Where else can the three sports of baseball, hockey, and motorsport come together like this weekend at Road America with CJ Wilson Racing? The MLB All-Star pitcher-owned IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge team recently announced that they would be partnering with the Chicago Blackhawks Charities for the Continental Road Race Showcase and Slipstream Network sat down with the team to talk preparation for this weekend’s event.
The No. 35 CJ Wilson Racing Safecraft Porsche Cayman GT4 will look different this weekend clad in Blackhawks Charities colors, bridging the gap between National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, and IMSA sports car racing. The partnership contributes to the effort of the charity, which started on Wednesday at the United Center in Chicago, allowing fans of all forms of sport to see the car, interact with the team, and even donate to the charity. Through the partnership, a family from Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation has also been invited to the track to enjoy a weekend of motorsport.
Proving to be of great value not only to the team, the partnership also looks to make an impact to the wider world of motorsport.
“This is the first real opportunity for our team to partner with one of the ‘big four’ professional sports and create some crossover with professional racing,” said CJ Wilson.
“Being able to show off these amazing machines in a non-traditional setting really shows people the commitment we have as an organization and hopefully gives them a better understanding of just how accessible our sport is.”
With the change of livery on the No. 35 Cayman comes a driver switch as well. Tyler McQuarrie has prior obligations with Formula Drift, so Continental Challenge regular, Justin Piscitell will step into the car for the weekend alongside Till Bechtolsheimer, who is still learning plenty after transitioning from vintage car racing.
Alongside Piscitell and Bechtolsheimer, the ‘Darth Cayman’ duo of Danny Burkett and Marc Miller shared their thoughts on what to expect for this weekend’s event. Even with a lower car count than years past, the drivers of the GS category have proven that great, close racing is still possible on tracks throughout North America. Burkett expects to make the most gains in the tighter braking zones in Turns 5, 7, and 12. Their season rivals in the No. 15 Shelby GT350R-C are expected to be strong on the long straights of Road America.
The CJ Wilson Racing team currently sits second in the championship, just 13 points behind Scott Maxwell and Billy Johnson. Miller expressed how important a strong finish at Road America would keep them in the championship hunt, especially as some Cayman-favored tracks such as Virginia International Raceway and Road Atlanta approach.
Qualifying for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge is scheduled for 3:20 PM Friday. Green flag is set to wave at 11:30 AM on Saturday, August 6.
Featured Image: CJ Wilson Racing