Podium Finish for Compass360 at Lime Rock Park
On a rainy day at Lime Rock Park in northwestern Connecticut, Compass360 drivers Trevor Hopwood and Billy Johnson concluded the 2012 Grand-Am Continental Tire sports car series with a third-place finish in their Honda Civic Si, securing Honda a third-place finish in the ST Manufacturers’ Championship.
Persistent rain showers throughout the morning practice sessions limited on-track activities prior to the start of the single-day event, resulting in a starting grid set by championship points.
As a result, Johnson and former series champion Hopwood started deep in the field, 26th on the 33-car grid. Nevertheless, the pair relentlessly moved forward, taking the lead by mid-race and continuing at the front for the next 39 laps.
A final caution on Lap 93 set up a 10-lap dash to the finish, with Pierre Kleinubing taking both the race win, co-driving with Jason Clunie, and drivers’ championship. A drying track played to Kleinubing’s advantage, and dropped Hopwood and Johnson to a third-place finish.
Although missing out on the Manufacturers’ Championship, Honda Civic Si-equipped drivers and teams still claimed their measure of success in the 2012 Continental series, with three race victories and a pair of class poles over the course of the 10-race season.
Despite running only a partial-season schedule, the HART duo of Chad Gilsinger and Michael Valiante won at both Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen. Rookie Corey Fergus scored a pair of poles in his RSR Motorsports Civic Si, and won at New Jersey Motorsports Park co-driving with Owen Trinkler.