Johnson & James Finish 2nd at Mosport. Double-Podium for Multimatic Motorsports.
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario (July 12, 2014) – Courtesy of Ford Racing – In a spirited run that, emotionally speaking, very nearly erased an entire first-half season’s angst and frustration, Multimatic Motorsports drivers Ian James and Billy Johnson and their No. 158 Ford Mustang Boss 302R finished second Saturday to the No. 9 Chevrolet of Matt Bell and Andy Lally on the 2.459-mile, 10-turn track. In third was the second of Multimatic Motorsports’ two team cars, the No. 58 Ford Mustang Boss 302R piloted by Jade Buford and Scott Maxwell.
Keeping in mind that racers often insist the best of almost any sports car race comes nearest its end, the last 14-minutes-or-so of Saturday’s Continental Tire Sportscar Championship race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park certainly proved such to be the case.
Only, those 14 minutes also were too few in number and way too late in coming for one of Ford’s best, driver Billy Johnson, who very nearly drove the wheels off of his Multimatic Motorsports’ No. 158 Ford Mustang Boss 302R, in an effort to work his magic all the way to the winner’s circle.
Friday evening, James had expressed considerable optimism about Saturday’s race, saying that while CTMP now is likely “the most challenging track we go to,” Saturday’s ninth-place in CTSC qualifying led to the discovery of a CTMP secret that gave the team a still better feeling for Saturday.
“We tried some set up changes for qualifying that did not work because a higher track temperature caught us out,” the English native-turned-U.S.-citizen said. “While P9 is not where we wanted to end up for the start, I think we now have a good race-car setup for Saturday – one that we think others may not have noticed – and we’re looking forward to the race.”
As if the top runners weren’t already nose-to-tail before a final caution period, the race’s fourth, with about 20-minutes remaining they were collected and constrained so that the final sprint to the flag wasn’t likely to see the tight racing dematerialize.
Turned loosed by the green flag with 14-munites to go, the top-three running order was No. 9 Andy Lally; No. 15 Scott Maxwell; and, No. 158 Billy Johnson.
Slowly and surely, Lally began pulling away from Maxwell, who behind had an anxious Johnson raring to go – if only Maxwell could.
An accomplished racer in his own right – Maxwell in a couple of months’ time will be inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame – it’s just very, very hard for someone like Maxwell to quickly realize he or his car didn’t have what it’d take on Saturday to overcome the deficit built between Lally and himself.
But recognize it he did and with five minutes remaining radioed team engineer Larry Holt, “I don’t have anything for him (No. 9, Lally), I’m letting Billy by.”
Like a shot from a canon, in an instant Johnson was by and on his way to challenge Lally.
But it was really just too late. With roughly three laps available in those five minutes, there was little Johnson could do to overcome a nearly four-second deficit, even though the driver did close the gap to barely more than one second.
“With those Camaros carrying two more liters in engine size than us (6.97 liters to 5 liters) it was tough to catch them, much less run with them,” Johnson said.
“Still we were really strong.”
“The important thing is that after having a string of bad luck through the first part of the year, we finally got the breaks to come our way and we finally pretty much got that monkey off our back.”
Getting that ape to hang elsewhere wasn’t exactly easy. So difficult, in fact, the entire team would have to throw him off. And so it did: The pit crew was itself on fire, spending two fewer seconds (2:05) servicing the James/Johnson No. 158 Boss 302R than did the No. 9’s crew (2:07).
In two weeks’ time the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge visits hallowed ground at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, taking on the famed track in the July 24-25 Brickyard SportsCar Challenge.
The first half of the season has plagued the #158 Multimatic Motorsports / Miller Racing entry with some bad luck compounded by rules that left the entire Mustang field slightly behind the rest of the competitors. After a respectable Top-10 finish in the season-opener at Daytona, the James-Johnson duo were plagued with mechanical issues at Sebring, despite a top-3 qualifying, and Laguna Seca finishing 17th and 10th respectively before being taken out with a DNF at Lime Rock.
Despite a couple penalties at Kansas, a top 10 finish was salvaged before a start of the race crash at Watkins Glen led to another DNF for the #158 Mustang.
"I'm very happy to be apart of the Multimatic Team" said Johnson. "Everyone has been awesome to work with, Ian is a very talented co-driver, and Scott Maxwell and Jade Buford are two great teammates. We have a strong driver lineup, a strong team behind us, but we just haven't been able to shake this monkey off our backs to get the result that is representative of how hard this team is working. Despite all of this bad luck, the whole team has never been phased and they continue to work extremely hard to give us very good cars. For the second half of the season, hopefully our luck will turn around and we can get a few podiums and hopefully a win before the season is over."
Johnson fills in last minute for the Daytona 24 in the #64 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari GTD
A last minute decision found Billy Johnson listed to drive the #64 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 in the GTD class for the 24 Hours of Daytona.
With a last minute call, Johnson was listed to drive the #64 with co-drivers Ken Wilden, Dave Empringham, John Farano, and Rod Randall. After the bare minimum of 3 laps under his belt at night, the minimum required to compete in the Daytona 24, Johnson was ready for the 24 having more seat time in practice than he had in the 2012 Daytona 24 where he was called to drive the #77 Doran DP during the race having never turning a lap in a DP.
After starting from the rear, the #64 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari worked its way though the pack and led laps during the infamous "Twice around the clock" race and ran in the top 10 for a good part of the race. Johnson's stints happened in the dead of night where he turned consistent and fast laps.
As mid-day Sunday rolled around, the #64 found its way to finish in the 14th position having turned every lap without going behind the wall.
"It was great to be apart of the Scuderia Corsa Team" said Johnson, "The car was a blast to drive and I felt right at home as it had a lot of similarities to my Time Attack NSX. Having raced against Ken, Dave, John, and Rod for years, it was a fun race to work with them to be able to call them co-drivers".
Johnson & James finish 9th in 2014 Season Opener at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (January 24th, 2014) - Multimatic Motorsports returned to the Ford fold with a better than anticipated performance as both the #15 and #158 Boss 302Rs finished in the top 10 of the BMW Performance 200. The event marked the first race of the 2014 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSC) and the first in the team's partnership with Miller Racing, which has been forged to return Mustang to its former glory in this highly competitive racing series.
Practice saw the Multimatic Mustangs top five in every session despite the team having not run the cars for over two years and the lap times being well over a second faster than 2013. The team very quickly found a fast set-up for the infield but unfortunately the Balance of Performance (BoP) restrictor and ballast weight dictated by the series did not allow the Mustangs to match the top-end speed of the competition on the flat-out banking and straights of the oval. It was only the superior handling and braking performance of the Multimatic entries that kept them in the hunt.
Qualifying was a somewhat bizarre affair as a red flag stopped the session after just a few minutes with only three cars setting times. Proceedings then restarted with only three and a half minutes remaining, just enough time for one flying lap. Once again, Multimatic's star qualifier Jade Buford proved that he has no equal when the pressure is on, and with everybody else still bringing their tires up to temp he put the #15 Boss 302R on pole, with a little help from a well considered draft out of the bus-stop. It was Buford's second consecutive Daytona CTSC pole and his seventh pole in the last 12 races, made even more impressive by the fact that he did it in the five year old, school-bus yellow Mustang campaigned by Multimatic back in 2010/11. The #158 unfortunately failed to qualify due to a power train issue and was forced to start at the back of field in P29.
In typical CTSC fashion, the race was a crash-fest and a number of long yellows dramatically slowed the race pace and made pit strategy difficult. There were so many incidents that the 2014 Daytona event set a new record for the least laps completed at 54, with over half of those being under caution!! Despite being hobbled by the BoP restrictor, causing a severe power deficit to the BMWs and Porsches, both the #15 and #158 took turns leading the race and both cars remained continuously in contention for the lead. Before the final caution, which undermined the team's fuel strategy, Scott Maxwell in the #15 and Billy Johnson in the #158 were on a strong charge towards the front. At the checkered flag, the top six cars were all BMWs, all of which had run lap times almost two seconds faster than in 2013, with the #15 finishing P7 and the #158 P9.
Highlights of the weekend were as follows:
Billy Johnson joins Multimatic / Miller Motorsports for 2014
Salt Lake City – Miller Racing, based in Salt Lake City, is happy to announce that it will be returning to the racetrack in 2014 with an exciting new program in partnership with Ford Racing’s official development partner, Multimatic Motorsports.
The renowned Canadian-based Multimatic Motorsports operation and Miller Racing will field a two-car team of Ford Mustang Boss 302Rs in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC).
Miller Racing, which was established as a championship-caliber operation by the late Roger Miller in 2011, is now run by Roger’s wife, Cheri, and Ian James, Roger’s longtime co-driver. Multimatic Motorsports, based in Markham, Ontario, Canada, is the competition arm of Multimatic Engineering.
Founded in 1992, the team has competed in the Firestone Firehawk Series, Motorola Cup, IMSA Sports Car Championship, Grand American Road Racing Association, American Le Mans Series, Grand-Am Cup, Rolex Sports Car Series, KONI Sports Car Challenge, Continental Sports Car Challenge and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Multimatic Motorsports celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2012. The team has countless race wins and series championships in almost every major road racing series in North America, and is the only Canadian team to capture a class victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2000. Multimatic Engineering was called upon by Ford Racing to develop the Ford Focus Daytona Prototype in 2003, the Ford Mustang FR500C in 2008 and the Ford Mustang Boss 302R in 2010.
The No. 158 Ford Mustang Boss 302R will be co-driven by Ian James and Billy Johnson, who is transferring from the Roush Racing team. The No. 15 team car will be co-driven by longtime Multimatic driver Scott Maxwell and Jade Buford. These four drivers have won a total of 31 CTSCC races over the past decade.
The team is proud to announce that the team’s Mustangs will be supported by Total Care Automotive, Prestige Financial Services, ViON, Multimatic and Ford Racing.
Total Care Auto (TCA) is a Utah-based company that provides finance and insurance products for automotive dealerships and provides training to dealership personnel. For over 30 years, TCA has helped auto dealerships in the western United States reach their finance and insurance goals.
Prestige Financial Services, Inc. is a Utah-based premier provider of consumer financial solutions for both franchised and independent automobile dealerships across America. With a successful track record dating back to 1994, and a staff of best-in-class professionals, Prestige is recognized throughout the industry for its strong portfolio performance and innovative lending programs.
“We were looking for a way to continue Roger’s legacy in racing, and this partnership among Miller Racing, Multimatic Motorsports and Ford Racing is the perfect solution,” said Cheri Miller. “None of this would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of Ian James, who has become part of our family, and we sincerely appreciate his efforts. We look forward to this exciting new partnership and to seeing Roger’s No. 158 Boss 302R back on the track and challenging for wins in 2014.”
“We are extremely happy to be back in the Ford camp running the Boss 302Rs that Multimatic originally engineered and built,” said Larry Holt, Team Principal of Multimatic Motorsports. “The stars have realigned and, with a new Mustang coming for 2015, the future looks very bright for Ford Racing in the Continental series. Our new partnership with Miller Racing is a great way to strengthen the campaign and keep Roger’s No. 158 Mustang out front. The teaming of Ian and Billy in that car will be a formidable combination.”
“Ford Racing welcomes back Multimatic's Larry Holt and his championship-caliber team to Mustang Boss 302Rs in the Continental Tire Sports Car Championship,” said Jamie Allison, Director of Ford Racing. “He brings with him a special relationship with the Miller family, honoring and extending the memories of Roger’s love for racing Mustangs.”
The team’s first outing will be the “Roar Before the 24” three-day test at Daytona International Speedway on January 3-5, 2014, providing the team valuable practice prior to the season-opening race at Daytona on January 22-24.
Johnson and Roush WIN season finale at Lime Rock!
Jack Roush Jr. and Billy Johnson took the checkered flag first as the Grand-Am Continental GS race (and season) ended on Saturday, September 28 at Lime Rock Park, CT. This victory marks the duo's 10th victory together and Johnson's 15th career Grand-Am win.
Jack Roush Jr. was unable to participate in last year’s race at Lime Rock, as he was still recovering from a broken arm he sustained in practice at Laguna Seca a few weeks earlier. “Having missed last year’s event, it’s great to be back at Lime Rock and to close out the season with a win,” says Jack Roush Jr. “I can’t say enough about Billy Johnson and the whole team.”
During the final stint in the No. 61 Mustang, Billy Johnson ran down the No. 9 Camaro, overtaking him on the final lap after making up close to a 30 second deficit. “We’ve always had a strong package here.” said Johnson. “Jack and I were robbed of a win two years ago after being hit by a backmarker late in the race so it’s great to finally make it to Victory Lane here at Lime Rock. With the limited track time, Jack did a great job determining the ideal setup for the race. He drove a great first stint and we had a great pit stop and strategy which put us in the position to be able to contend for the win. It came down to the wire with a last lap pass in Turn 1 for the win.”
The No. 61 Mustang’s sponsors include ROUSH Performance, Ford Racing, Gary Yeomans Ford Lincoln, Kooks Custom Headers, PWR, BMRS, GoPro, and Mechanix Wear.
Johnson and Marsal Finish
Billy is an American professional race car driver competing in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge GS class for Multimatic Motorsports / Miller Racing in the #158 Ford Racing BOSS 302R Mustang with co-driver Ian James.
Billy drove the #007 Aston Martin Vantage in the 12 Hours of Sebring for Aston Martin Racing in the GT class with Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana in 2013.
He has been called to drive in the #77 Doran Racing Ford Daytona Prototype during the 2012 running of the 24 Hours of Daytona at the last minute Sunday morning having never driven a DP before, driving the car to a 7th place finish.
He is also a road-course test driver and coach for Roush Fenway Racing and drove the #60 Nationwide car to an 8th place finish at Montreal in 2012. Johnson made his Nationwide oval debut at Loudon in 2013 and finished an impressive 15th position on the lead lap. He also led laps in the #16 at Road America.
Billy also competes in Time Attacks events in an assortment of cars ranging from the FXMD Turbo NSX, Twin Turbo 350Z, R34GTR, and many more.
Billy currently resides in Charlotte, NC.
SPEED Channel 2013 Race Broadcast:
1 - BMW Performance 200 (Daytona) WIN - (Click Here)
SPEED Channel 2012 Race Broadcast:
Video interview from the WIN at NJMP (2011):
Billy Johnson & FX Motorsports Development re-set the Buttonwillow Track Record by ~3 seconds (1:37.520) as confirmation of fastest time attack car in the country.
Billy Johnson & FXMD beat HKS Japan's long-standing track record at Buttonwillow. The only RWD car to do so!