Borgeat, Kwok Win Class Titles to Cap Exciting Season
The most exciting race of the 2011 Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship season turned out to be the season finale, which was fought out in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Circuit ICAR. From start to finish, competitors of the Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC) battled for the win, and left it all on the track.
Round 15 got off to a start that was a near carbon copy of the previous round run the day before. Sasha Anis, in his Hyundai Genesis Coupe held the lead for the most of the race, just like the day before, over Etienne Borgeat in his Pontiac Solstice. Bob Attrell in his Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Scott Nicol in his Honda Civic Si and Dean Fantin, in his BMW 330I, battled for the third position. As the race progressed, the field was separated in two distinct groups; Super and Touring Class.
Attrell worked hard to protect his position by pushing his Hyundai to its limits until the car showed some fatigue when his brakes and tires couldn’t respond properly to his commands. Nicol and Fantin were fighting right behind Attrell, waiting for him to fade. When Fantin finally passed Nicol, he went after Attrell and took advantage of his fading position and passed him for third spot.
As the field was separated in two, a remarkable battle was keeping the Touring Class competitors on edge. MINI Cooper driver Alain Lauzière led the entire race, and ran alone in the middle of both groups. Behind him, Gary Kwok in his Honda Civic Si and Michel Sallenbach in his MINI Cooper were constantly on each other’s tail, trading second place back and forth. Kwok didn’t make it easy for Sallenbach, who was pushed from behind by Luc Lesage in his Scion tC, Jacques Bélanger in his Honda Civic Si and Paul Dargis. As a matter of fact, Dargis had one of his most extraordinary performances of the season driving a MINI Cooper. Having started in the last position on the grid because he didn`t compete in Round 14, Dargis learned very quickly how to handle the MINI that he was driving for the first time.
With just a few minutes before the end of the 30-minute race, Dargis and Tom Kwok got together which resulted in a broken wheel for Kwok.The incident caused a full course yellow so he could be towed away.
End of Race
With only three minutes to go, the full course yellow forced tightened the field up, and reduced any distance between the cars. As the green was waved, Borgeat outbraked Anis going into corner one and drove away from him. Anis was not able to climb back and attack since his Hyundai was experiencing problems after during the caution period. Sallenbach also saw an opportunity to pass Kwok at corner one and squeezed past him and began to chase his teammate Lauzière.
“I had the time to study him during the race and the only place I could pass him was from the inside in corner one,” said Sallenbach. “I waited until I saw a little mistake in his strategy and
I went for it.”
At the checkered, Super Class leader Etienne Borgeat ended Round 15 with his first victory of the season. He was followed by Anis in second place and Fantin in third. Fourth and fifth places went to Nicol and Attrell. In Touring Class, Lauzière finished in first place, which gave him the weekend sweep. Sallenbach followed in second place, with Kwok in third. Fourth and fifth places went to Dargis and Bélanger.
With the points they obtained during these final rounds, the 2011 class titles went to Etienne Borgeat in Super Touring with 1,524 points and Tom Kwok in Touring with 1,584 points.
“I had a very poor beginning of the season but ending it here at ICAR, I was expecting great results,” Borgeat said afterwards. “I was missing a first place on the podium this year and with the Championship title, I am very happy”
The Manufacturers titles went to Hyundai in Super Class with 605 points overall and Honda in Touring Class with 685 points overall.
The Series would like to thank all the competitors for this wonderful season and is looking forward to see everyone in spring 2012.
A special thanks goes out to title partner Castrol and presenting partner Continental Tire. Other important partners were involved in this season, such as: AEM, AlpineStars (SportsCarBoutique), ANZE Suspension, B&G Performance Fuels, Baker Vandertuin, Compass 360, Drift Camera Canada, Inside Track Motorsports News, Phanta Media, Racing Radios International et Sigma Promotions.
For more information and complete season results, please visit www.touringcar.ca. You can also follow CTCC on Facebook and Twitter.