TORONTO, ON – Emotions and excitement were at the heart of the weekend for the Season Finale of Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC) presented by Continental Tire at Calabogie Motorsports Park. Going into this weekend, the probability of winning the Touring Class title by either Team Octane driver Michel Sallenbach or Blanchet Motorsports driver Damon Sharpe was fifty percent while Super Class and B-Spec Class leaders Sasha Anis from G1 Racing and Nick Wittmer with Ste-Rose Honda Racing were technically invincible.
Leading Super Class Standings by 267 points going into the weekend, Anis knew he was to be declared champion but admitted that he would not give any chance to anyone no matter what. “I put on new tires this morning and I am going on the track to race”, said Anis just before the final race. “Lesage and I had a 0.26 seconds difference on the first race and I am going to fight with him, otherwise, what’s the point. I want to have fun, race and win!”
Strategic and confident, Anis won both Rounds 15 and 16 on Sunday. Luc Lesage had to abandon his Scion after his first practice lap on Saturday after blowing his engine but ended his racing season driving a BMW provided by 8Legs Racing. Luckily, very comfortable behind the wheel of that new car, Lesage demonstrated his talent by keeping Anis busy as much as possible, following him from a close distance throughout the morning race. Lesage secured second position followed by Benjamin Distaulo. For Round 16, Lesage didn’t have any luck and spun early in the final race.
This incident gave second position to Distaulo. Third position went to Alex Healy who was proud to accept his award at his home track.
The Touring Class battles were greatly anticipated as Damon Sharpe and Michel Sallenbach entered the competition almost equal but with a 12 point separation. Both drivers entered the race with different strategies which led to different conclusions. Unfortunate during Round 15, Sallenbach damaged his MINI while attempting to pass Sharpe. With only six completed laps and determined to get Sharpe, Sallenbach jumped in his teammate’s car (Lauzière), thinking he could save his race. CTCC Officials ruled this as a violation and therefore both drivers were penalized.
With Sallenbach out of the race, Sharpe was able to breathe better and secured his first place. He was followed by Jocelyn Fecteau in second and Paul Gravel in third, both of whom were on the podium for the first time this season. For Round 16, Sallenbach was back on the track and despite his starting position at the end of the field, a tight start brought Sharpe and him together again for a great and close fight. At the checkered, Sharpe was first, Sallenbach second, and Lauzière third.
Emotions took over the Blanchet Motorsports team members, happy to celebrate their hard-earned Championship title. “This has been an incredible season; we fought through some tough races and pulled together as a team. This is extremely satisfying”, exclaimed Damon Sharpe.
Sallenbach shared “I am too competitive and I know I blew it all by myself”, he said. “This year, I definitely wanted to win the Championship but I guess I’ll have to come back next season.”
The B-Spec Class title was decided almost half way through the season by Ste-Rose Honda Racing driver Nick Wittmer who literally won each and every race. This weekend, Nick gave the wheel to his brother Karl so he too could secure third position in the Championship Standings. But Karl was not the only one who was prepared to fight; Simon Dion-Viens challenged Wittmer for the win. Behind the wheel of a MINI Cooper for this final event, Dion-Viens took the pole for the first race and was able to keep the pace until the checkered, followed by Wittmer. Rookie, Maxime Vincent came in third. As for Round 16, Wittmer finished first, leaving Dion-Viens in second and Vincent third.
The 2012 CTCC Class winners are as follow:
Driver Car Points
Sasha Anis #14 – Hyundai Genesis Coupe 1765
Benjamin Distaulo #6 – Honda Civic Si 1488
Jonathan Rashleigh #86 – Hyundai Genesis Coupe 1277
Driver Car Points
Damon Sharpe #84 – Honda Civic Si 1578
Michel Sallenbach #46 – MINI Cooper S JCW 1476
Paul Gravel #48 – MINI Cooper S JCW 1319
Driver Car Points
Nick Wittmer #91 – Honda Fit 1404
Simon Dion-Viens #17 – Honda Fit 1066
Karl Wittmer #26 – Mazda2 908
CTCC would like to thank the competitors for this wonderful season and extend special thanks to our presenting partner Continental Tire. Also, thanks to Mazda Canada for their partnership in the Mazda2 Media Race Car. Other important partners were involved in this season, such as: AEM, B&G Performance Fuels, Baker Vandertuin, Compass 360, Inside Track Motorsport News, Racing Radios International and Sigma Promotions.
For more details about CTCC, visit www.touringcar.ca or follow CTCC on Facebook and Twitter.
About CTCC: 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 / Director Marketing & Communications