TORONTO, ON (May 16, 2014) – This weekend marks a significant date in motorsports history as two of Canada’s leading series come together.
25 competitors from both the Ontario based Toyo Tires F1600 Championship and the Quebec based Toyo Tires Formula Tour will take part in two races at the Castrol Victoria Day SpeedFest at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on May 17 and 18.
Spawned from an initial meeting between the two series promoters (Jason Sharpe and Marcel Lafontaine) early last spring the F1600 Super Series now provides an unprecedented opportunity for young drivers to hone their skills and make a name for themselves against some of the fastest and most experienced club racers in the country.
The Super Series became the perfect blend of affordable club level racing and the costly professional touring series by choosing four events, two from each series so competitors only have to travel on two occasions.
The Victoria Day SpeedFest will be Rounds 1 & 2 of the Series, with the rest being the Grand Prix de Montreal, the Honda Indy Toronto and the finale at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres.
“The format that we came up with has created a lot of excitement in F1600 racing,” said Marcel Lafontaine, promoter of the Quebec series. “We worked very hard to come up with schedules that compliment each other and provide the most opportunity for formula car racers to compete in North America. 24 races in all.
Names like Michel Legrand, Yves Beaudoin, Ghislain Theriault and the very quick young Olivier Bedard are here to go head to head with Zacharie Robichon, Max Hanratty, 15 year old Jeff Kingsley and Tristan DeGrand, who launched himself on to the F1600 scene with a sweep of the first two rounds of the Toyo Tire Championship.
Other notables include Caitlin Johnston who has come back to F1600 racing in Canada because of the Super Series format and Craig Willis who has made the jump to the A Class, with great success. Connor Wagland won his first B Class race just two weeks ago and is hungry for more.
The event has also attracted some very fast veteran drivers, always ready to go head-to-head with our ultra-fast rookies right out of the karting ranks.
Shane Jantzi leads the veterans. He is a multi-championship winning driver and is always at the front. His recent switch to Honda power proved the right move for him over the winter. He was in a podium position in Round 2 when a last corner incident took him out of contention. He will be joined by Mike Lee, Bruce Kitchen, Andrew Celovsky, David Graham. Kieran Murphy and retired Canadian General Lewis McKenzie.
McKenzie has a very special paint scheme on his car and a dedicated number he doesn’t normally run – 100. It is all to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, of which he is a member.
“We are thrilled to get this new series started and see some of the best new talent the country has to offer,” said Jason Sharpe, promoter for the series. “It is great to see so many competitors travel here to compete in front of the enthusiastic crowds and I know they are going to put on a thrilling show.”
Cars will hit the track on Friday for a full day of testing. Saturday the F1600 Duals presented by Juniper Networks will get underway with qualifying at 9:25 am and Race 1 at 5:10pm. There will also be an autograph session from 1:30-2:00 pm at the Victory Podium. Sunday qualifying will be run at 9:20 am and Race 2 at 5:15 pm
ZACHARIE ROBICHON #3 – “I’m really looking forward to the first round of the F1600 Super series, Organizers have done a great job putting together this championship that immediately became the “go-to” championship for open wheel racers in Canada. This weekend will give everyone an opportunity to see what the rest of the competitors will look like and I will make sure to make my mark from the start.”
CAITLIN JOHNSTON # 68 – “There are some great race events and venues this year. It’s great to see the series progressing forward and improving on car counts, while supporting the racers every step of the way.”
JAYSON CLUNIE # 90 – “I am really looking forward to getting back in the car this weekend. Having spent a weekend racing at CTMP on the Toyo Tires recently, I feel that I can apply the knowledge that I gained with respect to the track and how the car feels on the tires to improve and run at or near the front of the grid. Exclusive Autosport always prepares our Honda powered Spectrum’s to win and I think that I will be able to step up my performance to match the cars potential”
JEFFREY KINGSLEY # 92 – “Jason Sharpe, Move Motorsports, and all the series have really put together a great event for us drivers and for fans. This weekend marks the first event of the Super Series at CTMP. I am really looking forward to this event because of its size and the level of competition. The field will be large with lots of talent. Also being in the same paddock as NASCAR and World Challenge cars, etc. It will definitely bring in a lot of attention. This event will definitely be one I will really have to work for but I believe that my #92 Exclusive Autosports/Spectrum/Sparco/Honda Racing HPD / Whitby Toyota Scion car can be right at the front. With the help of the Exclusive Autosport team, we will definitely be competing for the top spot.”
MAX HANRATTY # 91 – “I’m extremely excited to participate in the inaugural F1600 Super Series event (Victoria Day SpeedFest) at one of my favorite circuits, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP). Jason Sharpe (Move Motorsports) has done an incredible job bringing exposure and talent to the series. I have had some good results at CTMP in the past and have raced at the track multiple times. I am confident in my abilities and I know I have one of the best prepared cars in the paddock with my Exclusive Autosport Spectrum powered by Honda. We left CTMP 2 weeks ago with some positive momentum after Rounds 1 and 2 of the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship with a 2nd place finish. I’m looking to build on that momentum this weekend and further my racing experience and overall position in the points standings. I want to especially thank my partners Juniper Networks for making all this possible along with Sparco, Honda Performance Development, Spectrum, Exclusive Management, and Exclusive Autosport.”
TRISTAN DEGRAND # 93 – “We wrapped up Rounds 1 & 2 of the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship Series with two wins, two poles and an early lead in the championship points standings. We are in a really good position coming into Rounds 3 & 4 and the opening rounds of the Super Series. Both the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship and the Formula Tour 1600 Championship have done a great job of promoting the Super Series. I’m excited to be a part of the event and am looking forward to getting back on track and going for more wins. A huge thank you to the entire Exclusive Autosport Crew for all of their hard work preparing for this event. Thank you to my partners for continuing to support me in my racing career – Exclusive Autosport, Spectrum, Sparco, Honda Racing HPD, Pro Am Golf and my family.”
RACE: F1600 Duals presented by Juniper Networks, part of the Castrol Victoria Day SpeedFest
TRACK: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario
DATE: Saturday May 17 & Sunday May 18
SERIES HASHTAG: #ToyoTiresF1600 #F1600DualsbyJuniperNetworks
SERIES CONTACT: Jason Sharpe, (416) 557-5451 or email@example.com, Twitter: @jasonsharpe
The Race: This is Round 1 and 2 in the Super Series Championship, Rounds 3 and 4 of the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship.
The Format: Both A and B Class cars race together, with an equalization package for the Honda and Ford motors. There is one practice and one qualifying session for each of the weekend’s races.
Gaining Momentum: With a renewed enthusiasm and new marketing partners the Series is enjoying a large increase in grid size and exposure. There are several competitors returning to the series and over the next few rounds several new competitors will make their series’ debut.
The Toyo Tires F1600 Championship Series is the premiere open wheel series in Ontario, sanctioned by CASC Ontario Region and proudly supported by Toyo Tires, Honda HPD, Cove Dentistry, Staubli, Lincoln Electric, Braille Battery, Johnston Research and Perfomance, MK Technologies and Rod Ends Mechanical. The series is comprised of a six event, double-header format and competes at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the Honda Indy Toronto and Calabogie Motorsport Park.
From: Jason Sharpe // Move Motorsports Management