Accolades from Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs; Mark Wilkins awarded the North American Cup Woodbridge, Ontario - November 30, 2008: The Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs - Ontario Region presented a number of awards and trophies at their...
Accolades from Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs; Mark Wilkins awarded the North American Cup
Woodbridge, Ontario - November 30, 2008: The Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs - Ontario Region presented a number of awards and trophies at their annual banquet last week and to his surprise, Mark Wilkins was awarded the North American Cup which goes to a Canadian driver who excels in his achievements in a North American or international racing series. Mark received the award based on his back-to-back wins and overall showing in the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal cask No. 16.
Mark and his team mate Brian Frisselle had a breakout win for Woodbridge, Ontario-based AIM Autosport when they surprised everyone at their home race in Montreal after being spun to the back of the field in the opening lap. Crossing the line just 64/1000ths ahead of the second-place car, it is on record as the closest finish in Rolex Sports Car Series history. One week later, the team would take the pole and the win at Watkins Glen and go on to record their third consecutive podium at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California two weeks later. At that race, they also drove from the back of the pack in an impressive run. Mark Wilkins was at the wheel when the checkers flew at each of these events. Overall, Mark and Brian lead eleven of thirteen races in the No. 61 Ford Riley and the team would go on to place fifth overall in the series championship.
This North American Cup was first presented to CASC by past-president, George Chapman of Winnipeg in 1980 and is awarded to the outstanding Canadian racing driver taking into account results of all races in any category in North America. The trophy honours the driver who brings the greatest international recognition to Canadian motorsport. Past recipients include Ron Fellows, Paul Tracy, David Empringham, Devon Powell and Klaus Bytzek. The first recipient in 1980 was Jacques Villeneuve, brother of Gilles, whose son would go on to win both CART and Formula 1 championships.
Scott Ellsworth, President of CASC-Ontario Region commented on Mark's selection. "Winning at the international level at which you compete is a challenge an order of magnitude greater than winning in your own backyard. You (and your team) demonstrated consistent success in Rolex Grand-Am competition in 2008. This award is richly deserved and we're proud that this year it is going to a driver from CASC Ontario Region."
"I am extremely thrilled to have been chosen for this award," exclaimed a very surprised Wilkins. "To be selected by your peers for any award is great, but to think that my name will be on a plaque alongside some of my racing heros and mentors, is absolutely amazing. I can only hope that my racing career continues to flourish and that can attain the same levels of success as theirs." Mark continued, "I'd like to thank the board, all the members and the selection committee at CASC-OR for this this award. We now look forward to another successful season with AIM Autosport in the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series."
AIM Autosport's win at Montreal was earlier selected by fans as Grand Am's "Moment of The Year" in online balloting and the team was recognized at the annual awards banquet. That stunning win is now in the running for the Speed Performance Awards as "Move of The Year". Fans can view the video and vote online at www.speedperformanceawards.com
-credit: aim autosport