J. WALLY NESBITT
Special to The Standard
It’s an exciting time to be a local racing fan, as two of the country’s premiere motorsports events are running on back-to-back weekends.
Last weekend, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship rolled into Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for their only Canadian stop.
In a dramatic finish to the two hour, 40 minute contest, the No. 31 Whelen Corvette Prototype inherited the overall race victory, when the race leading, and five-time 2017 race winner, No. 10 Taylor Brothers Corvette DPi suffered contact with the No. 4 GT class Corvette on a late race restart, related the Taylor boys to a seventh place result.
Canadian driver Misha Goikhberg and teammate Stephen Simpson scored their second consecutive runner-up result in their No. 85 JDC- Miller Motorsports Oreca.
Canada was also well represented in the support Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge event, with Montrealer’s Chris Green and Jesse Lazare wrestling their No. 69 MIA/ Pfaff GT-4 McLaren to a third place result in their two-hour, Saturday afternoon contest.
This coming weekend, the Verizon IndyCar Series will be the feature event on the streets of Toronto for the Honda Indy.
Coming off of a long-awaited return to victory lane, on the Iowa Speedway oval, popular Penske driver Helio Castroneves will be looking to make it two-in-a-row, when the Indy cars take to the 1.75-mile Exhibition Place circuit. Now sitting just eight points behind Kiwi Scott Dixon, in the overall 2017 standings, Castroneves has never won on the Toronto street course, while Dixon recorded back-to-back victories in the 2013 weekend twin bill.
In the 11 rounds run this year, there have been nine different winners, including Oakville, ON-born James Hinchcliffe. ‘Hinch’, who was a winner in April on the Long Beach street course, but has struggled lately with finishes of 20th or worse in the past six races. A tenth in the most recent event in Iowa could be an indication of better things to come, as the ‘Mayor of Hinchtown’ returns to familiar territory.
Supporting events for the 30th anniversary Toronto Indy car race include: the NASCAR Pinty’s Series; the open-wheeled Indy Lights and USF2000 series; the Porsche GT3 Cup Canada Championship; and the Global MX-5 Cup Challenge.
One final note from the short track fraternity…
On July 2nd, Peterborough Speedway ran its Chase for the Colours qualifying races, the top two finishers in each of the (Limited) Late Model, Thunder Car, Mini Stock and 4Fun/Charger divisions, guaranteeing themselves a front row starting position for the Thanksgiving weekend Autumn Colours Classic.
In the Late Model feature, it was defending Peterborough Speedway champion Rick Spencer-Walt taking the victory, over former Autumn Colours Classic winner Flyin’ Ryan Kimball.
Anthony DiBello will lead the Thunder Car pack to the stripe alongside of Dan Archibald, as will Peterborough regulars Kris Kahn and James Townsend in the Mini Stock feature. The 4Fun/ Charger class will be paced by Griffin Powell and Jeremy Kelly.
The Chase for the Colours qualifiers, for the OSCAAR touring divisions, will take place on Saturday, August 5th, 2017. Two weeks prior to that, July 21, the OSCAAR Super Late Models, Modifieds and Hot Rods will join the Eastern Ontario Legends and Canadian Vintage Modifieds on the 3/8-mile Kawartha Speedway for a Friday night special.
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