Toronto, Ontario, July 23rd, 2012 – Several track records were broken by the competitors of the Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC) presented by Continental Tire this weekend at the Grand Prix of Mosport. CTCC drivers were attending the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for the last time this season and the ambiance of the massive crowd inspired extra energy and competitiveness.
Both Lombardi Honda Racing car No. 4 Roger Ledoux and car No. 60 Eric Lacouture spent practice session breaking in their new motors. Karl Wittmer in the No. 26 Mazda2 in B-Spec Class had the fastest lap. It was an impressive result considering it was his first time on the track. After the practice session, Scott Nicol’s team had to change the differential of the No. 41 Honda Civic Si and Remy Audette had to replace the engine of his No. 12 Acura RSX-S.
Qualifying was run on Saturday morning under clear skies and perfect track conditions. During the first lap a red flag interrupted the session. Paul Gravel lost control of his No. 48 MINI Cooper and ended up in the tire barrier in corner No. 5. Finishing the qualifying session with pole position, Super Class driver Sasha Anis had his fastest lap within the three first laps. “The track had incredible grip and we used a new set of tires”, he said. Second position on the starting was earned by Luc Lesage. Lesage, despite his recurrent bad luck so far this season had great lap times with the No. 22 BMW 330i. Scott Nicol followed in third. In Touring Class, No. 46 MINI Cooper driver Michel Sallenbach had the pole for the first time since 2010 followed by his teammate P.J. Groenke in second. Third position on the grid was Jonathan Young in the No. 99 Honda Civic Si. Qualifying in Touring Class was extremely close, only 0.024 seconds separated the top four. Leader in points of the B-Spec Class, Nick Wittmer captured another pole position.
CTCC’s first race was scheduled late at the end of this busy day at Grand Prix of Mosport which meant the track was in poor condition. On the first lap, teammates Eric Lacouture and Roger Ledoux collided in corner No. 1. Ledoux ended up in the gravel in corner No. 1 while Lacouture continued with a damaged car and pulled off at corner No. 3 but unfortunately had left some fluid at corner 2.
On the next lap, both Anis and Lesage went straight off at corner 2. Lesage got lucky and was able to avoid the worst but Anis didn’t have a chance. After he spun on the oily asphalt, he crashed into the tire wall but was able to drive back to the pits, even though his hood was wide open, to get his car somewhat fixed to return to the race. Anis leading the championship could not afford to lose any points and was determined to finish the race. At the checkered, Remy Audette was in first place, setting a new track record in Super Class with 1:29.364. He was followed by Bob Attrell and Phillip Fayer in third. Jonathan Rashleigh also had his share of bad luck spinning twice and losing the fourth position he started with and finished ninth.
In Touring Class, the race was tight and clean battles were fought. It was the first win for the No. 45 MINI Cooper with a Turbo engine setting a new track record of 1:34.225. Alain Lauzière was behind the wheel. Lauzière was followed by Damon Shape in the No. 84 Honda Civic Si. Jonathan Young came in third in his No. 99 Honda Civic Si.
Russ Bond, guest driver of the Mazda2 Media Race Car, had an early lead in B-Spec Class. After several laps, the Wittmer brothers got close to him and finally passed him. Nick Wittmer finished first in his No. 91 Honda Fit followed by his brother Karl in the No. 26 Mazda2. Bond came in third. “This was a good race, I know that the Mazdas and the MINIs are competitive and I was having fun competing with the two Mazda2 today,” declared Nick Wittmer.
The tenth Round of the Championship was held at the end of the day on Sunday and CTCC competitors were looking forward this second race, especially Sasha Anis. After having an unfortunate incident during the previous race, his team had to work all night to rebuild the car. Starting in the 18th position of the grid and determined to have a better finishing position, Anis passed twelve cars on the first lap. During the second lap, Eric Lacouture and Jocelyn Fecteau touched, causing Lacouture to hit the wall in corner No. 10. A full course caution was called as he had to be towed in. Just after the restart, Remy Audette encountered electrical problems and had to retire from the race. Continuing his quest for the win, Anis took advantage of this misfortune and passed the remaining of the field. He finished first after an extraordinary and fast race where he set a new track record again of 1:29.164 in Super Class. Bob Attrell finished in second place followed by Scott Nicol. In Touring Class, the story repeated itself, bringing the drivers to a tight competition. Alain Lauzière arrived in first place followed by Damon Sharpe and Jonathan Young in third. Unfortunate, the Class leader Michel Sallenbach had mechanical problems and was forced to retire early. The B-Spec Class also saw a repetition of the first race with Nick Wittmer on the first step of the podium, Karl Wittmer in second and Russ Bond in third.
CTCC’s 11th and 12th Rounds will take place August 3, 4 and 5 at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières.
Fans can keep track of live CTCC competition with their smartphone or computer by connecting to www.livetiming.net/ctcc. CTCC live timing is available whenever and wherever the race cars are on the track.
For more details about CTCC, visit www.touringcar.ca or follow CTCC on Facebook and Twitter.
Don’t miss P1 on Sportsnet One every Thursday night at 8:30 pm.
The Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC) presented by Continental Tire is the only truly Canadian professional road racing series and it showcases race cars based on their original stock street version. The entry-level B-Spec Class introduces a sub-compact car category with a stock engine and strictly controlled modifications; the Touring Class features cars with minimal modifications, while Super Class machines have powerful and heavily modified engines and advanced aerodynamics. All three classes compete at the same time on the track and challenge for supremacy in their class.
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