Gibbons Goes For Three-Pete At Mosport Int'L Raceway Castrol Super Series // Round ...
Gibbons Goes For Three-Pete At Mosport Int'L Raceway
Castrol Super Series // Round #4 - June 23-24, 2001 // Mosport Int'l Raceway
'Blue Streak presents the Mosport 250'
LONDON, ON - This weekend, the Castrol Super Series takes to the road course for the first of its four road race outings this season. The 'Blue Streak presents the Mosport 250' takes place on the legendary 2.459-mile Mosport Int'l Raceway circuit, located an hour northeast of Toronto.
Stouffville, ON racer Peter Gibbons has won this event in each of the past two seasons, using the race as a springboard to winning the Castrol Cup in each of those campaigns. Currently, the Canadian Tire Chevy driver sits 24th in the standings after three Castrol Super Series races. For a driver accustomed to winning races and championships, Gibbons is hoping to once again put in a strong performance at Mosport, in hopes of closing some of the distance between himself and series points leader Kerry Micks. Entering the 'Blue Streak presents the Mosport 250', the gap between Micks and Gibbons is 201 points.
According to Gibbons, he's been victimized by bad luck so far in 2001. "We're not doing anything different, we just need to have some better luck. We've had some stupid problems that have been out of our control. Hopefully, we can put them behind us this weekend."
Always one to push the performance envelope, Gibbons has a reputation for scouring North America for the cutting edge parts that have allowed him to become the undisputed horsepower champion of the CASCAR circuit in recent years. Following last summer's outing on the Mosport road course, almost every driver in the field told of having the #1 Canadian Tire Chevy blow past them - like they were standing still - on the long, Andretti Straight.
But there are risks associated with pushing the envelope and early in 2001, Gibbons has experienced some uncharacteristic parts failures. "A lot of people have been bit by the same sort of thing. We bought some performance stuff down south that has been a problem. There are people down in the U.S. who are having the same problems as us with these parts. Last weekend, we took a set of new roller rockers out of the box and put 'em on the motor. We were just setting the valves and there was one split right in half and we hadn't even put it through a run."
So, for this weekend, Gibbons is taking a more conservative strategy to Mosport. "We improved the motors a lot [during the off-season] and now we've had to de-tune them. We've had some really strong pieces on the dyno that we tested all winter and they worked great. You can test on the dyno, but it doesn't always show you what can happen in the car."
One other 'wild card' Gibbons will have to deal with at Mosport is his new, purpose-built road racing car. "Yeah, it's our first time there with a real road racing car, but we haven't been out testing it," said Gibbons, tentatively. "We'd probably be better off with our old car there. This car has hardly any laps on it. We don't have our old one anymore because we're continually selling our old stuff. There are just so many unknowns with new cars. We need to test this car and we haven't been out with it at all."
In both of his Castrol Cup winning seasons, Gibbons experienced a relatively slow start. But the beginning of the 2001 season has been especially difficult for the driver who tries to win every race he enters. Asked if Mosport could be the turning point he's hoping for, Gibbons replied, "I hope so. We prepared the stuff a lot more this winter than we ever have and we just ran into stupid problems that should not happen. We built new cars and a lot of new motors, but we're also a lot busier in the engine shop with new customers, which takes our time. We should have four or five Gibbons Motorsports engines out at the track this weekend, in different cars, so it should be interesting to see how the rest of them run."
MOSPORT SCHEDULE: The 'Blue Streak presents the Mosport 250' is the centerpiece of a busy weekend of racing at Mosport Int'l Raceway this weekend. In addition to Round #4 of the Castrol Super Series, there will be Formula Ford 1600, Canada GT Challenge Cup, Grand Am, ChampCar Lights and Formula V 1200 races on the schedule. Some divisions will practice and qualify starting Friday (June 22). The Castrol Super Series Late Models take to the track for the first time Saturday (June 23) at 8:30 a.m. and have half-hour qualifying sessions at 12:45 and 2:15 p.m. On Sunday (June 24), following a morning of races in the other divisions, the Autograph Session for the Mosport 250 starts at noon. The green flag will follow at 2 p.m.