Last weekend's Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge race was as unpredictable as the weather at VIRginia International Raceway Saturday afternoon, but despite it all Bodymotion Racing's Jason Rabe and Max Faulkner collected their first 2018 victory in the Street Tuner (ST) class in the Biscuitville Grand Prix. This was a truly hard-fought and well-earned win, displaying the grit and perseverance of the entire team. The CMS/Bodymotion #21 Porsche Cayman has been knocking at the door of victory all season long, and many were asking the question, "Will today be the day?" And what a day it was! Rabe and Faulkner managed to catapult themselves from two laps down at one point! Read on for more...
The choice of slicks versus rain tires played a crucial role as some areas of the 3.27-mile, 17-turn road course were dry while other portions of the track were still being inundated with rain, making conditions even more treacherous than usual. As a further testament to the race's odd nature, the absolutely heart-pounding pace continued unabated from green- to checkered-flag despite the intense weather conditions.
Rabe, of Monticello, N.Y., qualified third on Friday night with a time of 2:06.049 (93.391 miles per hour) in the team's No. 21 Porsche Cayman, which is sponsored by Competition Motorsport and Delaware Funds. He passed Colin Mullan for second on the first lap, but Mullan got the spot back on lap four as the rain began to pour down. Rabe was forced to pit for rain tires, dropping him to fifth, and fell one lap down a few laps later.
Although Rabe set the car's fastest lap of the race on lap three with a time of 2:06.211, which was third-fastest in the class, getting that lap back proved difficult, especially when the sun came out and he had to continue racing on rain tires. He was still in fifth place, one lap down when he came into the pit and handed the Cayman over to Faulkner with about 53 minutes remaining in the race.
With that pit stop, Faulkner, of Rumson, N.J., went two laps down to the class leader, but was able to make up one of those laps with about 45 minutes remaining when other teams followed suit and came in for a pit stop. Despite the team's good fortune he was more than a minute behind fourth place with 29 minutes remaining. Several minutes later he found himself taking over fourth when the BMW that started from pole and led for much of the race pitted on lap 41. Faulkner then climbed into third with about 15 minutes remaining in the race on lap 45 by passing Mat Pombo's MINI. Even still, he was a lap down to the class leader and some 1:47 behind second place.
Methodically, Faulkner chipped away at that margin and with just 2:34 remaining in the race had reigned in the second place car to a 10.687 second lead! Not satisfied with the final podium spot and determined to get everything he could out of the Porsche, Faulkner passed Derek Jones' MINI in the last turn of the last lap to nail down the runner-up honors. He finished 6.775 seconds behind the class winner and just 0.353 ahead of third place after the herculean effort... or did he?!
In a final culmination of what was a truly bizarre race, the No. 52 MINI that crossed the finish line first in class was penalized due to a technical infraction. A post-race inspection revealed that the car exceeded maximum boost pressure and was moved to last in class, handing drivers Rabe and Faulkner and the #21 CMS/Bodymotion Racing Porsche the win in ST Class.
Truly an epic race and a hard-fought victory!
This incredibly unforgettable race will air on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, Aug. 26 from noon to 2 p.m. Eastern. Trust us when we say you don't want to miss it!
After the VIR win, Rabe and Faulkner are unofficially tied for second in the point standings with just two races remaining in the season.