COMPASS360 RACING HAS SUCCESSFUL MOSPORT TEST Bowmanville, Ontario -- While Grand-Am's Rolex teams were en route to Daytona for the October test days, Compass360 Racing spent some time doing testing of their own at Mosport International ...
COMPASS360 RACING HAS SUCCESSFUL MOSPORT TEST
Bowmanville, Ontario -- While Grand-Am's Rolex teams were en route to Daytona for the October test days, Compass360 Racing spent some time doing testing of their own at Mosport International Raceway.
Conveniently located just an hour from the C360R shop, Mosport is the site of some of the team's greatest successes, including a dramatic win in 2007 by Billy Johnson and Karl Thomson in the team's #76 TSX. The team used the test time to baseline its new platform, the Honda Civic Si, against the outgoing TSX.
The team's test drivers swapped between the #76 TSX and the new development Civic over the course of the day, allowing Technical Director Ray Lee the opportunity to evaluate not only the cars but the guys behind the wheel as well.
Despite the inclement weather, which featured a rainy, wet track and oppressive fog at times, the crew and drivers did a lot of work over the course of the day, especially as the track dried (before it rained again). For Thomson, the chance to drive both cars in the wet was a welcome opportunity. "I've not had the chance to drive in the rain for a few years," said Karl. "And I love the rain!"
So too did the drivers who attended, including team regular Travis Walker, warming up for what will be his fifth Grand-Am season next year. Jamie Holtom, who as 2008 KONI ST Champion narrowly beat C360R out for top spot this year, relished his opportunity to take the helm of the cars that dogged him in every race. Matthew Bell, who impressed in his first season in Grand-Am this year (driving the #95 Turner BMW), was quickly up to speed in his first time in a front-wheel-drive car on a wet track. And newcomer Kevin Tyndall, who's recently graduated from the Jim Russell school, stunned us with fast lap times in every session.
So the driving talent was all there, even if the weather wasn't.
At the end of the day Ray Lee had gained some more valuable data from the drivers that will help us to refine the development of our Civic Si's. He thinks the Hondas will prove very competitive, as the platform already managed to win a race this year at New Jersey. Compass360 Racing plans on running three new 2009-spec Civics in the KONI Challenge next year, with the two TSX's moving to the Canadian Touring Car Championship (a series that runs eight weekends in Ontario and Quebec, including an event at Mosport).
For Thomson, it was great to spend the day with great talents like Jamie, Kevin, Matt and Travis. Even though it rained, everyone had a good time, compared notes and enjoyed the opportunity to jump from car to car without the pressure of a race weekend.