Shelby Gt350r C Win
Evan J. Smith
Freelancer
July 17, 2015

Just a week ago we reported on the debut of Ford’s new Shelby GT350R-C, and the pole-setting performance in its first outing. It didn’t take long for the Shelby racer to find the winner’s circle, as Austin Cindric became the youngest driver ever to win in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge when we took the checkered flag for Ford Performance at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

“It feels great to come here in my rookie season and run with a team like Multimatic,” Cindric said. “It’s really special. They gave me a car that can win a race and I have to go do my job and prove that I can do it. With a great teammate like Jade Buford, (his co-driver) and also (teammates Billy Johnson and Scott Maxwell), it’s a great opportunity.”

The event began with both Multimatic Motorsport Shelby GT350R-C Mustangs on the pole. Buford, whose trip to the top of the podium was also his first in the Continental Tire series, drove the first stint. Buford performed well, along with Billy Johnson, who claimed his second-career P1 in the No. 15 Multimatic Ford Shelby. Johnson maintained an early lead until he handed over the driver seat to co-driver Scott Maxwell. Maxwell recorded just a few laps before an incident sidelined the No. 15.

“It’s unfortunate Scott and Billy weren’t able to finish with us,” Cindric said. “We were hoping for a 1-2 finish with the new car at the home race, but it’s racing and those things happen. I haven’t seen the video yet, but I saw the damage and it looked pretty significant. I know the boys will work hard to get it ready for Lime Rock.”

“He’s done nothing but a fantastic job, so I had all confidence in him,” Buford said of Cindric. “I had all the confidence in the car. The team worked hard all weekend to give us the best car they could and they were spot-on. We struggled a little bit all weekend with our car. We just couldn’t find a balance that we really liked. We made one change before the start of the race and it was just spot-on. It was exactly what we needed and the car really came to life. I knew from the get-go that if everything went well, we would have a good day. Everyone just needed to do their job, and they did it.”

The Canadian Tire event will air Sunday July 19 on Fox Sports1 between 12:00-2:00. And the team will compete next at the historic Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut July 24-25. You can see the entire Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge schedule at www.imsa.com.