Mt. Tremblant, QC – Blanchet Motorsports had low expectations for Round 7 & 8 at the picturesque and challenging Le Circuit Mt.Tremblant. Driver Damon Sharpe has never been to the facility before and the circuit rewards experience. Test day was cut short as administration staff at the track were difficult to deal with but rookie driver Sharpe quickly got up to pace in the Number 7 Honda/Castrol/BioGuard Splash for CF sponsored Civic Si Touring Car.
Sharpe had some personal gremlins to deal with on practice day. A quick check of his Blackberry prior to the session revealed a lifelong friend had passed away that morning. “I was emotionally exhausted before I got in the car,” said Sharpe. “My friend was a racer and I was encouraged to stay on and try and win one for Mike Winger.” That, along with good support from Blanchet crew member Mike Pierro, allowed Sharpe to continue on.
Qualifying was held in the morning and the cooler conditions helped the cars increase speed as Sharpe ended up P4 behind pole sitter Jocelyn Hebert then, Belanger and Groenke.
Round 7 race was a close tight knit battle between the minis of Sallenbach and Groenke. After Hebert suffered contact at the start the trio pushed hard for the fight for 2nd place. Sharpe passed both Minis to emerge in the 2nd spot but a close battle with Boyer (Super class) proved to get the better of Sharpe as the two passed and re-passed each other. “Once I got back to the bumper of Boyer,” stated Sharpe, “I was completely over driving the car and got sideways loose around the infamous Turn 2 and went for a 200 foot slide.” After allowing the minis to re-pass Sharpe as he ended up 5th. Jacques Belanger took the win with Blanchette 2nd and Groenke 3rd.
A physical altercation erupted in the pit lane after the race between Boyer and Sharpe as emotions ran high. The true story of Round 7 was the closeness of the Touring class battle with 4 cars all posting times of 1:53.5 including Sharpe. Team Boss Frank Blanchet was the voice of reason stating: “Damon lost his head. He has had an emotional couple of days and some frustration with Super Class cars in previous rounds. He has been fast everywhere we go and is anxious for his first win in CTCC. I will make sure he apologizes to Normand Boyer for his actions and we will put it behind us. He has our full support as a team but I expect things to be done my way and we have our integrity to think about as well.”
Round 8 race saw an epic battle between the minis and Honda Civics of Sharpe, Blanchette and Hebert. Sharpe brought his car from 6th to 2nd in this battle only to have a battery cable pop off the battery killing power to the Number 7 Honda/Castrol/BioGuard Splash for CF car with only 2 laps to go. The driver unstrapped his belts and made the repair track side but was relegated to last place and one lap down. A deflated Sharpe surprisingly had a good outlook on the result. “We set the fastest race lap in round 8 and everybody knows we are fast,” said Sharpe. “We are getting closer to that first win”!
Rounds 9 &10 of the CTCC, the team returns to the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park July 21-22 featuring the American LeMans Series and the Canadian Touring Car Championship. We hope to see you all out at the track.
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.
Experience the rush of touring car racing! For more information on Blanchet Motorsports visit and follow:
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Damon Sharpe- @stabbedrat