Rounds 4, 5, & 6 of the Pirelli World Challenge TC, TCA, and TCB Championship took place this past weekend (May 15-17) at the infamous Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, ON, CA.
I was a bit nervous heading into the weekend because I had not been to CTMP, formerly known as Mosport, in several years or had any track time since our last race the beginning of March. The schedule for the weekend had testing, practice, and qualifying all on Thursday, and then one race Friday-Sunday. This meant that I was going to have to get up to speed quick on Thursday in order to be competitive in the races.
The opening test session was cut pretty short due to several red flags; it was a quick reminder to how unforgiving Mosport can be. Even with little track time, my laps got quicker each session, and I qualified 8th for race one the next day. Race 1 was uneventful for the most part as I was continuing to relearn Mosport while staying out of trouble, as we still had two more races that weekend. I ended up finishing 7th and setting the 6th fastest lap time for the race the next day.
Race 2 was definitely more exciting, with a lot of close racing in all classes. I was able to pick up a couple positions on the start and settled into a good battle with a few other TCA cars that would keep us all busy for the majority of the race. The final laps of race 2 had me in fourth place battling for third. The car in front of me spun in turn 2, forcing me to slow to avoid him and allowing a couple cars behind me to get by. I ended up finishing the race in 6th but qualifying 4th for race 3 the following morning.
The Compass 360 Racing crew had given me a great car all weekend, so I was really looking forward to the final race
on Sunday morning. I had my usual pre-race jitters, but as we lined up waiting for the start lights to go out, I was focused and ready to go. The start did not go as planned due to a TC car stalling and causing me to go off track to avoid him. I dropped back 3 or 4 positions, but had my coach and crew reminding me to stay calm as it is a long race. I put my head down and focused on running fast, consistent laps. I had a good race with two other TCA Hondas, and by the end of the race I was on the podium with both of them! It was really exciting for me because it marked my first professional podium.
I can’t thank the entire Compass 360 Racing team enough for both their on and off track support. I have a great driver coach in sports car champion, Lawson Aschenbach, and he is part of the reason I was able to get quicker each time on track. I also need to thank my parents, and partners; Chesapeake Electrical Systems Inc., and the Jacobs Company Inc. It is always great to have NF Heroes from the Children’s Tumor Foundation at the track, and I definitely think having Julia at the track brought us good luck. I am incredibly lucky to be partnered with such a great organization.
Onto Road America in June!