The 2015 season began with a big bang for the Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC) presented by Continental Tire at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Ontario, as the Grand Touring, Super Touring and Touring Class put on a spectacular show for their fans on both Saturday and Sunday. There was excitement and anticipation in the air, especially with the Audettes and Wittmers coming together for the first races of the season. Unfortunately, Francois Audette’s engine blew up in practice, leaving Mathieu alone to represent the Audettes this weekend.
The Grand Touring Class had a close race with Glenn Chaplin winning the first race in his Mustang Boss 302, followed by Ian Crerar in his Porsche 911, and Kuno Wittmer in his Mustang. Chaplin and Crerar continued to reach the top three on Sunday, with 2nd and 3rd positions respectively, with a new winner on Sunday, Pascal Carré in his BMW M3. After winning on Sunday, Carré exclaimed, “My first victory ever. First ever win in Canadian Touring Car. I didn’t know I was P1. No one in my team told me I was P1, maybe they thought I’ll do a mistake,” he added laughingly. “I’m really happy. I damaged my car on Saturday, there was a lot of damage, I hit the wall. Arek and his team (8Legs Racing) gave us a big hand, so I’m grateful to them and my team who worked all day long. I’m really, really happy. I am also pleased CTCC got the new class so I get to participate with my car. I’m really happy!”
In Super Touring Class, Mathieu definitely did not disappoint the Audettes as he was the winner of Super Touring Class for both races 1 and 2 on Saturday and Sunday. Mathieu returned to the race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in his Acura RSX Type S after two years and claimed, “I made it a goal to win both races this weekend, so I’m very happy. I will be there for four more races this season and would like to win those for sure.” Gary Kwok and Audette had a close race, with Kwok winning 2nd place, followed by Roger Ledoux on Saturday. Ledoux geared up a position on Sunday as he finished in 2nd place in his Subaru WRX Sti.
Towards the end of race one, Scott Nicol, #41, stopped on the track at corner five. He was concerned about how the engine was running and also thought that he may be running out of gas. His crew inspected the motor and decided to do an engine swap to limit potential problems in the second race. Early Sunday morning his crew loaded up the car and took it to be tuned at a dyno. Luckily they made it back to the track just before the second race and managed to finish 3rd in his Honda Civic Si.
The Touring Class season started with Karl Wittmer’s crash in the qualifying session. But much to everyone’s surprise, the Wittmers were able to fix his Honda Civic Si in time for race one. Touring Class had close battles between the cars throughout the 40-minute long race on Saturday, especially between Martin Crisp and Jocelyn Hebert. Martin Crisp won both races this weekend in his Mazda MX5. “I changed the oil in my transmission and I had a pan underneath the car to catch the oil. I forgot to take the pan out so I dragged the pan all the way up to the pit and I was dripping oil and I thought, ‘Oh no, my transmission is gone!’ as it was making a terrible noise up there. I was boxed in at the start and dropped back from 1st to 3rd and I had to work my way back slowly. My tires got greasy and I was sliding a little bit but eventually I managed to do enough to get ahead of Hebert and after that it was just a matter of managing the tires better. For a while it got really bad as I was sliding everywhere,” commented Crisp while beaming with happiness after his double victory this weekend.
The next set of races will take place at the Spring Challenge at Shannonville Motorsport Park on May 30 – 31, 2015.
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