CAN: OPCS: Sunset practice day notes

Ontario Pro Challenge Series on track at Sunset! New cars, drivers and paint schemes debut at Sunset Speedway practice day SUNSET SPEEDWAY, ONTARIO - The 2004 season for the Ontario Pro Challenge series unofficially kicked off today at Sunset ...

Ontario Pro Challenge Series on track at Sunset!
New cars, drivers and paint schemes debut at Sunset Speedway practice day

SUNSET SPEEDWAY, ONTARIO - The 2004 season for the Ontario Pro Challenge series unofficially kicked off today at Sunset Speedway with an open practice session. The three hour session gave the teams and drivers a chance to shakedown their cars before returning to Sunset Speedway for the season opener on May 15.

Taking part in the practice day eight teams. Leading the pack was two time champion Dennis Thomson in his newly sponsored #02 Young Drivers of Canada 'Drive Fit' Ford Taurus. "It was good to get out and get running again after a long winter," Thomson said. "At the end of the day, I noticed there was a good pack of cars all going the same speed. The season opener here on May 15 should be a good show." Ken Nicholson, who finished third last year was back with his International Truck and Engine Pontiac Grand Prix, complete with striking new graphics and paint. "We have done a lot of work over the winter and today was just to try the car out - it went well," Nicholson said.

Thane Woodside had his Melitta Canada Monte Carlo right on pace, and Josh Nicholson's Nu Gro Dodge was also very fast during the practice day. Tim Norris' #88 Tirecraft Dodge also registered some quick times.

Two drivers were also making their maiden voyages in their new cars. Danielle Wilson worked up to speed in her #21 Chevy Monte Carlo. The Guelph youngster had an eventful day as she came to grips with the power of her new Pro Challenge racer. By the end of the practice day, Wilson was close to the pace of the series regulars.

Robert Wickens had his #15 Shift Ford Taurus out for the first time and like Wilson, he worked his way up to the pace of the rest of the drivers. "It was a lot different than what I thought it would be," Wickens said. "It's a lot to learn, but it was really fun to be out there with these guys."

The final driver at the practice day was Russ Bond in his #23 CARSTAR Monte Carlo. Bond raced last year in the Guest car, and this year he is back full time with his own car. "CARSTAR has a great logo for a stock car, and Dupont gave us a killer paint job, so if nothing else, our car looks fast!"

The teams will now look over notes from the practice day and head back to their shops to prepare for the season opener on May 15 at Sunset Speedway.

Ontario Pro Challenge Series Fast Facts;
The Ontario Pro Challenge Series (www.prochallengeracing.com) is in its third season in Canada. The Pro Challenge Cars are spec 3/4 scale, tube framed Nextel Cup styled cars powered by sealed Kawasaki Ninja 1100cc engines. The 12 race series travels throughout Ontario's oval racetracks during the summer.

-opcs-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Robert Wickens