VARAC 41st Vintage Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park – June 17th to June 20th Race Report
The STANMECH Technologies, Good Cars Only, Gabo Solutions #77 Formula Mazda Team had an outstanding weekend at the VARAC 41st Vintage Grand Prix, held at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP). We were placed in the Formula Libre/Formula 4/Radical/VARAC Formula 90 Race group (Group 6). We had registered our #77 Formula Mazda in the VARAC Formula Classic 90 class. There were a total of 18 cars in our race group including, Formula Fords, F2000’s, F1200’s and a few other historic open wheel cars. The weather ranged from raining to beautiful sunny days with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 27°C.
Over the course of Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we were on track a total of 11 times; 5 on-track practices during the Thursday test day, followed by one practice and on qualifying session on Friday, Race 1 & 2 on Saturday and Races 3 & 4 on Sunday. Our race class included some very nice open wheel race cars.
On the Thursday test day, the weather was beautiful with a sun cloud mix and a high of 21°C. Our best lap for the test day was a 1:24.500 – pretty respectable lap time with older tires from 2020, and while breaking in a new motor.
Friday morning, the weather was very wet for the majority of the day – we went out for practice on full wets and had an absolute blast and a P1 time of 1:53.817. The weather cleared up beautifully for our qualifying session, as a result we set a lap time of 1:26.394, placing us in P1 in our Race Group and 1st in class.
The weather on Saturday was absolutely stunning with sun cloud mix and a high of 25°. During Race 1, we pulled away comfortably from the field on the first lap, we finished P1 in our race group and P1 in our class with best lap time of 1:25.093. During Race 2, once again we pulled away from the field on the first lap and finished P1 in our race group and P1 in our class with a best lap time of 1.26:010. We did not that there was a slight hesitation in the engine during Race 2, however we couldn’t find anything that indicated a problem.
The weather on Sunday was just beautiful with sunny skies and a high of 27°. During Race 3, set a best lap time of 1:25.819 finishing P1 in out race group and P1 in our class, but we definitely felt that engine was off – almost like we were down a cylinder (or rotor, as the case may be with a rotary engine). During Race 4, the problem became progressively worse. While we lead the majority of the race, we pulled in to pit lane with one lap remaining as the oil pressure dropped catastrophically – we did not want to lose our brand new motor!! However, because of the speed we had on track, we managed to finish P6 for our race group and P1 in our class!!! All in all, an excellent race weekend for our first racing foray in 2021!!
A special thank you to Bill & Shirley Vallis of Vallis Motor Sport for their trackside support during the VARAC VGP and to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for hosting such a fantastic, safe event!! And last, but certainly not least, we want to thank our long suffering family which allows us to continue to race……….