Steven Laporte Sets the Pace in the Honda / Michelin Series Bowmanville, Ontario (August 6, 2004) - Steven Laporte, from St. Sauveur (QC) was the quickest of 15 drivers who competed in the Honda / Michelin Challenge Series free practice session...
Steven Laporte Sets the Pace in the Honda / Michelin Series
Bowmanville, Ontario (August 6, 2004) - Steven Laporte, from St. Sauveur (QC) was the quickest of 15 drivers who competed in the Honda / Michelin Challenge Series free practice session held Friday morning at the Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport. With a lap time of 1 minute 46.176 seconds, the Team Lombardi Honda driver edged Montrealer Nick Wittmer by only 0.158 seconds. Wittmer drove his Ste. Rose Honda around the 3.957-kilometre track in 1:46.334 for an average speed of 133.967 km/h. Frederick Lelièvre of Mont-Joli, Quebec posted the third fastest time of the 30-minute session with a lap of 1:46.351.
Fourth quickest was Kuno Wittmer, the eldest of the two brothers, who ran the track in 1:46.724. He was followed by rookie Alex Penfold of Georgetown, Ontario who set his fastest time in 1:47.013. Like most of his fellow competitors, the Pfaff Leasing driver posted his quickest lap at the end of the session. Denis Baillargeon of Montreal finished sixth, followed by rookie Jamie Holtom of Ottawa and Ryan Kelly of London (ON). Rookie Travis Walker of Mississauga and Russ Bond of Uxbridge (ON) round out the Top-10.
Honda / Michelin Series drivers return to the track on Saturday morning at 10:15 a.m. for the qualifying session that will set the grid for Sunday's race. The green flag for Round 7 of 10 will be given at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.
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.