Belleville, ON, June 4, 2018 – Following its 2018 debut over the Victoria Day weekend, rounds three and four on the CTCC presented by Pirelli calendar saw the touring car competitors tackle two different track configurations of the Calabogie Motorsports Park circuit over the June 2-3 Kyle Nash race weekend.
Obviously adapting well to the variances of both the short (2.810-km) and long (5.05-km) tracks, Bob Attrell (No. 88 Hyundai/Hyundai Racing Canada), Marc Raymond (No. 27 Porsche Cayman/Policaro Motorsports) and Shawn Little (No. 57 Honda Civic Si/Velocity Motorsport Club) swept to back-to-back victories in the doubleheader event, claiming wins in the GT Cup, Super Touring and Touring classes respectively.
However, the story of the weekend was in the popular GT Sport class, with energetic and entertaining, multi-car dices occurring throughout the field.
In Saturday’s 40-minute contest, Ethan Simioni (No. 58 BMW/Policaro Motorsports), Marco Cirone (No. 18 Audi RS3 LMS/Rice Racing) and Gary Kwok (No. 66 Honda Civic TCR/M&S Racing) each took turns pacing the GT Sport pack, with Kwok pushing his way around Simioni on lap 16 (of 32) to secure the race lead. At the checkered flag, Kwok had managed to maintain his front running position, accepting the overall, and GT Sport class, win by a slim 0.458 seconds over Simioni.
“That win was very hard, a very hard race,” expressed a physically drained Kwok. “But when you win a race like that, it feels very good, very happy.”
Attrell’s Genesis was next across the stripe, taking the GT Cup class in third spot overall.
“I didn’t want to get mixed up with the GT Sport guys, they were having a really good battle and I didn’t want to interfere. I laid back a bit and let them go at it,” explained Attrell. “With about ten minutes to go I decided to put my foot in it and go for the overall, but I waited one lap too long. I was right on their tails at the end, I just needed a little more time.”
Sunday’s finale proved to be even more dramatic, as Marco Cirone edged Gary Kwok in the closest CTCC finish on record, his advantage at the line, a mere 0.009 seconds.
“I was doing all I could to preserve my tires to the end. But boy, at the end, that last lap, the tires were dead and Gary was all over me. Another hundred yards and he would have won,” admitted Cirone.
The 40-minute contest was filled with excitement right from the drop of the green flag with Attrell quickly squirting into the lead, leaving Cirone, Kwok and Ethan Simioni in a three-wide bubble heading into the first turn. Somehow surviving that scare unscathed, the tightly knit Attrell, Kwok and Cirone trio then encountered lapped traffic at the race’s mid-point, with the situation again requiring some white-knuckle action.
Recalled Cirone, “We all had to check up and we all decided to go in different directions. That got kind of scary. Once we’d made it through, Gary and I stayed locked together until the very end.”
Tom Kwok (No. 55 Honda Civic TCR/ M&S Racing) claimed the final step of the GT Sport podium on Sunday; a result previously earned by series rookie Eddie Killeen (No. 37 Audi RS3 LMS/ TWOth Autosport) in Saturday’s weekend opener.
The next appearance for CTCC will be on July 7-8, 2018 at Shannonville Motorsport Park.
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CTCC presented by Pirelli is a Sports Car Racing Championship and a leader in Canadian motorsports. It provides race fans with close and exciting competition between some of Canada’s fastest race car drivers. CTCC takes pride in the fact that it is Canadian owned and operated, and that it is one of the longest-running professional sports car series in Canada. Notably, amongst the hundreds of drivers that have competed in the championship, CTCC has helped to further the career of some of the best international race car drivers.
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Photos: Phillip Sutherland