@mattgarwood31 • @BofQGP • Shannonville, ON – July 21, 2015 – At this past weekend’s inaugural Bay Of Quinte Grand Prix Elmvale, ON’s Matt Garwood battled through extreme heat and mechanical issues to finish fifth overall and fourth in class; in a thrilling final Formula 1200 race of the weekend.
Garwood’s pre-race weekend activities began with a live interview with Bill Welychka at the CKWS-TV’s Kingston studios to promote the Bay Of Quinte Grand Prix on “The ‘WS Daily”.
Friday morning Garwood was eager to get back on track at Shannonville Motorsport Park to reacquaint himself with the circuit known as “The Birth Place of Champions”. The 20-year-old driver was last here in May testing Martin Crisp’s Canadian Touring Car Championship #10 PowerStory.ca Mazda Miata.
“We were one of the fastest cars on track Friday and were very happy with the car.” said Garwood “It rained a little Friday afternoon and we did a few laps on track in the wet in preparation for a rain race if it were to happen.”
Garwood’s Saturday morning qualifying plan was to get out on track as soon as possible and get a clean lap away from the traffic. Running as hard as possible, Garwood would end up qualifying sixth, only a little over a second off the pole for the first Formula 1200 race of the weekend.
Expectations were high leading up to Race 1 as this was the second event in the 2015 Challenge Cup series. Starting from sixth place on the grid Garwood moved up to fifth place before the end of the first lap. Within a few laps, it became apparent that the #31 machine had a serious problem. Losing power as each lap passed Garwood fell back through the field.
“I radioed back to the crew but there was nothing that could have been done,” explained Garwood “When I got the call to bring the car in I responded, but not quick enough.”
With two laps to go the engine expired ending his race resulting in a 14th place finish overall.
While many drivers and crew attended the Bay Of Quinte Grand Prix drivers party at a local restaurant, Garwood’s crew put their heads down and got to work replacing the engine and preparing the car for Sunday’s two races.
The fulltime automotive business student knew he had his work cut out for him as he’d be battling to come from the back of the field. As the green flag flew the race instantly turned into three-wide battle going into Turn 1. Starting from 14th on the grid Garwood wasted little time and began passing multiple cars in an all-out attempt to get within reach of the frontrunners. Throughout the race he would set his sights on the next pack of cars and applied his race-craft to try and reel them in.
With five minutes to go Garwood was in eighth place overall, sixth in class when a caution came out ending the race under yellow.
In the third and final race of the weekend he continued the trend of passing cars to get to the front pack of cars. A crash in the hair pin in the opening lap saw Garwood having to make an evasive maneuver to avoid the accident. Clear of the incident that nearly ended his day early he once again began his dogged pursuit of the frontrunners. Over the next few laps he started to catch the fourth place car and began a spirited battle for the position. Running inches apart the exhilarating battle for fourth place was equally as entertaining as the battle for the top spot on the podium.
Garwood made a number of strategically planned attacks to secure the spot he desired and would cross the finish line in an all out side-by-side drag race finishing fifth overall and fourth in class.
“I’m thrilled to make the gains we did this weekend as we chase the 2015 Challenge Cup Series championship.” enthused Garwood “I can’t thank the Vallis Motor Sport crew enough for their dedication and support in the extreme heat this past weekend.”
Throughout the weekend Toronto-based KarmaComa Studio shot footage for an upcoming project.
Garwood’s impressive list of partners he is proud to represent include; FEL (Franczak Enterprises Ltd.) Vallis Motor Sport, KarmaComa Studio, Core Evolution Fitness, Athletes Brand and Autoglym Canada. Garwood is also proud to be “Laps for Muscular Dystrophy” (Laps4MD) driver where he has pledged to donate $1 for every lap he leads to go to Muscular Dystrophy Canada.
To learn more about Matt Garwood and his racing program please visit www.mattgarwoodracing.com, www.facebook.com/MattGarwoodRacing and follow him on Twitter at @mattgarwood31.
On August 1-2, 2015 Garwood will head to the United States for Round 3 of the 2015 Challenge Cup Series championship at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum Pennsylvania.
About Matt Garwood: Matt is a 20 year-old race car driver from Elmvale, Ontario currently studying at the Automotive Business School of Canada. Matt competes in the Formula 1200 open wheel racing series and in the near future looks to jump from regional racing to a national level series such as the Canadian Touring Car championship. He is a 3-time Canadian Karting League Champion and the 2012 Formula 1200 Rookie of the Year.