Ford GT, Mustang and Mercedes-AMG GT Win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

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Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge_ Race start green flag-2

Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge_ Race start green flag-2
It was an exciting weekend of racing at the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park near Bowmanville, Ontario. The big race was the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix held on Sunday, which was race number seven of the twelve race IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series. The 2-hour and 40-minute race was held under clear blue skies around the 3.9 kilometre 10-turn race circuit in front of thousands of enthusiastic spectators. The overall win went to the American driving team of Colin Braun and Jonathan Bennett in their No. 54 CORE Autosport ORECA LMP2 Prototype car. Jordan Taylor (USA), and Renger Van Der Zande (Netherlands) finished second in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Dpi, and Felipe Nasr (Brasil) and Eric Curran (USA) rounded out the podium in their No, 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac Dpi.
TrackWorthy - Mobil 1_#54_Oreca LMP2, Core Motorsports_takes checkered flag
  • TrackWorthy - Mobil 1_#31_Cadillac_Whelen Engineering Racing_practice
  • Mobil 1_#10_Cadillac_Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R_practice
“It’s so cool to get the first win for CORE at this level,” Colin Braun said after the race. “It’s been a pleasure driving with Jon all these years. We’ve had a lot of firsts together and done a lot of cool things and this is another one of those things in a long line. Hats off to the CORE guys. We had great strategy all day. We saved fuel when we needed to, we saved tires when we needed to and we just played our cards the right way and got it done when it mattered. It was important in this race to not get too excited at the beginning. We just sort of laid in the weeds all day and slowly worked our way up and we were there when it mattered at the end.”

TrackWorthy - Mobil 1_#66_Ford GT_practice

Ford prevailed in the top sports car class, GTLM (GT Le Mans). Richard Westbrook (England) and Ryan Briscoe (Australia) won in the no. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT which was built by Multimatic Motorsports based in Markham, Ontario. The two Corvettes finished second and third with Jan Magnussen (Denmark) and Antonio Garcia (Spain) in the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R and Tommy Milner (USA)  and Oliver Gavin (England) in the no. 4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R respectively.

TrackWorthy - Mobil 1_#3_Jan Magnussen_Sunday paddock_
Jan Magnussen

“You never stop believing,” said Richard Westbrook. “We really improved the car after first practice. It was a real handful. And at periods of times during the race, it was still a handful. We see stuff from the pickup. But when the guys gave me some clear track, I managed to clean up the tires and the pace wasn’t too bad. They just did a great call, so this goes to the team and my fantastic teammate giving us a fantastic chance putting it on the front row, which was definitely over-achieving. It just gives us great confidence knowing we can win in this way. It’s just great to be part of.”

Richard Westbrook

Mercedes took the top step of the podium in the GTD (GT Daytona) class. The driving team of Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) and Ben Keating (USA) won in their No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3.

TrackWorthy - Mobil 1_#33_Mercedes-AMG_takes checkered flag_GTD winner

“I’m excited to be back in victory lane,” said Ben Keating. “It’s been over a year since we’ve had a win, so it’s nice to be back. We had a really good car today. We came out of the truck with this setup. We really hit it well.

TrackWorthy - Mobil 1_Race_#14_Lexus RCF GT3_The Esses

“The Lexus was struggling a little more than I was,” said Jeroen Bleekemolen. “We were fighting and I got a little bit of a gap, and then we tried to keep it and just bring it home. (Marcelli) had a little slide going through Turn 9. I tried for Turn 10, I got inside of him there. He gave me the space, so I took it.”

TrackWorthy - Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge_#6_Mercedes-AMG GT4_The Esses
Barrie, Ontario native Kyle Marcelli and Dominik Baumann (Austria) finished a close second in their No. 14 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3. Americans Andy Lally and John Potter finished third in their No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3.

TrackWorthy - Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge_Kyle Marcelli_race winner
Kyle Marcelli

“Of course, we’re competitors and we want to win and it’s a good thing when you’re upset with second,” said Kyle Marcelli. “We had a fast car, but we really struggled at the end of the stint with our rear tire and we knew that, so we did not need the yellows. I needed it to stay green.”

TrackWorthy - Continental Tire race_Nate Stacey (left) and Kyle Marcelli post race joy
Nate Stacey (left) and Kyle Marcelli

Saturday’s race was the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 120 in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series. The 2-hour race was also held under beautiful sunny race conditions. The overall winners were the driving team of Kyle Marcelli (Canada) and Nate Stacy (USA) in their No. 60 Roush Performance / KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 in the GS (Grand Sport) class. Huntsville, Ontario driver Martin Barkey and co-driver Brett Sandberg (USA) in their No. 80 AWA Ford Mustang GT4 followed by Damien Faulkner (Ireland) and American Russell Ward in their No. 33 Winward Racing / HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT.

TrackWorthy - Continental Tire race_ Winning teams on the podium
“My stint was quite stressful,” said Marcelli. “It was a miscommunication on the radio. When we got the full-course caution I was behind the safety car in Turn 8 and Dean Martin, our crew chief, asked me my opinion on if we should take fuel only. I was giving my answer through Turn 9 and as I released the radio button, he was yelling ‘Pit, pit, pit’ and I already missed the pit entry. I was kicking myself in the butt after that, and it just became a fuel conservation race for us. I just went to the fuel used page on the dash and called in the number every lap. We were basically using the gearbox to slow the car down. It paid off, we ended up saving about two and a half laps of fuel and I was able to win.”
TrackWorthy - Mobil 1_Race_#25_BMW M8 GTE_Turn 9
The TCR class winning car came from Toronto-based Compass Racing. Their No. 77 Audi RS3 LMS TCR was driven by American driving team of Britt Casey Jr and Tom Long.

“For Compass Racing to win here at home, I think [Team Owner] Karl (Thompson) was super, super happy,” said Casey, Jr. “We have a lot of Canadians on the team, so coming into the weekend it was a home field advantage. There was a different vibe around the weekend for sure, coming in locally, so that was definitely an advantage on our part.”

TrackWorthy - Mobil 1_#67_Ford GT_Ford Chip Ganassi Racing_takes checkered flag

TrackWorthy - Mobil 1_Race_#25_BMW M8 GTE_Turn 9

Complete race results can be found at the IMSA website. The next race for both series takes place July 21st at Lime Rock Park which is about 80 kms north-west of Hartford, Connecticut. The Lime Rock Park 120 Continental Tire race starts at 11:10 a.m. and the WeatherTech Northeast Grand Prix starts at 3:10 p.m. local time.

  • TrackWorthy - Mobil 1_#912_Earl Bamber
  • TrackWorthy - Ron Fellows_Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
TrackWorthy - Continental Tire race_ Brett Sanberg gets out of the #80 AWA Ford Mustang GT4
  • TrackWorthy - Mobil 1_Race_#96_BMW M6_Turner Motorsports_Turn 9
  • TrackWorthy - Mobil 1_Katherine Legge_pits_practice
  • TrackWorthy - Mobil 1_#67_Richard Westbrooke_
  • TrackWorthy - Mobil 1_#67_Richard Westbrooke_pits_practice-3
  • TrackWorthy - Continental Tire_#80_Martin Barkey_Ford Mustang GT4_pre-race grid walk

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