World Challenge Competitors North of the Border at Mosport CANADA - Through three of 12 rounds on the World Challenge schedule, the GT class couldn't have been more competitive. Three different drivers have won races, as have three different ...
World Challenge Competitors North of the Border at Mosport
CANADA - Through three of 12 rounds on the World Challenge schedule, the GT class couldn't have been more competitive. Three different drivers have won races, as have three different manufacturers. Three points separate the top three in the Drivers' Championship, and the gap from first to fifth is just 18 points.
Toronto-native Fred Roberts leads the GameStreamer GT Rookie of the Year standings entering Mosport.
Factor in 16 hungry GT drivers and a suspect weather forecast, and Mosport could be the event that shakes everything up again.
A pair of teammates are among those in the top three in the championship race. Global Motorsports Group's Dino Crescentini, in the No. 4 Centric Parts/StopTech/GMG Porsche 911 GT3, enters Mosport as the championship leader. Crescentini won race two at St. Petersburg, and finished second at Long Beach. His teammate, James Sofronas, has used consistent effort with a third, a second and a fifth in three rounds to sit just two points behind Crescentini in third place in the No. 14 GMG Porsche 911 GT3.
Unfortunately, prior commitments by Sofronas will force him to miss Saturday"s race, placing more urgency on a run to the front on Sunday for maximum points.
Splitting the GMG duo in the championship is Montreal's Kuno Wittmer. Wittmer, hot off a Long Beach Grand Prix win in the No. 13 Woodhouse Performance Dodge Viper, is one point behind Crescentini for the championship lead. Wittmer won at Mosport in a RealTime Racing Touring Car a year ago, and always seems to be quick at the track.
Hot on their heels is the K-Pax Racing duo of Andy Pilgrim and Randy Pobst. Pobst sits fourth in the championship, just six points out of the lead, in the No. 6 K-Pax Racing Volvo. Pobst won the opener at St. Petersburg and earned the bonus points for sitting on the pole there. Meanwhile, 12 points behind him, is teammate Andy Pilgrim, in the No. 8 K-Pax Racing Volvo S60. Both Pobst and Pilgrim won in their respective classes in the initial World Challenge race at Mosport in 1990, a 24-hour endurance race.
Wittmer won"t be the only of his countrymen at Mosport. One of the drivers that has captured the hearts of the Mosport faithful is sports car legend Ron Fellows, who is from the nearby Toronto suburbs. Fellows, who will drive the No. 2 Carlisle Companies/Cragar Chevrolet Corvette this weekend, won back-to-back GT races in 2004 and 2005 for Team Cadillac. Commitments by Fellows may also keep him out of the car until Sunday's race, but the "Mayor of Mosport" never turns down an opportunity to race at his home venue.
Current GameStreamer GT Rookie of the Year leader Fred Roberts is also at home. The Toronto resident is driving his No. 89 Direct Energy Home Services Dodge Viper this weekend in a car good enough to win a race - considering Daskalos Roberts Racing teammate Jason Daskalos is the defending race winner, and returns again in his No. 5 Daskalos Developments Dodge Viper.
Jeff Courtney will team with Wittmer at Woodhouse Performance as the fourth Viper in the field, piloting the No. 99 Kenda Tire Dodge Viper.
TruSpeed Motorsports' driver Rob Morgan sits sixth in the World Challenge GT Championships at the quarter pole of the season after three top-10 finishes in his No. 46 Porsche 911 GT3. Patrick Lindsey earned a fourth-place finish in the No. 57 Horton/Sloan Securities Porsche 911 GT3 at the season opening Round, the teams best finish of the season, before bad luck in rounds two and three pushed him down the standings. They'll be joined again by Rob's father, Charles Morgan, driving the No. 47 Privacy Star/TruSpeed Porsche.
Brass Monkey Racing has used the month-long break between Long Beach and Mosport to continue the development on their Nissan GT-Rs, concentrating on two areas: cooling the transmissions, and reworking the turbos to give the heaviest machines in the GT class some more speed. Tony Rivera, driving the No. 97 Nissan/Brass Monkey Racing Nissan GT-R, and rookie Steve Ott, in the No. 99, are both poised for better results in the near future. Rivera finished on the podium at Mosport in 2009.
Blackdog Racing returns at Long Beach, with Tony Gaples in the No. 29 Kleinschmidt/Blackdog Racing Chevrolet Corvette. Gaples currently sits ninth in the championship. Last year's Rookie of the Year, Bill Ziegler (No. 05 Swisher Racing Porsche 911 GT3), returns for the weekend under the Global Motorsports Group umbrella.
World Challenge GTS and Touring Car - The Action Heats Up
The World Challenge GTS class has the smallest entry list of the three classes, but may have the biggest credentials of every driver through the field.
Tyler McQuarrie made his World Challenge debut at Long Beach a memorable one, winning his first time out in the No. 19 LPL/DRS/Switcars/LCS/Dayco/M&T Lotus Exige S. The road racer and drifting star may have caught a break when, on the race's first lap, Peter Cunningham had to pit for repairs to his No. 43 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX. McQuarrie was fast all weekend long, however, and should be again this weekend.
In addition to championship leader Cunningham, a four-time World Challenge winner at Mosport, RealTime Racing's Nick Esayian is searching for a win after three podium finishes to open the year. Esayian, in the No. 34 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX, currently sits second in the points.
John Heinricy is a five-time World Challenge winner in his career, spanning back to the 1990 24-hour race at Mosport. Known throughout the road racing world for his ability behind the wheel of General Motors machines, Heinricy will drive the No. 35 Torvec/Phoenix Performance Chevrolet Corvette in this weekend's doubleheader.
The 10-car Touring Car field is also a wide-open affair. Championship leader and 18-year-old rookie Robert Stout leads the field in the No. 18 DG-Spec/Scion/TRD/Lucas Oil Scion tC, after a pair of runner-up finishes followed by becoming the youngest winner in Series history at Long Beach.
Stout is joined this weekend by Tom Lepper in the No. 36 DG-Spec/Scion/TRD/Lepper&Associates Scion tC. Lepper drives the car that Dan Gardner has piloted through the first three races, as the pair work their way toward a team championship.
Four Volkswagens are entered into the Touring Car field, with the marque currently second in the Manufacturers' Championship. Irish Mike's Racing returns to Mosport after sweeping the St. Petersburg weekend with Todd Buras behind the wheel. Buras, unfortunately, will miss the Mosport races after injuries sustained in another race event, but left the No. 50 Irish Mike's Racing Volkswagen Jetta GLI in the more-than-capable hands of Chip Herr. Herr won the 2006 Touring Car race at Mosport, and will be joined by Greg Shaffer in the No. 49 machine.
Also representing Volkswagen is Robb Holland in the No. 22 3Zero3 Motorsports/Track Pro/Emich VW Volkswagen GTI, and Don Istook in the No. 01 Istook Motorsports Revo Technik/Carbotech GTI.
Current Touring Car runner-up Eric Meyer leads a pair of Mazda RX-8s in the field. Driving the No. 32 XOWii Racing/Samaritan's Feet/Delvira Mazda RX-8, Meyer snagged a career-best second place finish at Long Beach. HotSpur Racing's Charlie Solomon will drive the No. 21 Dr. Natasha.com/DC Racing Mazda RX-8 this weekend.
Two Acuras are also entered into the Touring Car field.
Shea Holbrook returns after a pair of sixth-place finishes in her professional debut at St. Petersburg, behind the wheel of her No. 67 Shea Racing Autohaus/MD&F Acura Integra R. Brett Sandburg drives the Touring Car version of the Acura TSX with the No. 28 Synapse Racing Whitehall Stable Acura.
Event/Circuit: World Challenge Championships Round Four
Mosport International Raceway
10-turn, 2.459-mile permanent road course
Qualifying Race 1 - Saturday, May 22, 12:45 p.m. (EDT)
Qualifying Race 2 -- Sunday, May 23, 9:30 a.m. (EDT)
Green Light (standing start):
Race 1 - Saturday, May 22, 2:50 p.m. (EDT)
Race 2 -- Sunday, May 23, 12:45 p.m. (EDT)
Race Length: Combined races: TBD Laps or 50 minutes (whichever comes first)
Television (on VERSUS): July 31, 3:00 p.m.
-source: scca pro racing