Canadian Drivers and Teams in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Eager to Race North of the Border This Weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Thursday, July 4, 2019

This weekend marks the halfway point of the season for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and there’s a particular group in the paddock that could not be more thrilled – the Canadians.

The series makes its annual trip north of the border to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for a two-hour battle in Bowmanville, Ontario on Saturday, July 6 at 1:55 p.m. ET. The race can be streamed live, flag-to-flag on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary.

Canadians continue to flock to the Pilot Challenge each year, with a handful of drivers and teams representing their home country this weekend. From Tsawwassen to Montreal, here are some thoughts from the Canadians participating at CTMP this weekend.

Scott Hargrove (Tsawwassen, British Columbia), No. 13 AWA Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport

“Although CTMP is far from home, it feels like a home race. Although busy, it’s been a treat to drive both GT3 and GT4 cars this year and this weekend will be no exception. Pfaff Motorsport and AWA have been doing a fantastic job to put well-prepared Porsches on the grid and hopefully we can capitalize on that in front of the Canadian fans. With both cars being full Canadian efforts in terms of team members and driver lineups, it adds even more to the atmosphere of the event.”

Marco Cirone (Toronto, Ontario), No. 81 Mark Motors Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR

“It doesn’t get any better than racing at your home track. Remo (Ruscitti) and I will definitely make sure the Mark Motors Audi will be at the top of the field. We both know this track inside and out and after the unfortunate events that occurred in the last race (a late-race spin at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course), we will want to seek redemption for sure. Look out for the Mark Motors Audi this weekend.”

Karl Thomson (Toronto, Ontario), Compass Racing Team Owner

“Racing at our home track is always a real treat. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is truly one of the most challenging on the IMSA schedule and requires both commitment and finesse from drivers and crew alike. We’re looking forward to running both our GTD and GS-class McLarens this weekend; Paul Holton and Matt Plumb will helm our No. 76 720S GT3 in the WeatherTech Sprint Cup, whilst Kuno Wittmer will help us welcome British driver Paul Rees to the Michelin Pilot Challenge in our No. 75 570S GT4. We’ve got a lot of friends, family and sponsors attending the event and are optimistic for good results in both races.”

Mark Wilkins (Mulmur, Ontario), No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR

“CTMP is a very intense circuit that requires complete focus and a great deal of respect. It’s fast with plenty of high-speed blind corners and elevation changes. It’s one of those old school tracks that doesn’t leave any room for error but one that rewards precise smooth driving. If you can get a good rhythm going the fast laps tend to click off and it’s all smiles. 

I’ve raced many different types of cars around CTMP. Formula Fords, Formula 2000, Star Mazda, Daytona Prototype and other production cars. I love the track and it’s a great one to have in my backyard. I had a chance to run the Veloster N around CTMP last fall and it was one of the most fun days I’ve ever had. It was an open lapping day and we surprised a lot of people with how quick the car was. I’m stoked; let’s go racing.”

Eric Kerub (Montreal, Quebec), Motorsports In Action Team Owner

“I think for me and the team, the CTMP race has the most meaning since we are one of a few Canadian teams in IMSA. This year, however, it’s even more special since IMSA and I are sharing a 50th anniversary. My 50th birthday happens to be on the exact same day as our race (July 6) so I’m hoping to celebrate both in style. For sure we have the team and the drivers to win, I mean, Jesse won his first IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama – Platinum Class in 2014 at the age of 17 with a field of 27 cars at CTMP. Of course, I’d relish a win but as long as we remain in the hunt for the championship I will be extremely happy.”

Jesse Lazare (Montreal, Quebec), No. 69 Motorsport In Action McLaren GT4

“I’m extremely excited to race at my home track in front of such amazing Canadian fans. It feels really good that a series like IMSA comes to Canada and puts on a great show. I’m expecting a very good finish as MIA’s No. 69 McLaren is always very strong on this track and I’ll push to the absolute limit to please my fellow Canadian fans.” 

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