Belleville, ON, October 1st, 2018 – With ten rounds of the CTCC presented by Pirelli schedule already in the record books, some of Canada’s most outstanding racers rolled onto the 3.600-kilometre ICAR Mirabel airport circuit for a one-day doubleheader event on September 29, to conclude the 2018 campaign.
Although championships had been virtually secured in three of the four racing classes prior to the season finale, the competition was as intense as ever, especially among the GT Sport class drivers, as that championship was still up for grabs.
In Saturday morning qualifying, the GT Sport point front runners, Ethan Simioni and Gary Kwok, set the pace, with Simioni capturing the overall pole position, edging Kwok’s No. 66 M&S Racing Honda Civic Type R by a mere 0.087 seconds for top spot. Just 2.321 seconds covered the top six qualifiers, each driver aboard a GT Sport class car.
Shortly after noon, the green flag fell to start the penultimate race of the season, with Simioni, Kwok and interloper Marco Cirone forming a breakaway trio at the front of the CTCC field. Lap after lap, front running positions were exchanged and the battle for top spot was made even more exciting when a light rain dampened the southern portion of the track. Searching for grip and attacking while trying to keep their cars on the pavement, the 40-minute contest eventually concluded with Cirone and his No. 18 Mark Motors Audi RS3 LMS TCR taking the victory, crossing the stripe less than a second in front of Kwok, with Simioni rounding out the podium finishers.
In the season ending race, the competition was only slightly more sedate with both Kwok and Cirone suffering mechanical issues, allowing Simioni to cruise to the checkered flag well out in front of GT Sport class runner-up Alain Lauzière (No. 47 Audi RS3 LMS TCR) and the No. 55 M&S Racing Honda Civic Type R of Tom Kwok. It was the third win of the season for the driver of the No. 58 Policaro/ SCB Motorsport BMW M4 and the eighth podium of the year for the series rookie. The win also secured the GT Sport championship for Simioni.
Bob Attrell entered the season finale as the point leader in the GT Cup class. The driver of the No. 88 Hyundai Racing Canada was grateful for his comfortable cushion atop the standings as a broken turbocharger relegated the Brampton, ON driver to the sidelines, where he was forced to watch Julien Pilon aboard his No. 5 Lachute Performance Subaru STi capture back-to-back GT Cup race victories.
Marc Raymond continued his dominating performance in the Super Touring class, sweeping to twin wins on the ICAR circuit, leaving Newfoundland’s Scott Giannou (No. 86 Blanchet Motorsport Toyota 86) to settle for the runner-up spot in the year-end tally.
Former Touring class champion Michel Sallenbach returned to CTCC for this event, and despite taking the win in the season finale, this setback was not enough to slow down the charge from the No. 57 Velocity Motorsports Honda Civic. Accepting the checkered flag as the Touring class winner in the Saturday opener, Shawn Little was ultimately proclaimed the class champion due to his second place result in the late afternoon race.
Attrell, Simioni, Raymond and Little were recognized for their season accomplishments as Champion in their respective classes. They were honoured by their peers in the annual Champion’s Celebration held this year in the Circuit ICAR banquet hall. Ethan Simioni was also proclaimed 2018 Rookie of the Year.
With the celebrations now complete, work begins for the 2019 season where all are invited to Experience the Rush of CTCC Racing!
Complete results and standings can be found on our website at www.touringcar.ca.
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CTCC presented by Pirelli is a Sports Car Racing Championship and a leader in Canadian motorsports. It provides race fans with close and exciting competition between some of Canada’s fastest race car drivers. CTCC takes pride in the fact that it is Canadian owned and operated, and that it is one of the longest-running professional sports car series in Canada. Notably, amongst the hundreds of drivers that have competed in the championship, CTCC has helped to further the career of some of the best international race car drivers.
Experience the rush of CTCC racing!
Photos: Phillip Sutherland
Marc Raymond and Ethan Simioni with Policaro Motorsport team