CASC-OR/CTMP Celebration of Motorsport at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park – September 30 to October 2 Race Report
The Enhanced Performance, STANMECH Technologies, Good Cars Only, Gabo Solutions, Melanoma Canada #77 Formula Mazda Team had a challenging race weekend at the 2022 CASC-OR/CTMP Celebration Of Motorsport Races held at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. We were entered in the Formula Libre race group. There were a total of 18 cars in our race group including, Radicals, a Formula Renault, several Formula 4’s, historical Formula Fords and F1200’s. The weather was sunny and beautiful all three days – temperatures ranged from 15 to 25° C during the event.
Over the course of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we were on track a total of 8 times; 4 on-track practices during the Friday test day, followed by combined practice, qualifying and Race 1 on Saturday, Race 2 on Sunday – we missed Race 3 due to a shunt during Race 2, more on that later.
Our best lap for the test day was a 1:23.300 flat on tires that were left over from the BEMC Late Summer Trophy Race weekend at CTMP two weeks before.
Saturday morning, the weather was perfect – about 20°C and a clear sky. We scuffed in our race tires during our last session of the Friday test day. We set a reasonable P3 practice time of 1:26.421 on a very cool track. During qualifying, we set a blistering pace of 1:23.106 to grab pole for Race 1. During Race 1, we had a tremendous start and led the entire 15 laps, and set a best lap time of 1:22.891. That evening, we sat down with the race team to an amazing trackside meal.
The weather on Sunday cool and the track was cold – the track was slick for at the beginning of the day – and before our race at 9:35 am. For Race 2, we started on pole because of our finish in Race 1. We had a great start, but spun going into corner 5a – it was in the shade and the track had zero grip. This spin resulting in dropping us back to 17th spot. We steadily made our way back through the pack over the next 9 laps to 5th position. During that lap, we thought we had a tire going down has the race car was feeling strange in some of the corners. As we approached corner 8 at about 160 kph, we realized that we had no front grip as the race car headed towards the outside wall of corner 8. We managed to slow the car down to about enough that the impact was moderate, but unfortunately our race weekend was over as the front-end damage was too great. We realized after talking to a number of drivers that the track had been oiled down by a race car leaking oil in corner 8. What a shame, as we were on our way to making a great comeback after our spin.
And a big thank you to Bill and Shirley Vallis of Vallis Motor Sport for their trackside support during the CASC-OR/CTMP Celebration of Motorsport and to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for hosting such a fantastic, safe event!!