Trois-Rivières, Quebec, August 12th, 2019 – As the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, drivers and teams fought through challenging mixed weather conditions on the GP3R street circuit at Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2019 CTCC presented by Pirelli.
On Friday evening, the 20 car CTCC grid lined up on a wet track in front of a breathtaking sunset backdrop for the Round 7 race. As soon as the green flag dropped, drivers immediately struggled with visibility and traction as they fought their way through the 2.43 km street circuit.
Taking advantage of wet track conditions, Julien Pilon (No. 5 Lachute Performance Subaru STI LP400R) utilized a combination of Pirelli wet tires and all-wheel-drive system to maximize traction as he powered his way to the front of the field. Martin Harvey (No. 8 Wingho Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) was able to recover from being spun around on the first lap and finished in second place, setting the fastest lap time in the process. Mario Guerin (No. 72 Automobiles Etcetera Ferrari 458 Challenge) took third place, but his teammate Benoit Bergeron in the No. 27 car was not as lucky and was forced to retire due to a mechanical failure from an incident with two other cars.
One of the other cars was GT Sport points leader Parker Thompson in the No. 1 New Roads/Team Speedstar Audi R8 LMS GT4 who also had to retire from the race after taking damage. Unfortunately, the DNF ruined what was otherwise a perfect season so far.
Glenn Chaplin kept his No. 74 Fast Wheels Ford Mustang Boss 302 under control and out of harm’s way in GT Sport. The strategy worked to perfection due to the large amount of attrition in the class as Glenn earned his first CTCC win.
After setting a blistering qualifying lap that was half a second quicker than second place, Tom Kwok also went on to take his first race win in CTCC with the No. 55 M&S Racing Honda Civic TCR (FK2). His brother and teammate Gary Kwok followed behind him in his first race behind the wheels of his brand new No. 66 Honda Civic TCR (FK8). Local Quebec driver Jean-François Hevey (No. 21 TRC/M1GT Audi RS3 LMS TCR) finished in third place to a loud round of applause. The podium finishers put on a dominant performance in the rain, leading the rest of the field by more than 21 seconds.
Jocelyn Hebert joined the TC class last minute after he was forced to retire his GT Sport Acura TLX A-Spec during practice due to a mechanical failure. His 89 Racing team scrambled to prepare their TC eligible No. 89 Honda Civic Si just in time for qualifying. He ended up winning pole position and held on to take the win in round 7. Paul Dargis (No. 35 Dargis Motorsport Honda Civic Si) finished in second place and Luis Perocarpi in the #49 MINI Cooper S JCW logged a DNF as he had to retire from contact with the GT Sport and Cup cars.
After some rain in the early afternoon, the skies cleared up just in time for Round 8. Despite the incidents and mechanical issues from the previous day, 19 cars made it to the grid for Saturday’s race. The only casualty from Friday’s night race was Benoit Bergeron (No. 27 Automobiles Etcetera Ferrari 458 Challenge) as the team was unable to repair the damage on his car.
Martin Harvey (No. 8 Wingho Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) got off to a clean start from pole position and pulled away from Julien Pilon (No. 5 Lachute Performance Subaru STI LP400R) who ended up battling with the TCR field. Julien was one of the drivers that wished for more rain this race so he could take advantage of a wet track like he did in round 7, but he was unable to match the pace of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in the dry.
Mario Guerin (No. 72 Automobile ETC Ferrari 458 Challenge) took contact on the first lap and retired from the race, ending a tough weekend for the team. Philippe Gelinas also had a challenging weekend as he fought mechanical issues and logged a pair of DNF’s.
After a disastrous race in round 7, the New Roads/Team Speedstar crew was able to repair the damage sustained in the rear passenger side of the No. 1 Audi R8 LMS GT4 and get the car back onto the grid in time for round 8. From there, driver Parker Thompson continued his winning ways and earned another GT Sport win. Near the middle of the race, he even passed Martin Harvey before being overtaken again by the faster GT Cup class No. 8 Wingho Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, much to the delight of the GP3R fans.
Parker’s tremendous pace could not be matched by the rest of the GT Sport field. Father and son teammates of Lee (No. 75 Fast Wheels Ford Mustang Boss 302) and Glenn Chaplin (No. 74 Fast Wheels Ford Mustang Boss 302) finished in second and third place. Lee’s Mustang has always suffered throttle issues at the GP3R street circuit and this year was no exception. Despite the problems, he still managed to overtake his father’s car to finish in second place.
Starting at the front of the grid after setting the fastest lap at round 7, Jean-François Hevey (No. 21 TRC/M1GT Audi RS3 LMS TCR) was overtaken by Bob Attrell (No. 88 Hyundai Racing Canada Hyundai i30N TCR) for the lead. However, Bob made a mistake and hit a wall after driving over a puddle of standing water on the track. The incident brought out a yellow flag that lasted for the duration of the race and handed the TCR victory to Jean-François. The Kwok brothers followed behind in the pair of M&S Racing Honda Civic TCR’s with Tom (No. 55) placing second and Gary (No. 66) placing third.
In TC class, Team Octane was able to repair the damages on their No. 49 MINI Cooper S JCW and put Luis Perocarpi back on the grid for round 8. He showed great pace in the MINI and overtook the two Honda’s for the TC class win, setting a fastest lap time by over 2 seconds quicker than Jocelyn Hebert (No. 89 Honda Civic Si) and Paul Dargis (No. 35 Dargis Motorsport Honda Civic Si).
As we wrap up rounds 7 and 8 at GP3R, multiple class championships are still up for grabs heading into the final two races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park from August 23-25. With class points leaders packed so tightly together, you can expect highly intense and competitive racing at our finale event!
Complete race results can be found by visiting the CTCC website, www.touringcar.ca. Fans can follow the championship via the following social media platforms: Facebook: touringcar.ca, Twitter: @ctccracing, Instagram: @ctccracing
CTCC presented by Pirelli is a Sports Car Racing Championship and a leader in Canadian motorsport. It provides race fans with close and exciting competition between some of Canada’s finest and 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. It showcases race cars based on their original street version since 2007.
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