Ottawa Citizens Race Series: GT Race #3

The Grandstand– Event 3

Our third event of the season was another resounding success. With 23 competitors registered, running the Stadium Track made for some tight, busy, and intense racing.  Many of the Event 3 competitors were MCO members and instructors who had already spend the entire day teaching and lapping, so with the track thermometer showing well over the 30 degree mark for most of the day and not a cloud in sight, the evening brought a welcomed drop in temperature to help the driver’s get through their 40 minute battle on the track.

The three Calabogie Mustang competitors fought hard as always, but with Chris Harrison retiring after breaking a sway-bar in the #49 Longhill Energy Car, which then lead to a punctured oil filter and oil all over the track, the battle was on between Steve Bruder in the #08, and Harry Steenbakkers in the #55.  After a hard fought battle with each other and all the other cars on the track, only 4 seconds separated the two after 41 minutes on the track.  In the end it was Steve Bruder who stood on the highest platform of the podium for his first win of the season which also moved him into the first place spot  in the points race with a total of 19 points.  Chris Harrison and Jamie Steenbakkers follow closely behind, tied for second with 17 points each.

The GT1 Class was rocking this race and with 8 very competitive drivers and cars, and some of the most intense racing of the year.  One of the best battles of the season came care of the Bernier Brothers.  From start-line to finish-line, Shawn in his race-prepped BMW 325 and Chris in his race-prepped BMW 328, traded places countless times and battled right until the final seconds of the race where 4 seconds separated the two, with Shawn crossing the finish line first.  That was of course the battle for second and third place, as Greg Van Dalen in the #41 Corvette Z06, schooled everyone completing 29 laps in 40:12.840 taking his first victory of the season by a margin of just under 20 seconds.  This puts Greg in a tie with Chris Bernier for first place points in the GT1 Class with 17 points, followed by Shawn Bernier with 14 points.  Another spectacular performance was put on by Mani Azeri as he jumped into the GT1 class this event with lap times dropping on average a staggering 4 seconds per lap over his event 1 and 2 results which landed Mani a 4th place finish in the GT1 class.  One look at the GT1 podium picture put this entire series into perspective – you can’t fake that kind of excitement.

The GT2 Class showed some amazing action as always this race, and with only three retirements from the race (Yours Truly included), we had 8 other racers battling the heat and each other.  Erwan James had a great comeback event after his Event 2 sway-bar failure in the #308 GTI and took his podium and victory of the year.  Stephen Rocque moved up the ladder this race with a second place finish and his first podium of the season in the #708 Ford Merkur, while the last spot on the podium was taken by new comer and chump car driver Dan Corcoran in the #31 BMW 318.  The GT2 points race is still lead by Mani Azeri with 18 points, followed by Erwan James and Patrick Irwin who are tied for second place with 16 points each.

Thanks go out again to Tops Car Wash (http://www.topscarwash.com/) located at 979 Richmond Road in Ottawa, for supporting our series and providing one competitor in each class with cleaning and detailing services.

Our next event is on July 21, 2012 – Qualifying at 5pm, Race at 6pm.  Be there to watch the action, or get in on the action yourself! Go to http://www.calabogiemotorsports.com/event-registration/ottawa-citizen-race-series/ for more information, and we will see you at the track!

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