MONTREAL, QUEBEC – Nathan Blok, the 19-year old, two-time Formula Tour Series Champion switched gears to compete in the Canadian Touring Car Championship. The two races were in support of the Canadian Grand Prix on the weekend of June 7 – 9, 2013 on the tough Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Blok has plenty of experience on this racetrack but in the much lighter Formula 1600 open-wheel cars. This was to be his first time driving a BMW 330i sedan from 8legs Racing of Ottawa ON after a single day of practice.
The first two days of the Grand Prix weekend saw plenty of rain with few breaks. In the Friday morning practice session, the throttle stuck on the first lap – Blok was able to patch the throttle problem and got back on track halfway through the session. Then secnd gear failed with a few laps left to go in the session allowing Blok a total of only four laps.
Qualifying took place in the afternoon on Friday, still in rain and misty conditions. The throttle was repaired but there was not enough time to change the transmission, so Blok qualified without second gear, a tough drive on a track with long straights and tight corners like Montreal. Despite the mechanical issues, Blok qualified qualified fifth out of 28 drivers (14 in his Super Touring class).
Saturday’s CTCC feature race saw the rain return at the drop of the green flag. Blok fell back one position in the first turn, but retook the spot in the tight hairpin at the opposite end of the course. At the mid-point of the race, Blok had contact with two competitors and spun off the track and the BMW stalled. Blok managed to get re-started and re-joined the race in 13th place. Charging hard, Blok gained two positions in the remaining laps to finish 11th overall and 8th in his class.
“When I saw the rain come down I knew my rear wheel drive Aurora Tools BMW was at a serious disadvantage to the front wheel and 4 wheel drive cars. I would have to be defensive to have any chance of a decent finish. But all things considered I felt I did respectable since I was the highest placing rear wheel drive car in the field.”
The second CTCC race of the weekend took place on Sunday morning under clearing skies and on a drying track. Qualifying was based on the best race times from Saturday placing Blok seventh on the grid.
The green flag was waved and Blok immediately gained three positions during the first lap. The race was spent battling for position with gains and losses with two competitors dropping out and Blok crossed the finish line in second place, nearly 11 seconds ahead of his closest competition and earned his first podium in the CTCC series.
“I was so happy to see the sun come out for the first time this weekend. I had an excellent start, and by the end of the first lap I had moved up three positions. A number of DNF’s worked in my favour and I was able to get a podium finish on my debut to the series. I am working towards finding funding to race at the Trois-Rivières Grand Prix in August and looking forward to improve on my second place finish.”
“I would like to thank all my sponsors and partners, for without them this race weekend would not have been a success.”
For information on Nathan Bok and sponsorship visit www.nathanblok.com or contact Steve Blok at (613) 582-3867
Nathan Blok Quick Facts: Nathan Blok is a 19-year old racer from Beachburg, Ontario and he is the two-time Formula Tour Series Champion. Blok has been racing for 13 years beginning in karting and earned his first victory in cars in 2010 with a 1st place finish in the Ontario Formula Ford Challenge race at Calabogie, Ontario. He holds the F1600 track record at the Circuit Gilles Villeneauve and he is the youngest driver to win at the Trois-Rivieres GP.
Away from the track, Blok holds a 1st Degree Black Belt in Karate, and is currently attending the Mechanical Engineering Technology course at Algonquin College (Ottawa, Ontario).
For more information on Nathan Blok, visit www.nathanblok.com
Sponsors of Nathan Blok Racing: Nathan Blok would like to thank his sponsors for their continuing support – Aurora Tools (www.aurora-tools.com), NAPA Auto Parts (www.napacanada.com), Great Slave Helicopters (www.greatslaveheli.com), Donley Pool Service, Lad’s Auto Recyclers, Sun Sign Graphics (www.sunsigngraphics.com), Mursatt Chemicals (www.mursattchemicals.com), Arch Chemicals (www.archchemicals.com), Beach-West Pharmacy, Woody’s Motor Vehicle Repair, Sandra’s Embroidery Works,Arch Chemicals (www.archchemicals.com), McMillan Transmission, A-City Taxi, Engine Research, Stream Function (www.streamfunction.ca), TD Products (http://www.tdproducts.com), and his many personal sponsors.
Prepared by Jim Leggett (firstname.lastname@example.org)