Fulfilled Expectations at GP3R

Trois-Rivières, QC, Sunday, August 12, 2018 – For more than a decade, the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières (GP3R) has been a featured event on the CTCC presented by Pirelli calendar. On August 10 and 11, Canada’s premiere touring car competitors took to the 11-turn, 2.433-km street course for a pair of 40-minute races, headlined by the spectacular Friday night contest.

The narrow, concrete-lined track, coupled with a large, 29-car field, combined to produce the inevitable incidents of contact, some resulting in several full course cautions. But as usual, the on-track action overpowered any yellow flag distractions, with door-to-door racing raging throughout the multi-class pack.

For Etienne Borgeat, it proved to be a dream weekend. The Montreal-based driver set the fastest overall time in practice, captured the GT Cup pole position and then proceeded to work traffic to perfection as he guided his No. 2 GT Racing Porsche GT-3 Cup car to back-to-back overall (and GT Cup class) race victories.

The dominance of Borgeat’s performance was well illustrated by the fact that he lapped the 2.433-km Trois-Rivières circuit a full 2.354 seconds faster than GT Cup rival Mario Guérin in qualifying, and won the race over his Quebec City rival by 46.151 seconds in the opening round, and by 33.598 seconds in the finale. In Friday’s race, only Guérin was able to see the checkered flag on the same lap as the race winner.

Matching that example of success, was series newcomer Malcolm Strachan.  Making his CTCC debut aboard the SpeedStar Motorsport No. 8 Audi R8 GT4 LMS, the Toronto resident topped the GT Sport scoring charts in each of his on-track appearances, although neither of his twin wins came without challenges. In the Friday night weekend opener, Strachan was forced to defend the top spot in GT Sport rankings against the M&S Racing duo of Gary and Tom Kwok. Saturday afternoon’s CTCC finale also featured Strachan at the front of the 12 car GT Sport pack from the drop of the green flag. With Gary Kwok’s No. 66 Honda Civic Type R, Marco Cirone (No. 18 Mark Motors Audi RS3 LMS) & 2016 champion Chris Sahakian’s No. 99 UAR Mustang Boss 302 filling his mirrors, Strachan maintained a safe race pace, accepting the checkered flag for his second consecutive victory, crossing the stripe in third place overall and the final car finishing on the lead lap.

Offering an example of the talent in the GT Sport class, Tom Kwok, who was involved in an opening lap three-car incident in Saturday afternoon’s contest, rebounded over the following 29 laps to notch a sixth place GT Sport result, crossing the line in eighth place  overall.

Marc Raymond (No. 27 Policaro Motorsports Porsche Cayman) continued his domination in the sadly un-represented Super Touring class, again sweeping to victories in the GP3R doubleheader.

The 2018 Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières marked the return of the Québec-based Team Octane racing team. Previously exploring competition in other racing disciplines south of the border, Team Octane brought forth a five-car effort, with Team Principal Alain Lauzière entering his No. 49 MINI Cooper JCW in Super Touring class, the four remaining cars and drivers all vying for success in the Touring Class.

Not surprisingly, it was former multi-time champion Michel Sallenbach who led the Touring class parade, setting the fast time in qualifying aboard his familiar orange No. 46 MINI Coupe, and then translating that accomplishment into a victory sweep in each of the weekend’s 40-minute races.

The CTCC presented by Pirelli teams will have just two weeks off in order to prepare for the penultimate event on the 2018 schedule, with CTCC Rounds Nine and Ten slated for August 24-25 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park as part of the Chevrolet Silverado NASCAR race weekend.


Round 7:

GT Cup: 1. #2 Etienne Borgeat, 2. #72 i Guérin, 3. #5 Julien Pilon.

GT Sport: 1. #8 Malcolm Strachan, 2. #66 Gary Kwok, 3. #55 Tom Kwok.

Super Touring: 1. #27 Marc Raymond, 2. #49 Alain Lauzière

Touring: 1. #46 Michel Sallenbach, 2. #45 Nelson Chan, 3. #48 Paul Gravel.

 Watch Round 7 

Round 8:

GT Cup: 1. #2 Etienne Borgeat, 2. #72 Mario Guérin, 3. #34 Philippe Gélinas.

GT Sport: 1. #8 Malcolm Strachan, 2. #66 Gary Kwok, 3. #18 Marco Cirone.

Super Touring: 1. #27 Marc Raymond, 2. #49 Alain Lauzière.

Touring: 1. #46 Michel Sallenbach, 2. #45 Nelson Chan, 3. #48 Paul Gravel.

Watch Round 8

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About CTCC
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