(@MillersOilsLtd • @Formula _1200 • Bowmanville (June 27/28, 2015) – Leading off Saturday’s racing, polesitter Phil Wang led every lap of today’s Formula 1200 race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park except one: the last.
In a well-timed pass out of the final corner, Kevin Kapelke pulled to the inside of Wang and set off a drag race to the finish line, which Kapelke won by just 0.042 seconds to claim victory in Race 1 at this weekend’s BARC Grand Prix of Ontario.
Kapelke had spun in the first turn on the first lap and had to recover 10 positions to put himself back in position to challenge for the victory in the last.
“Phil was in fourth gear and I downshifted to third,” Kapelke said of his final move. “I didn’t know if I was going to make it out of the corner, but all of a sudden it gripped and I got the run to the finish line.”
The conditions for the event were highly challenging as the competitors took the green under a downpour that lasted through the entire running.
“This is probably about the worst condition that I’ve raced in,” Kapelke said. “If you had someone in front of you, you couldn’t see anything at all. It was rather brutal. It was fun, though.”
Joining Kapelke and Wang on the podium was Van Peter Hanson in third, who was also the top finisher in Masters class.
Several racers faced arduous circumstances in today’s race, including Matt Garwood, who was spun out by early contact and recovered to finish eighth, and Johan Wasserman, who brought out the event’s only caution period after being forced to stop on track due to a mechanical issue. Wasserman’s damage was reparable, and he is expecting to take part in Race 2 of the weekend on Sunday.
In the Sunday morning’s Race 2, the battle between Phil Wang and Kevin Kapelke resumed right where it had left off after Kapelke’s victory in Saturday’s opening round. The deciding move again came down to the final corners, but this time it was Wang who was first to the checkers.
“It was a tight race yesterday and Kevin got me at the line,” Wang said. “I led most of today’s race, but I looked in the mirror and he was catching up every lap. Again today he got me on the back straightaway, but I managed to get back around him in (turns) 8 and 9 and take the win.”
The morning’s race was run under a downpour, and a slick Turn 3 caught several drivers out, including Matt Garwood, who slid into the tires on Lap 2 and lodged his first career DNF, and Jeremy Steinhausen, who also had an off at the exact same spot two laps later. A third driver, American Garrett Villano, was forced to retire on Lap 6 with a clutch issue. Fortunately, all three drivers were able to make repairs in time to rejoin competition in the afternoon.
Race 3 saw a lead change on every single lap as an epic four-car battle raged on throughout the entire running. At the line, it was Peter Van Hanson who crossed the line first, making him the top Masters class finisher twice in one day.
“It was a lot of fun,” Van Hanson said of the four-way battle. “I really didn’t know what the outcome was going to be because I couldn’t tell where the other guys were. All I knew is I didn’t want to be in first going onto the back straight on the last lap, and it worked out.”
Despite heavy rain and challenging conditions, both races were run entirely under green. The only retirement from Sunday afternoon’s race was for Jeremy Steinhausen, who had a brake issue that carried over from the morning’s damage and left him unable to continue.
Formula 1200 returns to action at the upcoming inaugural Bay of Quinte Grand Prix, which will take place at Shannonville Motorsports Park on July 18 and 19. Tickets can be purchased online at bayofquintegp.com.
From: Noel Brigido/ F1200