World Challenge Round 6 Report Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
The sun was out on today's 55-degree morning when the combined TC/TCA/TCB 36-car field took to the track. When the lights went out for the standing start, pole sitter Fergus, in the No. 00 USLED/Axis Roofing/AERO/RSS/Motul, Motorsports Promotions, Porsche Cayman, got the jump on the TC field as it entered turn one. Behind Fergus, Ernie Francis Jr. from Davie, Fla. driving No. 98 Breathless Racing/Time4Learning Mazda MX-5 and Adam Poland from Mount Vernon, Texas., in the No. 33 Edge Addicts/Majestic Pet, EASTEX Motorsports, Mazda MX-5 went side-by-side for second with Francis coming out on top.
Down the Mario Andretti Straight, Nathan Stacy from Owesso, OK. driving the No. 14 3R Racing/Stacy Racing, Volvo C30 got a great run moving by Poland for third. At the end of lap one the TC order was Fergus, Francis, Stacy, Poland and the 03 of Cory Friedman of Charleston, SC. in the Mac Papers/Hastings Fiberglass, Autometrics Motorsports, Porsche Cayman in fifth.
In TCA, pole sitter Elivan Goulart from Shelton, CT. in his No. 23 Tech Sport Racing, Mazda RX-8 had to start from pit lane due to a mechanical issue. He took to the track after the start but retired on lap 1. Jason Wolfe from Mount Vernon, Ohio in his No. 36 Wolfe Trucking, Kinetic Motorsports, Kia Forte Koup took the TCA lead followed by the No. 71 of Paul Holton, of Tallahassee, Fla., in the Children's Tumor Foundation/Honda Performance Development/Racing4Research.org, Compass360 Racing, Honda Civic Si, followed by the No. 4 of Timothy A Mincey Sr. from Port St Lucie, Fla. in the Godspeed Project Suspension, Mincey Racing, Honda Civic Si, over the No. 5 of Merjech driving his NDP Motorsports, Honda Civic and the No. 72 of Emilee Tominovich from Clarksville, Md. in the Children's Tumor Foundation/Honda Performance Development/Racing4Research.org, Compass360 Racing, Honda Civic Si in fifth.
In TCB, Round 5 winner Schwartz got the jump over Glenn Nixon, of Mission, B.C. in the No. 58 Racing.ca/LaptopScreen.com/Nixon Prosports, MINI Cooper, followed by the No. 59 of Wei Lu from Richmond, BC. driving the Racing.ca/Nixon Prosports/LaptopScreen.com/Miniusa.com, MINI Cooper, followed by the No. 30 driven by Travis W. Washay from Milford, CT. driving the INDIAN SUMMER RACING, MINI Cooper and the No. 57 of Andrei Kisel of North Vancouver, BC. in his Racing.ca/LaptopScreen.com, MINI Cooper.
Fergus wasted no time pulling out a gap of almost three seconds over Francis by lap two. Stacy made a move inside Francis in turn one to take over second immediately pulling a gap on Francis and setting fast lap time in the process and cutting the gap to Fergus in half.
By lap three the TCA leader Wolfe had built more than a three-second lead over second place Holton while Schwartz and Nixon opened a gap over the rest of the TCB field. By Lap 5 it was Fergus followed by Stacy, Francis, and Poland.
By lap six the TC leaders had caught the back of the TCB field allowing Stacy to close up on Fergus with Francis and Poland coming up quickly from behind. Stacy got over the curb in 5B and Francis was able to get through, but as they went down the Andretti Straightaway, Stacy was able to retake second. Second though fourth in TC were nose to tail as they came onto the front straight with a half second covering them. The three-way-battle allowed leader Fergus to once again build a lead of more than three seconds.
Lap four saw Merjech make an aggressive pass in turn 10 to move into third, dropping Mincey to fifth in TCA. On the following lap second place Holton dropped the hammer laying down fast lap to close on leader Wolfe as the two pulled away from the pack.
On Lap six the TC leaders came through the TCB field giving Nixon the opportunity to close up on the leader Schwartz, with the No. 66 of Randy Smith from Coldwater, ON. in the IDLife/Race2IDLife.com, Shea Racing, Honda Fit moving from sixth to third.
On Lap 10, TC leader Fergus had rebuilt his lead to 4.2 seconds as the battle for second continued. Behind Stacy, Francis, and Poland continued bumper to bumper until they got to the back straight where Stacy could use his speed to build a gap. Stacy was doing all he could to hold off the MX-5s and on lap 12 Fergus and Francis were able to get by in turn 1 as the group began lap 13. Stacy had used everything his Volvo had to hold off the two Mazdas and would fade to 10th at the finish.
In TCA, the race was heating up with Holton closing up on leader Wolfe while in TCB Schwartz worked to build his gap over Nixon. By lap 13 Holton on the tail of Wolfe. Behind them, the No. 49 of Patrick Seguin from Ottawa, ON. in the helpkevinproject.com/buynutrimind.com, Branden Peterson/Team Ost Racing, Honda Civic Si was able to get by the No. 72 of Tominovich to take fourth.
In TC, Francis and Poland hooked up and started to run down the leader closing the gap to Fergus. By Lap 16 they had cut the gap to under a half a second. On the same lap in TCA Mincey spun dropping him down the order.
As the TCA leaders began lap 17 Wolfe and Holton contacted and Wolfe ended up into the turn one tire wall. The result was a full-course yellow and Holton receiving a penalty for initiating the contact. The penalty moved Merjech to the lead followed by Seguin, Tominovich, and the No. 38 of Samantha Tan from Gormley ON. in the Kinetic Motorsports, Kia Forte Koup, followed by the No. 34 of Kris Wright, of Pittsburgh, Pa., in the Wright Automotive Group, Kinetic Motorsports, Kia Forte Koup in fifth.
The race resumed on lap 20 setting up a great battle between Fergus and Poland. Fergus got the jump with Poland, Francis and Ellsworth all nose to tail in pursuit. Francis tried to get under Poland in turn 1, but could not get it done. Out of turn 8, the Mazdas were glued to the bumper of Fergus followed by Ellsworth and now the No. 13 of Jason Cherry, Gambrills, MD., Skullcandy Team Nissan, Nissan Altima in fifth.
Over the next two laps Francis and Poland battled allowing Francis to build a small gap over the two Mazdas. At the white flag it remained Fergus, Poland, Francis, Ellsworth and Cherry. As the group headed into the final corner Fergus led while Francis Jr. and Poland went side by side and drag raced to the stripe with Francis getting by for second. Francis Jr. earned the Cadillac ATS-V Move of the Race for the pass for second.
At the checkered flag it was Fergus for the win over Francis, Poland, Ellsworth, and Cherry. In TCA, Wright was able to get by Tan to take fourth with the final finishing order being Merjech, Seguin, Tominovich, Wright and Tan. In TCB the top five was reset when the No. 30 of Washay went off in turn 9 on lap 19. The final order was Schwartz taking the win over Nixon, Smith, the No. 7 of Jason Fichter from Jupiter, Fla., Turn 7 Motorsports/Donate Life, Breathless Racing, MINI Cooper and the No. 51 of Mac Korince of Ridgeway, ON. in the INDIAN SUMMER RACING, MINI Cooper in fifth.
Of note, Wolfe was awarded the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start gaining five positions when the lights went out. Lu was awarded the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race award. Seguin was awarded the VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger Award for gaining 10 positions overall during the race. Merjech was awarded the Stop Tech Brake Late Finish First Award.
"Nixon challenged me a few times, he was better in turn 3," said Schwartz. "My car had a push there and I couldn’t get on the gas. We raced each other clean and I’m happy to be in victory land, it's good for points. It’s good because the tides can turn at any time. The car ran flawless and I’m proud of the product Chevrolet has put together with the help of John Heinricy the legend that developed the Corvette. It's my first time racing here and it’s a fantastic track, I understand why everyone talks about turn 2 it was a lot of fun and I appreciate the Canadian fans."
"I am very happy for the team, it’s a great opportunity," said Merjech. "It's a new track for me and the team, they worked very hard for the win."
"It was my first pole in the series and we were very happy about that," said Fergus. "I had a great standing start and was able to develop a lead and hold the gap. The Mazdas came up and I was glad to see the yellow come out it gave me the chance to cool my tires and I was able to turn my fastest lap after the caution and it was good to see them battling behind me. The team gave me an amazing car and I’d like to keep the streak going."
1. TC, (1), Corey Fergus(R), Columbus, Ohio, Porsche Cayman, 24.
2. TC, (3), Ernie Francis_Jr, Dania, Fla., MAZDA MX-5, 24, -1.128.
3. TC, (2), Adam Poland, Mt. Vernon, Texas, Mazda MX-5, 24, -1.186.
4. TC, (7), Cody Ellsworth, Jupiter, Fla., Porsche Cayman, 24, -1.243.
5. TC, (8), Jason Cherry, Gambrills, Md., Nissan Altima, 24, -7.612.
6. TC, (9), John Weisberg, Webster, N.Y., Porsche Cayman, 24, -11.843.
7. TC, (6), Cory Friedman, Charleston, S.C., Porsche Cayman, 24, -13.070.
8. TC, (10), Austin Snader, Sealy, Texas, Mazda MX-5, 24, -15.428.
9. TC, (14), Alex Welch, Englewood, Colo., Volkswagon Jetta GLI, 24, -16.773.
10. TC, (5), Nathan Stacy, Owesso, Okla., Volvo C30, 24, -51.178.
11. TC, (12), Andrew Rains(R), Auburn, Ala., Volkswagon Golf, 22, Mech.
12. TC, (4), Mikey Taylor(R), Birmingham, Ala., Volkswagon Jetta GLI, 22, -2 lap.
13. TC, (11), Dinah Weisberg(R), Webster, N.Y., Mazda MX-5, 22, -2 lap.
14. TC, (13), Randy Hale, Haddam, Conn., Mazda MX-5, 16, Mech.
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