GTWC America Acura NSX GT3 Evo
- Matt McMurry
- Rodrigo Sales
- Michael Di Meo
- Ashton Harrison
- Mario Farnbacher
(Bowmanville, ON) -- Durabond / Compass360 Racing came into the second round of the Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship with driver Anthony Rapone in the points lead, and their goal was to have him finish up front to keep ahead, and to see team-mates Andrew Danyliw and Karl Thomson move towards the front of the driver's standings.
By all accounts, it was a successful weekend. Thomson, in his #71 Honda managed to out-qualify Rapone in #72 by just a few hundreths of a second, but the team was disappointed in their fourth and fifth-place positions. Thomson managed a blazing start in the wet conditions, quickly getting into third place and overtaking some of the faster Super Touring cars as well. Rapone, meanwhile, battled a few places back, with Danyliw close behind him.
Lap times tumbled as the weather cleared and a dry line began to form. Thomson went wide in corner two, allowing Rapone and some other competitors through, dropping to sixth. By race's end, Rapone was third, Thomson fourth, and Danyliw a frustrated 13th after a lack of ABS resulted in a few off-track excursions.
Sunday proved to be dry and race two was run under wonderful sunny skies. Rapone and Thomson steadily moved to the front and by mid-race were running one-two, with Nigel Heron (Acura Integra), Tom Kwok (Civic) and Michel Sallenbach (Mini) in close pursuit. Danyliw, with his ABS now working, had spirited battles as well, most specifically with Alain Lauziere in his Mini.
Having won the season-opening weekend in May, Rapone was awarded 50 additional pounds of weight, and it began to take its toll on his tires, allowing Thomson and Kwok past in the closing stages of the race. Rapone held on for third, while Thomson brought his Honda across the finish line in first place, marking his first series win.
"That was a great battle right through the whole race," enthused Thomson. "I always say this is a team sport and I've got to say the Durabond / Compass360 Racing guys gave me an absolutely perfect car today. I'm thrilled with the win and it's also a great day for the Team Championship and for Anthony in Driver's."
"We know our cars are good at Mosport," noted Rapone. "But now we go to Montreal where the Mini is usually best, so it was important to do well today. The new VW (GTI) is going to be really strong as well so we have our work cut out for us.
Danyliw, meanwhile, brough his car up to sixth for his best result of the year. "I'm still getting used to how the Honda behaves on track, and getting the ABS for Sunday's race really made a huge difference," he said. "Hats off to the crew for such a great job. I'm looking forward to my next race!"
Rapone leads the championship 470-434 over P.J. Groenke. Thomson is fourth with 409 points and Danyliw is sixth on 343. With a perfect weekend scoring 244 points, the championship is still anyone's game...
The next CCTCC event is at iCar in Montreal on July 3rd and 4th. Race recap video of the first races will be available at http://touringcar.ca.