Toronto, ON – The Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC) presented by Continental Tire had what was a close to a perfect weekend at Circuit Mont-Tremblant. The great weather and enthusiasm of the competitors complimented the incredible scenery of the surrounding mountains.
Drivers took to the track on two occasions Friday. This was a great way for several drivers to get acquainted with the circuit since this was their first visit to Tremblant. During the first session, Normand Boyer in his # 7 Mazda3 had mechanical problems and left for home to repair the car but returned on Saturday morning. Unfortunately for Eric Hochgeschurz, his weekend was over before practice started as he had broken the differential in open testing on Thursday. Remy Audette and Karl Wittmer were trying their hand in B-Spec Class driving a Honda Fit and Mazda2 respectively. Both drivers finished the day within two hundredths of a second of each other and were looking forward to the races to follow. Damon Sharpe and Dean Fantin were two drivers experiencing Le Circuit for the first time and were very impressed and amazed at how the track challenged them.
Qualifying was run on Saturday morning under clear skies. An overnight rainfall had left the track a little green. Marc-Antoine Camirand showed the way in Super Class in his BMW followed by Mathieu Audette in his Acura and Dave Ciekiewicz in his BMW. Jocelyn Hebert in his Honda was almost one second faster than his closest rivals in Touring Class. He was followed by Jacques Belanger in his Honda and PJ Groenke in his Mini. Nick Wittmer led B-Spec Class in his Honda Fit followed by Remy Audette and Jean-Francois Dumoulin, both in Honda Fits also. This was Dumoulin`s first drive in the B-Spec Class Honda Fit. Bad luck for Karl Wittmer who blew a clutch in his B-Spec Class Mazda2 and Alex Healy in his Acura RSX who blew an engine, both were done for the weekend.
Saturday afternoon continued to be clear and sunny as the drivers took the start and dived into corner one. It was obvious that a few were more anxious than the others as two cars touched sending everyone who was mid-pack scrambling for room in near zero visibility. Marc-Antoine Camirand led the Super Class pack followed by Mathieu Audette and Dave Ciekiewicz for most of the race. Sasha Anis got by Dave Ciekiewicz for third place. The Touring Class field got mixed up by the first corner drama. Jocelyn Hebert got the worst of it and ended up in sixth place. Damon Sharpe was running a great race and challenging for the second place when he spun at the top of corner two. Fortunately, there was no damage to his car but he dropped down to fifth. Jacques Belanger drove a strong race finishing in first followed by Daniel Blanchette and PJ Groenke. Nick Wittmer jumped ahead of the other B-Spec Class competitors during the corner one confusion and never looked back leading Remy Audette and Jean-Francois Dumoulin at the checkered.
The start on Sunday afternoon was much cleaner than the one of Saturday. Marc-Antoine Camirand and Mathieu Audette pulled away from the field and ran bumper-to-bumper the whole race. Audette had a few runs on Camirand but was not able to get by. Roger Ledoux moved up from 23rd overall to finish eleventh. At the checkered in Super Class it was Camirand followed by Audette and Sasha Anis. Jacques Belanger in his Honda led the Touring Class competitors from the beginning but was challenged by PJ Groenke and Michel Sallenbach in their Minis, and Damon Sharpe in his Honda. PJ spun going into corner three which pushed him back to finish fifth and shuffled the field once again. Jocelyn Hebert capitalized on the spin and moved into third. Damon had a battery cable come loose and he finished in ninth. In Touring Class, Belanger won the race with Sallenbach and Hebert behind him. Nick Wittmer was concerned that he had not made the correct tire choice but managed to maintain a lead and won in B-Spec Class. Jean-Francois Dumoulin finished in second and in front of teammate Remy Audette. Audette crossed the finish line with his front bumper dragging under the car.
CTCC’s 9th and 10th rounds will take place July 20-22, 2012 at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Fans can keep track of live CTCC competition with their smartphone or computer by connecting to www.livetiming.net/ctcc. CTCC live timing is available whenever and wherever the race cars are on the track.
For more details about CTCC, visit www.touringcar.ca or follow CTCC on Facebook and Twitter.
Don’t miss P1 on Sportsnet One every Thursday night at 8:30 p.m.
The Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC) 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 sub-compact car category with a 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!
From Dominique Longval