June 11, 2012 – Montreal Quebec, Blanchet Motorsports and Canadian Touring Car Championship shared their inaugural visit supporting Formula 1 at the famous Le Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for Rounds 3 and 4 of the Championship Series.
Friday morning’s practice was shortened as many cars had trouble with the circuit resulting in a Red flag situation. Driver, Damon Sharpe said, “It was critical for me to get as many laps possible as it is my first time here at Le Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. There is so much history here over the years and everyone wants to do well here.”
Qualifying later on Friday afternoon was delayed with a torrential down pour of rain. The session was run by most competitors on rain tires as it was still very wet, the session was shortened but the team was happy with its qualifying session. The #84 Number 7 Honda battled back and forth between pole position and second place with Lauziere but ended up with a 3rd place qualifying result in the wet. Damon commented that his rain tires started to go away towards the end of the session and had nothing left for final pole sitter #89 Hebert.
Saturday’s race was Sunny and dry, the #84 car sponsored by Honda HPD, Bio-Guard Splash for CF, Number 7 Honda, Great Lakes Brewery, Castrol and Betz Pools had a very decent race. There was more time spent chasing the two cars ahead then really being able to race them. The start was not Damon’s best as another Honda car of Belanger got by him on the start in turn one, Damon commented after that the two came together in the first turn and he wasn’t interest in damaging the car on the first corner and he gave up the position to Belanger. When the race finished, Damon had held his 3rd place position. When the team took the Checkered Flag in 3rd that earned them a spot on the podium and there second of the season, Team boss Frank Blanchet was over the moon with the result. Frank commented that this was fantastic to come to the Formula 1 week-end and make the podium for the first race of the week-end for CTCC. “Having Damon up on the F1 podium is a thrill that most people don’t ever get a chance to do. I was happy for him and the rest of the team.”
Round 4 on Sunday did not prove to yield great results as the Blanchet Racing #84 Honda Civic Si suffered from an altercation with one of the Mini Cooper entrants as the two cars got together resulting in a shunt with the inside wall causing enough damage to retire from the race.
“It was disappointing”, said Sharpe. “The improvements we made after Round 3 on the car were fantastic and I should have got to the front a lot quicker but decided to save our car for the end. The Mini of Lauziere was on a more aggressive strategy and the two didn’t mix.”
Frank Blanchet added, “We have had issues there before, there isn’t much more you can say. It was a short race for us and we never had the chase to show what we had for the end of the race. We will come back at ICAR just as strong. We put on a great show for the fans and our Sponsors. Thanks go out to Number 7 Honda, Bio-Guard Splash for CF, Honda HPD, Betz Pools, Castrol and Great Lakes Brewery.”
Rounds 5 and 6 are next on the calendar June 23-24 at Circuit ICAR.
About Blanchet Motorsports
Blanchet Motorsports has been racing since 1993 in Karting and Open wheel racing before moving into Sedan racing in 2005, winning numerous races as well as a CASC Class and Overall Champion. Joining the new Canadian Touring Car Championship in 2007 and has been a part of the series ever since, now entering into their 6th season.
The Canadian Touring Car Championship presented by Continental Tire is the only truly Canadian professional road racing series and it showcases race cars based on their original stock street version. The entry-level B-Spec Class introduces a compact car category with stock engine and strictly controlled modifications; the Touring Class features cars with minimal modifications, while Super Class machines have powerful and heavily modified engines and advanced aerodynamics. All three classes compete at the same time on the track and challenge for supremacy in their class.