BIRMINGHAM, AL — Michael DiMeo started his Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car season in style, taking pole position in Friday qualifying, and running a smart race for the season opener on Saturday, bringing his #71 Compass360 Racing Formcrete / ENJ Excavating / HPD Honda Civic Si home in first place after a spirited battle throughout the event.
The Toronto-based Rookie was enthusiastic about his start to the season.
Said DiMeo, “I still can’t believe it. What a great fight I had with Jon (Miller) and Jason (Saini). After they got the jump on me at the start I decided to hold back a little and save tires so I had good grip at the end. I managed to keep Karl (Thomson) behind me and then made the most of troubles for the guys in front. I’m happy to take the win for my sponsors Formcrete and ENJ Excavating, and also for all the kids and families from the Children’s Tumor Foundation that came out to cheer us on.”
The weekend saw the debut of the team’s “Art Car” program in support of CTF, which included primary livery on DiMeo’s team-mate and C360R Team Principal Thomson’s #72 CTF.org / HPD / Racing4Research Honda. Thomson qualified third and looked to be on-course for a solid second-place result when his car stopped on course with just a few laps remaining, the victim of a rare mechanical failure in the fuelling system. He was classified sixth.
“We had a wonderful World Challenge event, and the whole team was happy to welcome the NF Heroes and their families,” remarked Thomson. “We had a lovely dinner with the kids and their parents on Friday, and we plan to have CTF events like this across the country throughout the year.”
“After a while out of the driver’s seat it was nice to come back and be competitive,” continued Thomson. “Michael’s a real talent our team is hoping to develop over the coming years, and to be on pace with him was quite gratifying. I’m really pleased with Mike’s performance and solid result right out of the box.”
Inclement weather meant that the planned second Touring Car race of the weekend, scheduled for Sunday afternoon, was cancelled. The race has been re-scheduled and added to the next event. It means that DiMeo leaves Birmingham with the Touring Car championship lead, something he hopes to extend at the next round, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (formerly Mosport) on May 16-18, which will now feature three 40-minute sprint races.
“Mosport’s my home track, and it’s the team’s too, so we should be strong there,” noted DiMeo. “But Miller and Saini will also be good, and I think some local Canadian guys will come out too, so it won’t be easy.”
Watch the action streaming on-line at http://world-challengetv.com.
About Racing4Research: Developed by the Children’s Tumor Foundation, the Racing4Research™ (R4R) program utilizes competitive, professional auto racing as a vehicle to increase awareness of neurofibromatosis (NF) and to raise funds for research through corporate sponsorship, personal donations, and individual fundraising by NF Heroes – children and adults from around the country who live with neurofibromatosis. The Racing4Research program offers families living with the disorder a uniquely empowering weekend, and has raised more than $3 million dollars since 2008.
For details please visit http://racing4research.org, “Like” the R4R Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/racing4research, and follow https://twitter.com/Racing4Research on Twitter.
About Compass360 Racing: Compass360 Racing (C360R) is the motorsports division of Compass360 Brand Architects, a Toronto-based firm offering marketing expertise to clients in diverse industries across North America. The team, with support from Honda Performance Development (HPD), fields front-running Honda Civic Si’s in Grand-Am’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, winning series Championships in 2010, 2009, 2007, and 2006. C360R also won World Challenge Touring Car Championships in 2013, 2012, and 2011, and the Canadian Touring Car Championship in 2010. It adds a two-car Subaru WRX STi effort to its programs for 2014, one each in CTSCC GS-class and PWC GTS-class. For details please visit http://C360R.com, “Like” on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/C360R, and follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/C360R.
CTF PR inquiries should be directed Jill Beck. +1.408.206.2479 or email@example.com
C360R PR inquiries should be directed to Karl Thomson. +1.416.465.2299 x21 or firstname.lastname@example.org.