GT Daytona McLaren 720S GT3
- Jeff Kingsley
- Paul Holton
The Trois-Rivieres event is arguably one of the most exciting events on the Grand-Am schedule. It's a tight, twisty and unforgiving track, and is attended by some of the most enthusiastic road racing fans on the continent. The town shuts down for a huge party with fireworks and great good and entertainment, and it certainly doesn't hurt that this riverside village seems to be host to some of the most beautiful women anywhere.
In short, it's the perfect place to host a road race. And, as the lone Canadian event on the Grand-Am schedule, we tend to view it as our "home" event. As such, we'd done our part to stack the deck in our favour by signing some truly great drivers who've had tremendous success at the facility over the years. Joining our season regulars David Thilenius and Lawson Aschenbach in our #74 Honda and Zach Lutz and Ryan Eversley in #75, were brothers Benoit and Donald Theetge in the #76 Civic, with Californians Mike Sweeney and Greg Liefooghe in the #77 car.
Our cars all qualified well, essentially in formation with Thilenius 3rd, Lutz 4th and Donald 5th. Sweeney was 13th in #77 and doing a great job getting accustomed to a new car with very limited track time.
At the start, Lutz got a fabulous start and managed to pass David White in his #80 Bimmerworld car down the front straight. Unfortunately, they tangled into the tight left-hander onto the back straight, which resulted in both cars being out of the race. This is some in-car footage from Zach's perspective. Theetge quickly took up the fight, battling for first throughout his stint, with Thilenius settling into a groove right behind. Sweeney, meanwhile was making his way through the field.
A mid-race yellow flag provided the opportunity to pit all of the cars. The second-place Theetge car was reporting transmission trouble, and retired shortly after the stop. #74 received great service but a lug nut threaded the wheel stud, which required a lengthy fix under the watchful eye of a Grand-Am official, which meant #77 was left to carry the flag for the team, with Liefooghe doing a tremendous job to finish sixth.
The results mean the team head to the final race in Utah locked into a secure second and third in the championship. It's an impressive result by any account, but after winning the Driver, Team and Manufactuer's crowns in 2009, we'll be pulling out all the stops at Salt Lake City.
Perhaps the best news is that we'll most likely bring Honda the Manufacturer's title for the second year in a row, and it'll mark the fourth time in five years that we've brought our Manufactuer the title. Not bad, that...