by Tim Collier
With 5 races in the bag, the Champion Motorsports GT3 Sprint Series headed North to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (formerly Mosport Park), a multi-track motorsports facility located in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. It was one of the first permanent road racing circuits in Canada and has played host to various high-level motorsports events including the Canadian Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Mosport endurance race.
Both Pro and AM class drivers were equally fast in practice, and with 38 cars in qualifying, starting spots were incredibly important. In the AM class, Edward Nelson would grab the pole and the 8th overall starting spot. In Pro, Miguel Colon laid down a quick lap of 1:15.430, taking the overall pole position and clear track ahead at the start.
The field, led by Miguel Colon, enters the final turn for the green flag
At the start, Colon led a tight group around the first lap, and behind him Chris Brunnemer would move up to second, and Michael Parker in third. On Lap 8, Colon would be involved in an incident putting Brunnemer into the lead, Parker in second and Drew Lidkea in third place and DJ Alessandri up to fourth place after starting outside the top ten. Over the next 15 laps, Alessandri moved into second place and would take the lead on lap 37 when Brunnemer made his pit stop. After all the stops cycled thru, Alessandri’s stop would put him just ahead of Brunnemer by less than a second! The two would ride nose to tail for the final 8 laps, and at the checkered flag it would be Alessandri in first place by a mere 0.584 seconds over Brunnemer for the Pro class and overall win!
Behind them, Parker would take the final step on the Pro class podium, with Richard McClure in fourth and Brett Stephens only a second back at the flag.
DJ Alessandri (#01) leads Chris Brunnemer (#03) to the checkered flag and the overall win
For the AM class, there was plenty happening after the green flag fell, with pole sitter Nelson holding on to the lead and into 8th place overall, but behind him Shane Norton would catch and pass for the lead on Lap 4 and would begin to slowly pull away from Nelson for the majority of the race, slowly working past several Pro class drivers along the way. Behind them in third, Tyler Pinheiro would stay within sight of the front two until lap 24 when he would be involved in an off, and Ernesto Diaz would take advantage and move into third in class. During the round of pit stops, Diaz would pit early and make a successful undercut on Nelson, putting him into second place.
But at the finish, Norton would make a statement by not only winning the AM class, but also finishing on the overall podium!! The battle for second was won by Diaz, with Nelson filling his rear view mirror at the line. Nick Kuhn finished fourth in class, with Pierre Robitaille chasing him in fifth.
Am class driver Shane Norton takes the AM class win and third place overall
Next week, the haulers head Southwest to Elkhart Lake, Michigan and the famed, fast 4-mile circuit of Road America.