The renowned Barber Motorsports park held host to a notable happening this past weekend: three Ford Mustang racing teams took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place to pound the podium with blue-blooded pride. After coming up short last year at Barber, the JBS Motorsports Ford Mustang, piloted by Bret Seafuse & James Gue, reached the top after leading 65 of the 90 circuits. The next car following in this Grand-AM KONI Sports Car Challenge event was the No. 59 Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang, which led for the race twice for seven laps. Rounding out the podium in the 3rd slot were Billy Johnson and Jack Roush Jr in the No. 61 Horsepower Racing Mustang, providing a true Ford sweeper at Barber. Keep reading to get all the detail in the official Grand-Am Press Release.
Gue, Seafuse Win KONI Sports Car Challenge Grand Sport Race Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park
New York-based JBS Motorsports team earns first ever victory
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 19, 2009) – Losing a heartbreaker at Barber Motorsports Park one year ago, JBS Motorsports pulled out a dominating victory Sunday, giving the New York-based team its first victory in Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge competition.
Bret Seafuse and James Gue led 65 of the 90 circuits in the No. 37 Trumansburg ShurSave Ford Mustang GT, with Gue beating point leader Ken Wilden to the stripe by 1.863 seconds while running low on fuel. The team appeared on its way to win here a year ago, only to need to stop for a splash of fuel late in the race which led to a second-place finish.
“We learned from our mistakes from last year,” Gue said. “We knew it would be close at the end, while it snuck up on us last year. I was basically trying to keep my gap. We didn’t need to win by five seconds – all we needed was to win by just a hair.”
Wilden took second in the No. 59 Rehagen racing Ford Mustang started by Dean Martin, who led twice for seven laps. Wilden retained his point lead over Seafuse and Gue (236-218), while Martin remained third with 206 points.
Billy Johnson and Jack Roush Jr. placed third in the No. 61 Horsepower Racing Mustangs – giving Ford and Roush Yates engines a sweep of the podium.
The race was caution free – the second consecutive GS event without a yellow.
“We’ve been so close for so many times that I was afraid it was going to be déjà vu from last year,” Seafuse said. “But we made it – and there can’t be more than a pint in it. Finally the cards fell right and we are on top.”
Spencer Pumpelly finished fourth in the No. 39 Adam’s Polishes/The DigiTrust Group Porsche 997 started by Duncan Ende, while Matt Bell placed fifth in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 started by Boris Said.
Martin led the opening six laps from the pole before being passed by Seafuse – who paced the next 36 circuits before his pit stop. Meanwhile, Roush pitted earlier than expected due to a wheel vibration, with Johnson taking the lead when Martin and Seafuse pitted. Johnson led 13 circuits until his pit stop.
“I thought we were going to be able to drive up to the front and battle with these guys, but we have a wheel issue,” Roush said. “Luckily, there was no serious damage, and Billy got out there and did an awesome job.”
While several of the front runners needed to pit in the closing laps – including Bell, Bryan Ortiz and Andy Lally – the top two Fords were able to stretch out their mileage.
The Grand-Am KONI Challenge held a Street Tuner race on Saturday, with Ian Baas and Josh Hurley taking their first series victory in the No. 171 APR Motorsport Volkswagen GTI. Andrew Carbonell and Rhett O’Doski finished second in a Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5, followed by Kristian Skavnes and Andrew Aquilante in the Subaru Road Racing Team Legacy.
Only three races remain for the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge, which next sees action Aug. 15-16 at Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada.Categories: Events, Ford