(Mirabel, Quebec – July 4th, 2010) – As the green flag dropped on the 33 car field, Montreal native, Nick Wittmer took charge of Sunday’s ‘red flag’ shortened, 13-lap Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship presented by Toyo Tires feature race early at the Gran Prix of Mirabel.
Posting a win in the Saturday heat race, Wittmer wasted little time vaulting his Lombardi Honda Civic Si Sedan into an early lead. Right from the start Wittmer opened up a substantial lead on the pack and really never had to look back.
Starting from the outside of the front row, Greg Pootmans, Aldo/Northwest BMW suffered an unexpected mechanical failure and came to a halt on the very first pace lap unable to continue to the green flag charge which looked like it was going to be a great battle between the two rivals.
Eric Hochgeschurz, starting in the number four spot, was the lucky recipient of Pootmans misfortune as he was able to grab and hold onto second spot with Marc-Antoine Camirand hot on his heels. Unfortunately Camirands hopes of a podium finish were dashed when his BMW Coupe suffered a mechanical failure on lap 10, putting him down to 32nd spot in the finishing order. This allowed the ever fast Mathieu Audette piloting his Audette Racing RSX, to round out the third step on the podium just 4.33 seconds behind Hochgeschurz.
In the extremely competitive Touring class, Durabond/Compass360 Racing’s Karl Thomson took the victory behind the wheel of his Honda Civic Si, by a margin of 5.63 seconds over his team mate Anthony Rapone. Roxton Pond native, Michel Sallenbach driving for Octane Motorsports, rounded out the third spot on the podium just a mere 1.2 seconds back of Rapone.
“This is the 13th podium for Durabond/Compass360 Racing this year and our team is doing a fantastic job keeping us on the podium,” Thomson said. Thomson was also the lucky recipient of the NOS Energy Drink Fastest Lap Award for the Touring class with a 1.35.888 and Super Touring class and overall race winner, Nick Wittmer took home the honours with a 1:31.737 lap.
Officials had to call the race due to a serious incident involving Gary Kwok in his #66 M&S Racing Mistubishi EVO. As he entered the front straight, Kwoks car impacted the outside wall and became airborne coming to rest on its roof in the middle of the track.
The ICAR Track Rescue team were on the scene immediately and assisted the unhurt but shaken Kwok from his car. With only 4 minutes remaining in the race, officials decided it would take too long to clean up the track with enough time to resume racing.
The NOS Energy Drink Fastest Lap Award went to Team Aldon/Northwest’s Gregory Pootmans who posted a 1:31.896 in his BMW 330i. Tom Kwok posted the fastest lap in Touring with a 1:35.508.
The ANZE Suspension Hard Luck Award went to Touring car driver Luc Richard who had a hard impact with the guardrail and was forced to retire after just three laps on Sunday and finished 33rd.
The next stop on the schedule is the Honda Indy Toronto, July 16-18, 2010.
The Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship Presented By Toyo Tires is Canada’s Premiere Touring Car Series and features Canada’s Best Drivers Racing Today’s Hottest Touring Cars. The Championship is showcased at seven event weekends in Quebec and Ontario with marquee events at Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres and Honda Indy Toronto.
© RIF | CCTCC