Twenty-two drivers are entered at this 5.5 km track located southwest of Ottawa, including the 2015 overall and Compact class champions, who are set to defend their titles.
The SPC series is being raised to another level this season. At Calabogie, twenty-two Quebec and Ontario drivers, an SPC series record at this track, will contest the four rounds at stake. These rounds will take place within two distinctive races, with standings being recorded after 22.5 minutes into the race and at the final 45th minute.
In addition, for this year’s inaugural outing, the SPC series will race alone on the track and will not share the stage with the Ontario GT Sprint series as it has in the past. This will allow for standing starts, much to the delight of the spectators. « I’m very pleased with the number of entrants for this first 2016 event » indicated Dominic St-Jean, SPC series promoter. « Twenty-two drivers at the start is perfect, with almost all of them having already confirmed their participation in the entire championship. In total, we will surely have more than forty drivers entered, with about twenty who will be gunning for the title. It’s excellent ! » he added.
The overall favourite will no doubt be 2015 champion Marc Héroux, back with his Toyota GT-86. His car will have restrictions this season and as a result, he will fight for the title but we cannot expect him to dominate against adversaries like Jacques Gravel (BMW 330i), Éric Laporte (Honda Civic), Éric Durand (Chevrolet Cobalt SS), Sylvain Laporte (Mini Cooper), Guillaume Labbé (Volkswagen GLI) or Crystel Charest, the lone female driver in the series, with her Mini Cooper.
In Compact class, it will be interesting to follow the anticipated duel between Gabriel Lacombe (Honda Civic) and the 2015 champions, brothers Julien and Mathieu Legris (Toyota Écho Hatchback). The Legris will also be up against their father, Yves Legris, returning to competition with a Nissan Micra S. In this increasingly popular class, we will also closely watch Kurt Wittmer’s debut. After his grandfather, his father, his uncle, and his brothers Kuno, Nick and Karl, Kurt is also launching himself into the world of motorsport ! « He will have great coaches !» exclaimed Dominic St-Jean, « it’s in the Wittmer genes to be excellent drivers and no doubt he will be competitive with his Honda Fit » he adds.
Two other rookie drivers are registered this season, however not in Compact. They consist of Dave Brissette, who will drive a Hyundai Tiburon, and Sébastien Lamontagne at the wheel of an Acura RSX, a car with which Marc Héroux has already won a title in the past.
All these drivers will have to know how to manage their tires, as regulations state that each driver must not use more than sixteen tires for the entire season. This number is further cut in half for the Compact class competitors.
This Saturday at the Calabogie Motorsports Park, the drivers will be on the track starting at 8:55am for a 30 minute session of practice and qualifying. The first race will be held at 11:35am and the second at 3:15pm.
After Calabogie, the remaining events of the 2016 season will all be held in Quebec, at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel (June 4th, July 2nd-3rd , and October 1st) and at the Autodrome St-Eustache on August 28th.
For more information, visit the series’ official site at : superproductionchallenge.com.