One of the fastest growing race series in North America will face one of the fastest race circuits in North America on May 19 – 20 when the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) SprintX Championship travels to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP). The 60-minute, two-driver format debuted at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) in late April with intense competition between factory drivers, international racing champions and amateurs each contesting for Pro-Pro, Pro-Am and Am-Am success.
Hosting its first race in 1961, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, formerly known as Mosport, has been the scene of great events in a variety of disciplines including World Challenge, IMSA, Indy car and Can-Am. The permanent, 10-turn facility undulates through the hills north of Toronto with fast sweeping corners and long straights that dare the brave. The track has some of the fastest lap times and highest top-speeds on the schedule.
In 2016, CTMP was the site of the first SprintX race with GMG Racing earning podium finishes in the No. 14 Porsche 911 GT3 R. Wright Motorsport swept the GT Sprint weekend with Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) earning GT wins on both Saturday and Sunday in the No. 58 911 GT3 R. Michael Schein (Glen Cove, New York) took his first GTA class wins – one each day – in the No. 16 Wright machine.
The Porsche 911 GT3 R – the German company’s official entry into all international GT3-spec series – makes up the customer entries for the GT-X and GTA-X classes. The world’s most produced racecar, the 911 GT3 Cup car, is the choice for the Porsche customer teams in GTC-X, while the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR campaigns in the GTS-X category.
At VIR, Wright Motorsport’s No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R shared by Schein and Jan Heylen (Tampa, Florida) won GT-X Round 1 and finished in third-place in Round 2 for the Pro-Am class. The No. 14 GMG 911 GT3 R of Porsche factory driver Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and James Sofronas (Villa Park, California) was third on Saturday and finished in second-place at Sunday’s Round 2. The No. 90 Autometrics Porsche 911 GT3 Cup took the top-step of the Am-Am podium in both races at VIR in the GTC-X class with drivers Joe Toussaint (Houston, Texas) and Cory Friedman (Charleston, South Carolina). In the GTS-X races, Adam Merzon (Greenwich, Connecticut) and Trent Hindman (Long Beach, New Jersey) won the Pro-Am class both days in the No. 017 Case-It Racing Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR while their sister car, the No. 018 of Cameron Cassels (Canada) and Philip Bloom (New York, New York), was second in Am-Am each day.
In the two-weeks since the Virginia races, the championship contenders have learned lessons from the weekend to prepare for the challenges of two-driver and ten-minute longer events that differentiate the SprintX from the traditional PWC Sprint Championship, which is in hiatus until June 23 – 25. Two teams have had substantial repairs to their Porsche 911 GT3 Rs. The No. 58 Wright Motorsports machine shared by factory drivers Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Long suffered heavy damage when a competitor struck it from behind under caution – the car was forced to retire while contending for the overall lead. Repairs have been made by Wright for the car to return to the Pro-Pro class at CTMP.
The No. 77 Calvert Dynamics 911 GT3 R of Preston Calvert (Potomac, Maryland) and Alec Udell (The Woodlands, Texas) was hit earlier in Round Two from behind by the same competitor that eliminated the No. 58. Udell was uninjured when the black and yellow machine was pushed off course and made hard contact with a tire barrier doing substantial damage to the left-rear of the chassis. The Pro-Am class car traveled to Phoenix Performance where it was repaired and is ready for the trip to Canada.
Practice for the SprintX at CTMP begins on Friday, May 19 following promoter testing on the 18th. Qualifying will be on Friday afternoon with Round 3 taking the green flag 1:45 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 20. The grid for Sunday’s Round 4 is set by fastest race lap in Saturday’s 60-minute race. That race will begin at 3:40 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 21.
GTS Stand Alone. Four Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MRs Entered for PWC Sprint Race.
While the GT categories contend for SprintX points alone, the GTS/GT4 class has the option of also racing in the pair of 50-minute, single-driver Sprint format races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. Four Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MRs have been entered for competition at CTMP with two racing in all four of the events eligible to the GTS/GT4 entrants.
As it did in the SprintX season-opening rounds at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR), Case-It Racing will field a pair of Cayman GT4 Clubsport MRs in both Championships at CTMP. For Rounds 2 and 3 of SprintX GTS-X, the No. 017 will again be shared by Adam Merzon (Greenwich, Connecticut) and Trent Hindman (Long Beach, New Jersey) in the Pro-Am category. The pairing won its class in both SprintX races at VIR. Merzon will drive the car in the Sprint races alone; he finished a best third-place in Race 1 at VIR. The sister 018 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR will see Cameron Cassels (Canada) and Philip Bloom (New York, New York) racing in SprintX. They finished in second-place, Am-Am class, at VIR for both races. Bloom will solo the car in the 50-minute Sprint races.
Flying Lizard Motorsports, a longtime veteran of the Porsche brand, will focus solely on the Sprint Championship races at CTMP. The No. 3 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR will have quick Spaniard Rodrigo Baptista behind the wheel with Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Nate Stacy in the No. 14. The two cars are easily recognized by the traditional Lizard livery, the Baptista in the orange, Stacy in the neon-green.
Porsche Entries at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
Pirelli World Challenge SprintX Championship.
Total Car Count: Eleven (11) Porsche entries will be competing in the four rounds of the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Nine (9) cars will run in Rounds 4 and 5 of the SprintX Championship, two of which will also compete alongside two non-SprintX Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MRs in the Sprint Championships GTS class, Rounds 5 and 6.
GT-X Class – Pro/Pro – One (1) Porsche 911 GT3 R.
No. 58 Wright Motorsports
Jörg Bergmeister (Germany)/ Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California)
GT-X Class – Pro/Am – Three (3) Porsche 911 GT3 R.
No. 14 GMG Racing
Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium)/ James Sofronas (Villa Park, California)
No. 16 Wright Motorsports
Michael Schein (Glen Cove, New York)/ Jan Heylen (Tampa, Florida)
No. 77 Calvert Dynamics
Preston Calvert (Potomac, Maryland)/ Alec Udell (The Woodlands, Texas)
GTC-X Class – Am/Am – One (1) Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
No. 90 Autometrics Motorsports
Joe Toussaint (Houston, Texas)/ Cory Friedman (Charleston, South Carolina)
GTS-X Class – Pro/Am – One (1) Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.
No. 017 Case-It Racing
Adam Merzon (Greenwich, Connecticut)/ Trent Hindman (Long Beach, New Jersey)
GTS-X Class – Am/Am – One (1) Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.
No. 018 Case-It Racing
Cameron Cassels (Canada)/ Philip Bloom (New York, New York)
GTS Class – Four (4) Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.
No. 3 Flying Lizard Motorsports
Rodrigo Baptista (Spain)
No. 14 Flying Lizard Motorsports
Nate Stacy (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
No. 017 Case-It Racing
Adam Merzon (Greenwich, Connecticut)
No. 018 Case-It Racing
Cameron Cassels (Canada)
Pirelli World Challenge – SprintX and GTS
Event: Victoria Day Speedfest Weekend, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
Dateline: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Date: Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21
Track Length: 2.458-miles, 10-turn
Race Duration: Two, 60-minute races
Class: GT-X (Porsche 911 GT3 R) GTA-X (Porsche 911 GT3 R) GTS-X (Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR) GTS (Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR)
Round: SprintX. Rounds 3 and 4 of 10 GTS. Rounds 5 and 6 of 18
Next Round: PWC at Lime Rock, Lime Rock Park, Lime Rock, Connecticut, May 26-27, 2017