the competition. The competition in this series is fantastic and we had to fight for every win this year. It’s just Scott and Billy are so good and that car is so good. It was an unbelievable year. Every single piece of this team is good, from the car to the partnership with Ford and we’re excited to see what next year brings.”

Of course the Shelby GT350R-C racing programs is a collaborative effort between Ford Performance, Multimatic Motorsports and Roush-Yates Engines, which bolstered the 5.2-liter Voodoo engines to withstand the rigors of the road course.

“Congratulations to the Multimatic Motorsports and Ford Performance team on clinching the championships and win!” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “This has been a fantastic year for the Ford Shelby Mustang team. Roush Yates Engines is honored to have partnered with Ford Performance in building the Ford Shelby GT350R-C race winning engine that brought home the championship.”

While this season has come to a successful close, it won’t be to long before the Shelby GT350R-C teams head back to the racetrack. The IMSA season kicks of at Daytona International Speedway on January 26-29, 2017.


Driver Scott Maxwell earned his sixth pole position of the 2016 season with a 1:31.045. That put the Multimatic GT350R-C in a great spot to make a championship run.


After Scott ran the first 45 minutes of the race, he turned it over to teammate Billy Johnson, who took the checkered flag 34 ahead of the second-place racer.


While the Multimatic team took the win an the season honors, the C360R racing team (left) drivers Paul Holton and Pierre Kleinubing did lead some laps in the race and ultimately finished third at Road Atlanta.

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