Over 100 entries expected to put on a sensational show in Victoria Day Speedfest
BOWMANVILLE, Ont., CANADA – Many of the world’s best sports car drivers and GT3 machines with the SprintX series will converge on the popular Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this weekend (May 19-21) in the annual Pirelli World Challenge road racing event as part of the Victoria Day Speedfest.
Rounds 3 and 4 of the impressive SprintX doubleheader action will headline the PWC field with over 100 cars already entered for the three-day racing extravaganza at the historic 2.458-mile, 10-turn road circuit northeast of Toronto.
Topping the overall PWC contingent will be 32 SprintX driver combinations to battle in two 60-minute, two-driver, one pit stop contests that features drivers from around the world including local Canadian favorites like the RFerri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 team with two solid entries as well as Toronto driving stars Daniel Morad Kyle Marcelli and Mark Wilkins.
The Canadian racing fans will witness comes spectacular competition from some of the world’s best sports car machinery such as Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Cadillac, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes, Nissan and Porsche in one of the strongest driver lineups in Pirelli World Challenge history.
Along with the 32 SprintX entries, 49 Touring Car drivers are scheduled for action in two 40-minute sprint events om Saturday and Sunday for Round 3 and 4 of the 2017 PWC trail including 3 in the crowd-pleasing TC division which features auto makes like Audi, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Lotus, Mazda, Nissan and Porsche.
In addition to Sprint and Touring Car events at CTMP, the always-popular GTS division has the “muscle” cars of Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, Aston Martin, Panoz Averrano GT and Maserati taking on the small and nimble GT4 sports cars of KTM XBow, SIN Car R1 GT4, Porsche Cayman and McLaren.
All of the races at CTMP will be live streamed on www.motortrendondemand.com and www.world-challenge.com, and six feature races (SprintX, GTS and TC) will be shown on CBS Sports Network in late May on a taped-delayed basis.
Thirty-two Talent-loaded Duos Set for the Fast CTMP Road Circuit – SprintX Preview
The SprintX format debuted last year at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park with a limited field and a strong potential for a unique racing structure that provided some exciting competition. And it’s hard to top last year’s GT final at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca which took the series championship right down to the final lap.
After the wild action in the season opening at VIRginia International Raceway last month, the SprintX series proved to be entertaining and hard fought with the No. 31 TR3 Racing/The Collection Ferrari 488 GT3 with Daniel Mancinelli and Andrea Montermini of Italy winning Round 1. Then a brilliant drive by Toronto’s Morad and veteran sports car star Ryan Dalziel took Round 2 in the No. 2 CRP Racing/DeVilbiss Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Those two potent machines will be lead a stellar SprintX lineup to CTMP with formula European GT3 champion Niccolo Schiro replacing Montermini with Mancinelli in the No. 31 Ferrari.
Add a spectacular group the driving talent to this weekend’s SprintX competition in the Pro-Pro, Pro/Am and Am/Am divisions.
Defending PWC Sprint GT champion Alvaro Parente of Portugal, a GT Sprint winner at St. Petersburg and Long Beach already this year, comes to CTMP after a second-place SprintX finish in Round 2 with youngster Ben Barnicoat of England in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S, K-PAX Racing also has entered another solid pairing with veterans Bryan Sellers of Braselton, Ga., and Jonny Kane of Northern Ireland in the No. 6 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S in the Pro-Pro class.
Last year Patrick Long of Manhattan Beach, Calif., a Le Mans and Daytona endurance race winner during his legendary career, dominated the two CTMP 50-minute GT Sprint events with his potent No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. This weekend, veteran Long will team with another sports car legend in Jörg Bergmeister of Germany.
The Cadillac Racing SprintX lineup sports the current Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring winners to VIR with Ricky and Jordan Taylor of Florida matching up with PWC regulars Johnny O’Connell of Flowery Branch, Ga., the four-time GT champion, and Michael Cooper of Syosset, N.Y., the two-time PWC titlist. Needless to say, the Cadillac Racing quartet will be a factor in the red No. 3 Cadillac ATS-V.R. and the blue No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R. this weekend at CTMP.
The Toronto-based Ferrari entry that should expect to challenge at the front of the SprintX field is the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 with Spain’s Alex Riberas and Barrie, Canada’s Marcelli as a potent tandem. Marcelli captured the SprintX finale last year at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The all-new Acura NSX program with RealTime Racing has been developing the new GT3 machine throughout the opening rounds of 2017. The two regular RealTime Racing drivers, Ryan Eversley of Atlanta and Peter Kox of The Netherlands, will have Tom Dyer of Corte Madera, Calif., in Eversley’s No. 43 Acura NSX GT3 at VIR, while Toronto’s Mark Wilkins will team up in Kox’s No. 93 Acura NSX GT3.
The Audi stable have an impressive two-driver combination for Magnus Racing in the Pro/Pro division with Germany’s Pierre Kaffer and Spencer Pumpelly of Atlanta in the No. 4 Audi RS8 LMS sports car, and Bentley forms a strong effort in PWC regular Adderly Fong of Hong Kong and sports car star Vincent Abril of Monaco in the No. 88 Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3.
In the large Pro/Am category, three Canadian drivers will be featured in the two 60-minute races with David Otella of Vancouver teams with James Dayson of Toronto in the No. 23 M1GT Audi R8 LMS Ultra and the second RFerri Motorsport entry, No. 013 RFerri Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3, has Toronto’s Marc Muzzo and veteran Terry Borcheller of Hialeah, Fla.
Leading the Pro-Am division will be VIR Round 2 winners Jeroen Bleekemolen of Monaco and Tim Pappas of Boston, Mass., with their potent No. 54 Black Swan Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 as well as the Round 1 winning pair of Jan Heylen of Tampa, Fla., and Michael Schein of Glen Cove, N.Y. in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. Schein took top honors last year in GTA Sprint action at CTMP.
2016 GT Cup champion Alec Udell of The Woodlands, Tex., and two-time SprintX winner Preston Calvert of Potomac, Md., will challenge at CTMP in the No. 77 Calvert Dynamics/GMG Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, along with another two-time SprintX winner Michael Lewis of Laguna Beach, Calif., and his partner, Mike Hedlund of Redwood City, Calif., in the No. 98 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S.
Another former GTA series champion Frankie Montecalvo of Highlands, N.J., will team with Mexico’s Ricardo Sanchez in the No. 75 Always Evolving/AIM Autosport Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 in the Pro/Am class along with VIR SPrintX pole winner Mike Skeen of Charlotte, N.C., driving the No. 82 McCann Racing Audi RS 8 LMS with team owner Mike McCann of New Canton, Ohio.
Other contenders this weekend at CTMP in the Pro/Am division will be Laurens Vanthoor/James Sofronas in the No. 14 GMG Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R; Marco Seefried/John Potter in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi RS 8 LMS; Aaron Povoledo/David Askew in the No. 63 Uaslco/DXDT Racing Mercedes AMG GT3; Alexandre Negrao/ Alexandre Negrao Sr. in the No. 92 MCC Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT3;
Last year’s GTA champion Martin Fuentes of Mexico City returned to Pirelli World Challenge action at VIR with the No. 7 Hublot/Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 with former F1 and IndyCar driver Stefan Johansson of Sweden as his teammate and the duo are expected to challenge for the Am-AM division honors along with Henrique Cisneros of Miami, Fla., and Tyler McQuarrie of Danville, Calif., in the No. 30 MOMO/NGT Racing Ferrari 458 GT3.
The No. 007 Lasalle Solutions/Adobe Road Winery/TMG-AMR Aston Martin GT3 entry of Kris Wilson of Littleton, Colo., and Drew Regitz of Denver, Colo., also to contend the GT Am/Am category at CTMP.
Others scheduled to compete in SprintX at VIR this weekend include GT Cup racers Allesandro Bressan/Yuki Haratz in the No. 55 Dream Racing Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo and Joe Toussaint/Cory Friedman in the Autometrics Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, plus GTS competitors Kyle Tilley/Jerry Kaufman in the No. 09 Lasalle Solutions/Adobe Road Winery/TMG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4; Adam Merzon/Trent Hindman in the No. 017 Case-It Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR;; Cameron Cassels/Phillip Bloom in the No. 018 Case-It Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR; Greg Liefooghe/Aristole Balogh in the No. 019 Stephan Cameron Racing Aston Martin GT4 and Chris Hall/Alan Brynjolfsson in the No. 02 VOLT Racing McLaren 570S GT4.
New GT4 Cars Battle GTS Muscle Cars at CTMP – GTS presented by Case-It Preview
The highly-competitive GTS presented by Case-It category always features outstanding door-to-door action through a race weekend and the CTMP’s GTS lineup will again produce spectacular competition.
Pacing the charge for Chevrolet is four-time series and two-time GTS champion Lawson Aschenbach
piloting the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4R. Aschenbach just missed out in winning the 2016 GTS title despite scoring four race wins. Now, he looks for his first 2017 GTS victory after an impressive debuts of the new Camaro GT4R at St. Petersburg and VIR.
The Flying Lizard Motorsports duo of Spain’s Rodrigo Baptista and 17-year-old Nate Stacy of Owasso, Okla., will figure in the GTS mix at CTMP with their No. 3 and No. 14 Flying Lizard Porsche Cayman Clubsport MR sports cars, respectively.
Another exciting new machine to the GTS ranks in 2017 is the popular No. 50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT with veteran sports car racer Ian James of Paradise Valley, Ariz., at the controls. The new Panoz has shown potential in its initial outing at St. Petersburg.
The Canadian-based Mantella Autosport team of Anthony Mantella of Toronto in the No. 8 Mantella Autosport KTM Xbow and Martin Barkey of Huntsville, Ont., in the No. 80 MBRP Performance Exhaust KTM Xbow are expected to race for the lead at VIR after each scored GTS wins last year.
Veteran PWC racer Jeff Courtney of Milwaukee, Wis., was impressive at VIR with a pole and two second place finishes and his always-popular No. 99 Kenda/RecStuff.com Maserati GT4 is expected to race for the win this weekend. Alan Brynjolfsson of Tampa, Fla/, rounds out the GTS class in the No. 02 VOLT Racing McLaren 570S GT4.
In the GTS Am class, Aschenbach’s Black Dog Speed shop teammate, Tony Gaples will lead the contenders in the No. 11 Blackdog Speed shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4R. The veteran placed eighth in last year’s final GTS standings and record ten top-ten finishes.
The Case-It Racing teammates Adam Merzon of Greenwich, Conn., and Cameron Cassels of Coldstream, BC, Canada, also will be in the GTS Am mix at CTMP with their No. 017 and No. 018 Case-It Porsche Cayman Clubsport MR machines, as well as veteran racer Mark Klenin of Lone Tree, Colo., in the No. 62 KRP/Tender Belly McLaren 570S GT4. Another McLaren 570S GT4 in the GTS field will be George Kurtz of Paradise Valley, Ariz., in the No. 04 Crowdstrike/GMG sports car.
PWC newcomer Jason Bell of Tampa, Fla., won the GTSA class at VIR in the No. 2 Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4 machine, and Bell will team up on Racers Edge Motorsports effort with 2016 GTS winner Jade Buford of Nashville, Tenn. in the No. 45 SIN R1 GT4. Fred Roberts of Toronto is also entered in the GTS Am division in the No. 89 JCR Motorsports Maserati GT4 as well as Bill Zeigler of Ponte Vedra, Fla., in the No. 9 ANSA Motorsports KTM XBow and Craig Lyons of Newport Beach, Calif., in the No. 03 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
The GTS presented by Case-It events will be 50-minute sprint contests on Saturday and Sunday at VIR.
30 TC Cars Set for Wild Action at CTMP this Weekend – Touring Car Preview
Rounds 1 and 2 of the highly-competitive Touring Car classes were outstanding races in all three divisions including over 30 cars in the TC and wild action in the TCA and TC contests.
An impressive group of BWM M235iR cars are set to invade the legendary CTMP landscape led by defending TC class champion, Toby Grahovec of Celina, Tex., in the No. 1 Classic BMW Motorsports BMW M235iR. The former SCCA national champion was the model of consistency last year with two victories including a sensational CTMP race for a win.
Contending with Grahovec will be last year’s series third place finisher, Montreal’s Nick Wittmer, who moves over to drive the new No. 91 ST Racing/GPI Inc./Laurel BMW of Westmont, Ill., BWM M235iR along with his teammate, college student Samantha Tan of Gormley, Ont., Canada, in the No. 38 ST Racing/GPI Inc./Laurel BMW of Westmont, Ill., BWM M235iR. Wittmer scored two TC victories in 2016.
VIR TC Round 2 winner Greg Liefooghe, in the No. 20 ART Racing/Steve Cameron Racing BMW M235iR will be a driver to watch at CTMP after impressive showings at VIR.
VIR TC Round 1 victor Paul Holton of Orlando, who has been competing in Touring Cars in Europe, returned to VIR with the TC debut of the No. 71 C360R Audi RS3 LMS Club Sport. Holton is a three-time PWC race winner and expects to be in the fight for the TC title in 2017.
Florida-based Shea Racing brings popular team owner/driver Shea Holbrook of Orlando in her Honda Accord. Holbrook, a six-time PWC race winner, has been busy in the off-season with a four-car operation (two in TC, two TCA) but figures to be a series title challenger in the popular No. 67 Bubba Burgers/Lucas Oil Honda Accord.
TC ‘Rookie of the Year” Anthony Geraci, of Glen Cove, N.Y., won a pole position at VIR in the new No. 69 S.A.C. Racing Audi RS3 LMS Club Sport sedan and he be a challenger at CTMP.
Another top New York-based racing team is BERG Racing led by team owner John Weisberg of Webster, N.Y., who campaigns the No. 5 REDCOM Laboratories/Micro Precision Components/BERG Racing Mazda MX–5. Joining the BERG Racing team in 2017 is John Allen of Denver., Colo., in the No. 007 JA Racing/ Micro Precision Components/REDCOM Audi RS3 LMS Club Sport and Jason Coupal of Rochester, N.Y., in the 009 REDCOM Laboratories/Micro Precision Components/BERG Racing Audi RS3 LMS Club Sport.
The 30-car Touring Car field also features Gino Carini, in the No. 2 Palermos Screaming Sicilian Pizza/Marenzo Construction Group/Classic BMW Motorsports BMW M235iR; Dennis Hanratty Jr., in the No. 4 KRUGSPEED Lotus Exige; Rodrigo Sales, in the No. 8 Shogun Spirits/Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M235iR; Cody Ellsworth, in the No. 11 Racelink Porsche Cayman; Mason Filippi, in the No. 12 Shmib and Motorized Shade/Winding Road Team BMW M235iR; Randy Hale, in the No. 17 Hale Propeller/Transaero Mazda MX-5; Stefan Sajic, in the No. 18 ZIMA Motorsports BMW M235iR; Aristotle Balogh, in the No. 19 ART Racing BMW M235iR;; Robert Nimkoff, in the 28 AutoTechnic Racing BMW M325iR; Justin Raphael, in the No. 29 Classic BMW Motorsports BMW M235iR; Tony Rivera, in the No. 34 Brass Monkey Racing/Tiburon Motorsports Nissan 370Z; Chetan Purank, in the No. 36 ZIMA Motorsports BMW M235iR; Steve Kholi, in the No. 40 Parallax Racing/Billion Honda Honda Accord; Andrew Rains, in the No. 44 Rains Racing/APEX Pro/PLK Investment Partners Honda Accord Coupe; Cameron Maugeri, in the No. 72 KRUGSPEED Lotus Exige; Jeff Ricca, in the No. 78 GenRacer.com Hyundai Genesis Coupe; Anthony Magagnoli, in the No. 80 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M235iR; Henry Schmitt, in the No. 87 in the BMW of San Francisco BMW M235iR; Chris Ohmacht, in the No. 92 Classic BMW Motorsports BMW M235iR; Joshua Foran, in the No. 93 Team HMA Honda Accord and Karl Wittmer, in the No. 99 Honda Ste-Rose Honda Accord.
Double VIR Winner Fassnacht Leads a Solid TCA Field at CTMP – TCA Class Preview
The VIR TCA racing was incredible with some of the best wheel-to-wheel action during the weekend and last year’s TCA Rookie of the Year Matthew Fassnacht of Madison, N.J., in the No. 74 S.A.C. Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup won twice at VIR. Fassnacht fought off his Mazda running mates to score his first two PWC feature wins of his racing career.
Elivan Goulart of Shelton, Conn., , in the No. 70 S.A.C. Racing/SCDA1.com Mazda MX–5, was a race winner at CTMP last year and was dominant in 2016 with five of 12 TCA races and 12 top-five placings. Goulart’s performance also helped Mazda clinch the class Manufacturer’s Championship.
Battling Fassnacht and Goulart at CTMP will be the 2016 TCB series champion Tom O’Gorman of Mason, Ohio, who’ll drive the all-new No. 94 HPD/Black Armor Helmets/Gridlife Honda Civic Si for Shea Racing. Teaming up with O’Gorman on the Shea Racing effort will be young woman racer Sarah Montgomery of Lafayette, La., in the No. 65 Lemon of Love/Lafayette Travel Honda Civic Si.
Joining Fassnacht and Goulart in the S.A.C. Racing team in 2017 will be Daniel Moen of Rindge, N.H., in the No. 73 S.A.C. Racing Mazda MX-5.
Eric Powell, in the No. 23 Tech Sport Racing Mazda MX–5 Cup, is always strong with Tech Sport Racing after placing third in last year’s TCA points with one win, eight top-fives and ten top-10s. Powell teams with team principal Kevin Anderson of Huntington Station, N.Y., in the No. 22 Tech Sport Racing Scion.
Others to watch in the 12–car TCA field include Canadians Eric Laporte of Blainville, Que., in the No. 50 Lapse Motorsport Honda Civic Si and Gary Kwok of Markham, Ont., in the No. 66 M & S Racing Honda Civic as well as Spencer Patterson of Pittsburgh, Pa., in the No. 79 Patterson Racing/Regent Square Rentals Mazda MX-5 Cup; Jeff Sexton of Austin, Tex., in the No. 89 Winding Road Team Mazda MX-5 Cup; and Dean Copeland of Grasonville, Md., in the No. 07 Copeland Motorsports Mazda MX-5 Cup.
A wide-open title fight expected in 2017 in TCB – TCB Class Preview
Touring Car B–Spec or TCB is the most cost-effective class but the racing supplies some popular door–to–door racing and drafting bumper-to-bumper in all of the Pirelli World Challenge series.
With O’Gorman, the 2016 champion, moving to TCA in 2017, the series battle for the point title will be wide-open from Round 1 at VIR to the final at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in October.
Canadian P.J. Groenke of Richmond Hill, Ont., raced O’Gorman right down the final race before settling for second in the championship. Groenke scored six podium (top-three) finishes and ten top-five placements in 2016. He’ll compete at CTMP this weekend in the No. 25 Tech Sport Racing Chevrolet Sonic.
Other contenders in TCB at VIR this weekend include VIR pole winner Jake Pipal of Oakdale, Calif., in the No. 6 Carbotech Brakes MINI Cooper; VIR Round 2 winner Travis Washay of Milford, Conn., in the No. 30 Indian Summer Racing MINI Cooper; Blake Thompson of Oak Creek, Wis., in the No. 37 ISellMiataParts.com Mazda 2; Taylor Handwerk of Jim Thorpe, Pa., in the Indian Summer Racing/Bimmertools.com MINI Cooper; Jasper Drengler of Shawano, Wis., in the No. 01 Drengler Racing/Chimney Mechanix Honda Fit; and Ted Sahley of Cleveland, Ohio, in the Believeland Motorsport Mazda 2.
10-turn 2.458-mile road course
Qualifying: (All times listed are EDT)
Friday, May 19, 2017
1:25 PM – 1:55 PM Pirelli World Challenge TC (15 min.) TCA-TCB (15 min.)
4:25 AM – 4:40 AM Pirelli World Challenge GTS
4:55 PM – 5:30 PM Pirelli World Challenge – Sprint X
Live Internet Telecast (on motortrendondemand.com and www.world-challenge.com):
Saturday, May 20, 2017 (All times listed are EDT)
9:40 AM – 10:20 PM Pirelli World Challenge – Touring Car Race 1 (40 minutes)
10:35 AM – 11:25 AM Pirelli World Challenge – GTS Race 1 (50 minutes)
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM Pirelli World Challenge – SprintX Race 1 (60 minutes)
Sunday, April 30, 2017 (All times listed are EDT)
8:30 AM – 9:10 AM Pirelli World Challenge – Touring Car Race 2 (40 minutes)
10:15 AM – 11:04 AM Pirelli World Challenge – GTS Race 2 (50 minutes)
3:40 PM – 4:40 PM Pirelli World Challenge – SprintX Race 2 (60 minutes)
60 minutes (SprintX)
50 minutes (GTS)
40 minutes (TC/TCA/TCB)
Television (on CBS Sports Network): All times listed re: CBS broadcasts are Eastern.
SprintX: May 28, 6:30 PM
GTS: May 31, 9:00 PM
Touring Car: May 31, 10:00 PM