Racing For a Good Cause

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The Fourth Annual BMW Store Children's Charities Grand Prix

_RNG4653_optFor the fourth year in a row, the top GT cars in BC put on an exciting and crowd-pleasing show in support of the Children’s Wish and BC Children’s Hospital Foundations.

“This is a great way for us to show support for the club and racing at River’s Edge. The team at the BMW Store is fully committed to supporting Children’s Wish and Children’s Hospital through events like this in the community,” said Rocky Elli of The BMW Store, title sponsor of the event since 2009.

Race day brought sunshine and a full parking lot of spectators. The Driver’s Edge Fastest Qualifier awards were handed out to Pete Harding and Dave Humphrey in P1 and P2 respectively. In the front running group, six cars posted times at or under 1:10 which is a furious pace around the 2.25 kilometre Mission track. As the 17-car field lined up for the national anthems the air was tense with excitement. With $10,000 on the line, drivers sharpened their focus – they had their game faces on and so did the crews.

As the cars rounded turn nine on their formation lap, the intensity was palpable. The field was strung out and the green was not thrown. On the second try, the green came out and everyone was away. Wouter Bouman was looking for redemption for 2010. With a rebuilt third generation RX-7 Triple Rotor Turbo he was out for the win. Saville Peck passed Humphrey for the lead on lap four and held the lead until an incident on lap nine saw him collect a cone. Damage to the exhaust pushed his sound reading up to 104db. He was about to be black flagged when a drive train issue forced him to pull off in turn one.

Bouman was now in the lead of the race with Humphrey following. Jack Zarowny in his 3rd Gen RX-7 V8 was also making up time in third, working hard to catch the leaders. It wasn’t an easy ride for Bouman. There was a close call on lap 17 when, approaching turn one at 180 km/h, he had to make a quick decision on how to pass two slower cars that were engaged in their own battle. Having made the right call, it seemed like it would be a clear run to the chequered.

Meanwhile, a late race battle between Zawrowny and Steve Paquette of Bullet Racing was brewing for third overall. The Bullet Porsche GT3, which was raced at the 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona, was making time on Zarowny’s RX-7. Paquette’s local knowledge was paying off as he closed the gap on each pass of the timing line. On the last lap, Humphrey and Bouman were nose to tail with the RX-7 maintaining the lead to the finish. Paquette’s campaign showed promise only to be held up by lapped traffic in the final turns. Zarowny finished third overall.

At the podium ceremonies, the teams were congratulated, trophies handed out and champagne sprayed. It is expected the event will net over $20,000 with a cumulative total in excess of $100,000 raised for the charities since 2008. That’s a legacy that worth celebrating.

Second Annual Formula Vee Invitational Race

DSC_0854_optThe Family Affair Racing Team was started in 2009 by Scott and Jennifer Arthur and Bob and Pam Williams in order to revive the dormant Formula Vee class. They decided to start an annual Formula Vee Invitational race to bring other Vee drivers out to Mission Raceway Park. The Second Annual Formula Vee Invitational race was the supporting event for the Children’s Charity Grand Prix. There were 20 entries, with great, close racing throughout the field.

Saturday’s Race

When the green flag dropped, polesitter Dennis Andrade took the lead with the rest of the field close behind. Andrade and Quinn Posner had a fierce battle for first place. At times, there were 0.02 seconds separating them. Andrade took the win while setting a new track record, with Quinn coming in second. Adam Ingram and Tim Brausse had a tight race for third spot, with Ingram taking third after Brausse had a problem on the last lap.

Sunday’s Race

The top six cars were inverted and Martin Phillips was now on pole. Stephen Saslow took the lead, followed closely by Jess Heitman and Posner, who was using his father’s Protoform P2, because his had engine problems. On a restart, Brausse and Posner came together - both cars could not continue due to damage. Jess Heitman won the race, followed by Saslow and Ingram. Combined totals for both days placed Andrade first, Ingram second and Saslow third.

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