FINAL THREE SHOWDOWN THIS WEEKEND AT MOSPORT INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
TORONTO, September 29, 2005 - The 2005 Honda / Michelin Challenge Series' season is coming down to the wire again this year at Mosport International Raceway. Only four points separate the top-3 contenders going into this weekend's season finale, and any mistake will be costly in their quest to be crowned the 2005 champion. With 241 points, Kuno Wittmer, of Hudson (QC), is leading the standings for the first time this year. Kuno's three-point advance over Steven Laporte of Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs (QC) and his four points lead over his younger brother Nick is very slim considering that 34 points will be awarded to the race winner. This weekend's event will be the fourth visit by the Honda / Michelin Series drivers to Mosport this season: Didier Schraenen, who has all but secured fourth place, won the season opener from the pole in May, while Laporte was victorious in June and Kuno Wittmer won the Labor Day weekend race.
Kuno has been on a hot streak lately winning four of the last five Honda races. His winning ways began in Toronto at the Molson Indy in July. His brother Nick won the next round in Trois-Rivières at the beginning of August while Kuno finished third. But ever since then, the eldest of the Wittmer brothers has been on a rampage with three straight wins. The Honda de Sigi AutoSport driver then began his streak at the Molson Indy Montreal in late August. He followed suit by winning the Mosport event one week later and triumphed at Circuit Mont-Tremblant last weekend. To secure the championship, Kuno only needs to finish second at Mosport.
Laporte is the defending series champion. Unlike last season, he is not in the driver's seat. In 2004, he led into the season's finale by three points over Schraenen. This year, he is three points back in second place. The Lombardi Honda Racing Team driver has six podiums, but won only once back in June at Mosport. To retain his title, Laporte would need to win from the pole and have Kuno finish third or worse.
As for Nick Wittmer, who has two wins and five-podium finishes, he also needs to win from the pole with Laporte finishing second and Kuno third if he wants the crown.
For Tyler Givogue, winning the rookie of the year honours is only a formality. The 20-year old rookie from Embrun, an Ottawa suburb, has a 33-point lead over his 16-year old Kart Depot Predators rookie teammate Philip Major of Ottawa. The pair of rookies overtook mid-season leader Matt Champagne of Fonthill (ON) when he missed the Montreal Indy race. Champagne, who also did not finish the last race in Mont-Tremblant, is still only two points back from Major. He can still redeem his season at Mosport.
On Tap This Weekend
Celebration 2005 is a two-day affair. Drivers will practice for 15 minutes on Saturday morning at 10:05 a.m. and qualify later that morning at 11:50 p.m. The Honda / Michelin Challenge Series 18-lap season finale, to take place this Sunday at 1:15, will crown the 2005 Series Champions.
While each race recognizes the top three finishing drivers, the Honda Civic DX Coupes have proven to be incredibly reliable and fast, race after race. At every event new lap records have been set for the Series - a true testament to Civic's proven technology and durability.
The Honda Michelin Challenge Series is sanctioned by ASN Canada FIA, sponsored by Honda Canada Inc. Supporting partners include: Michelin North America (Canada) Inc, Dynamic Suspensions, Bosal, CSC Racing Products, Goodridge, NGK Spark Plugs, Hawk Performance, Mechanix Wear and Racing Radios.
Honda is the world's preeminent maker of engines for automobiles, motorcycles and power equipment. With more than 120 manufacturing facilities in 30 countries worldwide, Honda now attracts nearly 20 million customers annually. Honda Canada manufactures the Honda Ridgeline, Civic, Pilot, and the Acura EL and MDX at its two plants in Alliston, Ontario.