The upcoming Victoria Day SpeedFest is the traditional season opening event for Canadian motorsport and will feature season opener for the Canadian Touring Car Championship presented by Pirelli (CTCC). The hectic schedule promises an exciting weekend at the famed Canadian Tire Motorsport Park north of Toronto where NASCAR Canada and the Pirelli World Challenge headline multiple race series from both sides of the border. But it is the CTCC presented by Pirelli that holds a particular interest for Quebec based MINI Cooper team, Equipe/Team Octane.
Last year’s Touring Class Champion Michel Sallenbach of Roxton Pond, QC returns with the same R58 MINI Coupe as last year; his goal to add a third title to his resume and bring home the MINI brand their sixth drivers title in eleven years.
Sallenbach will be joined for the full year by St. Guillaume, QC’s Paul Gravel returning for a sixth year in the series. Last year’s third placed driver is looking to improve on his career best and move up a spot or two in the final standings.
Team Principal Alain Lauzière is under no illusions about winning another championship, “This is not an easy series to win in.” he said, “It is structured to benefit those who consistently finish but also those who win races, you can’t afford to post a DNF, if you do it tends to drop you down the points sheet. Last year the championship went down to the last race of the year and this year I can see it doing the same. Thankfully my hard-working team and great sponsors are back with us again and I thank them for all the support and dedication.” He went on, “We are currently talking to other drivers but nothing is set in stone yet. There is particular interest in the GP Trois-Rivières event but that is not surprising and you will probably see us run four MINIs run there.”
About Equipe/Team OctaneEquipe: Team Octane is the most successful MINI team in North America having won five driver’s Touring Class championships in the ten year the series has run. It also contributed to the manufacturers titles for MINI Canada in 2016. Team Octane partners include MINI Canada through their generous contingency program, MINI GENUINE PARTS, Castrol, Bully Clutch, Perry Auto Laval, Carrosserie Touchette, ASG Accessoire de Soudure Granby, MotorWerks Magazine, G-LOC brakes, LDS Dyno and Axalta Automotive Finishes, MotorWerks Media
Michel Sallenbach is sponsored by Carosserie Touchette, Pneusendirect.com, Acessoire de soudure Grandby, Bully Clutch, MotorWerks Magazine, Lettrage Raoul, Castrol (Wakefield Distribution), LDS Dyno, MotorWerks Media
Paul Gravel is sponsored by Luc Pépin conseiller financier, Partenaire Finex, Serbo Transport, Excell Porcs 2006 inc, Construction Dannick Chaput, BAM,Weigtronics, Kubota DRUMMONDVILLE, Maximus, Nutrition Athena inc, Les entreprises d électricité D.A inc, Garage Gilles Morrissette, L.D.S. Dyno, PPG groupe Maska, Oxycentre,Henault assurance, Transport Petit inc.
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