Hochgeschurz Under Pressure For The Championship Finale
SEPTEMBER 7, 2016
After six events, Eric Hochgeschurz in the #11 BMW 330i, and the 8legs Racing team are ready to work hard for the Canadian Touring Car Championship Super Touring (ST) class overall win in the final event at Calabogie Motorsports Park (CMP), taking place on October 1st and 2nd just 1 hour west of Ottawa, and 45 minutes from Eric’s home town of Carleton Place. With a slim 62 point lead in the Championship, the team and driver will be under pressure to ensure good finishes in all 3 races at the triple-header weekend!
Event six, this past weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP, aka Mosport) started out on a high note, but proved challenging for the 8legs Racing team. An excellent qualifying effort put Eric in the top spot in Super Touring class, edging out the #41 VMC Honda by just 1/10 of a second, and starting 3rd overall on the grid behind two very fast Grand Touring (GT) class cars. With the fastest time to date in the #11 BMW, the team was eager and optimistic for a good result going into race one.
Eric led the Super Touring class for the first 35 minutes of the race, with the #41 Honda and the #81 BMW hot on his heels. Unfortunately, a broken axle just 3 laps from the end of the race forced the #11 car to retire and park in turn 5. The car was easily fixed for the next race, but a loss of points in the Championship lead is nonetheless something the team cannot afford!
For race two, the #11 BMW would be starting in 3rd place on the grid, again at the top of the ST class cars. Eric had a decent start, but lost some positions. An incident at the start on the front straight farther back in the pack caused a full course yellow, and the restart allowed Eric to get back to second place after the #41 VMC Honda. For 15 minutes, Eric battled hard, but Scott Nicol was not giving ground. Pressure from behind by Michael DelleDonne in the #81 BMW was also ever present! All three cars kept turning in consistent sub 1:30 lap times and were within a fractions of a second of each other, a testament to the three drivers’ ability. A sudden drop in the #41 Honda’s back straight speed allowed Eric and Michael to get by, later discovering that the Honda suffered a 6th gear failure, limiting Scott’s top speed. The battle for 1st place in ST raged on, with Michael just 0.5 second behind Eric on almost every lap!
At the 30 minute mark in the race, with less than 10 minutes left, Eric radioed in reporting an alarm for low voltage on his dash … a very bad sign for the #11 BMW, as many systems in the car, including Power Steering, ABS, and water pump are electrically driven. The team instructed the driver to conserve battery power by shutting down headlights and power steering. After a couple laps, the ABS shut off, and the engine temperature started climbing … a sign that the water pump was running out of voltage! With only 3 laps remaining, Eric pushed on, despite the problems, and managed to keep Michael in the #81 behind him, crossing the finish line just 8/10s in first place. A fantastic finish, and much needed points added to the Championship lead!
The #11 8legs Racing BMW will receive a full checkup to ensure any problems are found prior to the final event at CMP. With good prep and great driving, the team is ready to battle for the Super Touring class Championship, and victory is within reach!
Eric Hochgeschurz and 8legs Racing wish to thank our sponsors, W.O. Stinson & Son ltd. and Carleton Collision Centre for their support this season, and all the friends and family that have made this, and past years, a great success!