HMCS: St. Eustache race preview

Steven Laporte Back On Top of Point Standings Following a Reversal of His Penalty By Race Officials at Mosport Saint-Eustache, Quebec (August 19, 2004) - The Honda / Michelin Challenge Series drivers will have a full day of race activities this...

Steven Laporte Back On Top of Point Standings Following a Reversal of His Penalty By Race Officials at Mosport

Saint-Eustache, Quebec (August 19, 2004) - The Honda / Michelin Challenge Series drivers will have a full day of race activities this Sunday as they head out to Autodrome Saint-Eustache, a 1.93-kilometre road course situated 30 minutes northwest of downtown Montreal, to compete in Round 8 of the 2004 schedule. With practice on Sunday morning, followed by a 30-minute qualifying session right after lunch, drivers will have to make sure they keep their Honda Civics in one piece if they want to make it to the starting grid for the 25-lap race, scheduled to start at 3:45 p.m.

In the last event held at Mosport International Raceway on August 22, race winner Steven Laporte of St. Sauveur (QC) was excluded from the results following post-race inspection when his Honda Civic DX Coupe was found to be three (3) pounds underweight. However, following a review of the weighing operations and the technical specifications of the material regarding the weighing procedures of the cars, the Honda / Michelin Series officials have decided to void the original exclusion against Team Lombardi Honda driver and reclassify him in first position with all his points.

Kuno Wittmer of Hudson, who was declared race winner at Mosport, moves down one rank to second place where he had finished in the race ahead of Frederick Lelièvre of Mont-Joli and Nick Wittmer, the younger of the two Wittmer brothers. As with the aforementioned drivers, all the others also go back one position. With his reinstatement, Laporte became the second driver to win two races this season, winning his first one in round 2 at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. This reversal also modifies the point standings with only five points separating the Top-4. It gives Laporte sole position of first place with 159 points, four more than Quebec drivers Nick Wittmer and Lelièvre. Didier Schraenen drops three positions to fourth place with 154 points. Prior to the last race, the Mont St. Hilaire (QC) driver had been sitting on top of the standings since round 5 at Shannonville, but an eighth place finish at Trois-Rivières, and a sixth place in Mosport has seen him fall off the pace lately. Normand Boyer of Ste. Agathe, Laporte's teammate on the Lombardi Honda team, is fifth overall with 140 points, two ahead of Kuno Wittmer.

Montrealer Denis Baillargeon is next with 131 points. Ryan Kelly of London (ON) and rookie Travis Walker of Mississauga are tied for eighth place, 10 points back. Kelly, who crashed his car in qualifying at Mosport, missed the race while Walker finished eight in the race to catch up to Kelly. Rookie Alex Penfold rounds out the Top-10 with 118 points. The Georgetown (ON) driver was also a no show on the last Mosport grid after badly damaging his car in the same qualifying session as Kelly.

Rookie Standings
Travis Walker of Mississauga (ON), winner of Round 5 at Shannonville, is back on top of the rookie standings with 190 points, followed by Emmanuel Boivin-Moreau of Longueuil (QC) with 175 points. Penfold drops from first to third with 167 points, followed by Jamie Holtom of Ottawa with 125 and Kyle Brack of Toronto with 98 points.

The Series
The Honda / Michelin series is a 10-race series held over nine weekends. Six races are contested in Ontario (Mosport & Shannonville) and four in Quebec (Montreal, Trois-Rivières, Saint-Eustache & Mont-Tremblant).

The stock Honda Civic DX Coupes are equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, and provide a truly low cost form of motor racing. The series was re-introduced to encourage young drivers to enter the sport, but it did not deter some veterans from returning to the series. The single-make Championship Series gives drivers the opportunity the showcase their talent in identical cars. The Honda / Michelin Challenge Series reinforces the fun-to-drive aspects of the Civic and will be further supported by its reputation for quality, reliability and durability. The Honda Civic has been the top-selling passenger car in Canada for the past six years.

The road racing series was originally launched in 1976 with the Honda Civic hatchback. During its 17-year run, the series has attracted more than 400 racers. Among the Canadian race drivers who have competed in this series are Richard Spenard, Tony Morris, Frank Allers, Marc Dancose and Jacques Villeneuve, brother of the late Formula 1 driver Gilles Villeneuve.

The series is sanctioned by ASN Canada FIA and sponsored by Honda Canada Inc. The series is co-sponsored by Michelin North America (Canada) Inc., Alpine, Bosal, CSC, Goodridge and NGK.

-HMCS-

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Series General
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Didier Schraenen , Richard Spénard , Kuno Wittmer , Alex Penfold , Travis Walker , Nick Wittmer