Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Cooldown Lap: Kia 200

Bill Auberlen celebrates his second victory of the day at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The Stats
1st: Paul Dalla Lana and Bill Auberlen, No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3
2nd: Jack Roush Jr. and Billy Johnson, No. 61 Roush Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302R
3rd: Al Carter and Hugh Plumb, No. 45 BePositive.org/HRE/Fall-Line BMW M3

ST: Ryan Ellis and Ian Baas, No. 171 APR VW GTI
Margin of Victory: 2.881 seconds
Average Speed: 79.837 mph
Cautions: Five for 25 laps
The Points

GS: Bill Auberlen/Paul Dalla Lana 65; Matt Plumb/Nick Longhi 61; Joe Foster/Scott Maxwell 57.

ST: Ryan Ellis/Ian Baas 70; Nic Jonsson 56; Sarah Cattaneo/Owen Trinkler 55.
The Story

Paul Dalla Lana and Bill Auberlen followed up their GT victory in the Grand Prix of Miami earlier in the day at Homestead-Miami Speedway by winning the Kia 200. Less than four hours after his first Rolex Series triumph, Dalla Lana won for the first time in 18 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge races.

This was only the second time in GRAND-AM history that drivers scored double victories on the same day. Terry Borcheller and Forest Barber won in both Daytona Prototype and GS II on June 29, 2003, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Auberlen ended Billy Johnson’s personal three-race winning streak at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with Johnson finishing second in the No. 61 Roush Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302R started by Jack Roush Jr.

Al Carter and Hugh Plumb took third in the No. 45 BePositive.org/HRE/Fall-Line BMW M3.
Ian Baas caught Mathew Pombo at the finish line to win in the Street Tuner class. Baas was driving the No. 171 VWR DriverGear/APR Tuned Volkswagen GTI started by Ryan Ellis. They won by .022 seconds, leading only the final inches of the race as he drafted by Mathew Pombo for a last-lap pass.

Pombo shared the No. 31 Mazda/Cybernation MazdaSpeed 3 with his brother, Mark Pombo, marking the first time the two co-drove in a race.

The Surprises

Brothers Mark and Mathew Pombo finished second racing together for the first time. They qualified fourth for the season opener at Daytona, but had a fire in the morning warm-up and did not race.
Brothers Chris and Kevin Gleason finished a career-best fourth in the No. 181 APR Motorsport VW GTI.
BimmerWorld’s James Clay and Seth Thomas finished outside the top 10 for the second GS race,

The Numbers:
.022 seconds – Margin of victory in the ST division
13 – Number of Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge victories for Bill Auberlen
53 – Laps led by brothers Mark (31) and Mathew (22) Pombo
The Quotes:

“My favorite day in the world is to win two races in one day. Coming in my 100th Rolex Series start, and seeing Paul (Dalla Lana) win his first two races, it’s so sweet.” – Bill Auberlen (No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3)

“It was close. We were racing really hard. We came through the final turn on his back bumper, and I had the torque on him to pull a slingshot. That was the only time I led in the race.” – Ian Baas (No. 171 APR Motorsport VW GTI)

“We had tough luck last year when we had a number of mechanical DNFs late in the race. The team worked extra hard to give us a good car this year.” – Paul Dalla Lana (No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3)

“It was a win for us. If anybody told us before today that we’d be second, we would have taken that. This is the first time Mark and I co-drove the same car in a race.” – Mathew Pombo (No. 31 i-Moto Mazda Speed 3)

“Our Ford Mustang Boss 302R has a smaller fuel tank than the Mustang GT we raced last year, so our fuel mileage is not as good. I pitted early because of our new fuel strategy, which changed a number of things for us this year – Jack Roush Jr. (No. 61 Roush Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302R)

“I connect really well with Homestead-Miami Speedway. Last year I had the pole. Today I started from the back and moved up halfway through the field before Owen (Trinkler) took over and finished third. Our car couldn’t have been more perfect.” – Sarah Cattaneo (No. 198 Cruise America Mini Cooper S)
The Next Race:

Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., will host the next round for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge on Saturday, April 9. Dean Martin and Bob Michaelian won the 2009 event, driving the No. 52 bizrate.com Ford Mustang GT, while Derek Whitis and Tom Long took ST honors in the No. 25 Aventura Technologies/Semperfifund.org Mazda MX-5.

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