Dimeo, Wolfe, Price Take Round 2 Tc, Tca, Tcb Wins At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Michael DiMeo (Touring Car), Jason Wolfe (Touring Car A) and Brian Price (Touring Car B-Spec) turned pole positions into race wins at Round 2 for the Pirelli World Challenge Championships at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, part of the Victoria Day SpeedFest Weekend three-race event.
Both DiMeo and Price have won their second event in as many races this season, after also winning Round 1 at Barber Motorsports Park three weeks ago. For Wolfe, it is his first career Pirelli World Challenge victory.
The 40-minute race kicked off from a standing start but was unable to complete the first lap before the yellow flag flew, when Andrei Kisel, of North Vancouver, B.C. in the No. 57 Racing.ca/LaptopScreen.com Mini Cooper made contact at pit in with the sand-filled barriers. That triggered an immediate yellow flag and a further red flag, nearly 20 minutes in length, for track repairs.
When the race resumed, Jon Miller, of Tustin, Calif., led the field in the No. 68 Titan Motorsports/Loudbasstard/BeTheMatch.org Honda Civic Si after taking the lead from DiMeo, of Toronto, in the No. 71 LiUNA Honda Civic Si on the opening lap. But DiMeo retook the lead on the restart lap, earning him the Cadillac CTS-V Move of the Race Award.
Poor luck struck Miller from there as a mechanical issue affected him on Lap 4, pulling him for the second straight race. DiMeo led the rest of the way ultimately beating Gary Kwok by 12.082 seconds.
"It feels great. It's kind of hard to put into words how it feels to win a World Challenge race here at this track, first time out. It's awesome," said DiMeo. "Today the race was just about being consistent, making a gap, and maintaining it, and finding lines that I can use for tomorrow if I need to find some more time for tomorrow and Sunday. We have a long weekend ahead."
The battle behind DiMeo was for second, with Gary Kwok, of Markham, Ontario, recovering from a poor standing start where he fell outside the overall top 10 in the No. 88 M&S Quality Produce Honda Civic Si. But by Lap 6, after passing his brother Tom and Adam Poland, of Mt. Vernon, Texas in the No. 11 Eastex Motorsports/Poland Construction Mazda MX-5, Gary Kwok was up to second.
Tom Kwok, also of Markham, Ontario, in the No. 63 M&S Quality Produce Honda Civic Si also made it past Poland and was into third place. Poland and fellow Mazda runner Jason Saini, of Chicago, in the No. 28 OMP/Motovicity Mazda MX-5, had issues and finished the race several laps down.
The Kwoks held off a hard charging Karl Thomson, of Toronto, in the No. 72 CTF/Racing4Research.org/HPD Honda Civic Si, for the two remaining podium positions. Just 1.894 seconds covered second through fourth in the Touring Car class.
In TCA, Wolfe, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio in the No. 36 Wolfe Trucking Kia Forte Koup, posted a flag-to-flag victory from pole position. But despite the win, the pole and leading both practice sessions, he did not have the race easy.
Wolfe stretched his lead by several seconds in the early stages of the race but eventually came back to the field. Second-placed Shea Holbrook, of Groveland, Fla., gave Wolfe fits in the No. 67 TRUECar/Lucas Oil/Radium Honda Civic Si, as she made several passing attempts, most notably on Lap 15 entering Turn 1, but was unable to get by the Kia. Still, with second, she'll hold the unofficial points lead heading into Saturday's Round 3.
"I'm ecstatic right now. So happy. The guys did a great job with the car," said Wolfe. "I received awesome help from Mark Wilkins (driver of the No. 38 Kia Optima in GTS, Toronto based with a lot of experience at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park), he broke the track down for me. Shea and Ernie were definitely pushing me there at the end, it was all I could do to hold onto it."
In third was Ernie Francis Jr., of Dania, Fla., in the No. 98 Breathless Performance Mazda MX-5. Francis Jr., 16, had past experience in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS and TCB classes, but was making his first TCA start this afternoon.
The top three in TCA were close, with Wolfe winning over Holbrook by just 0.590 of a second, with Francis Jr. only 0.610 of a second behind Holbrook.
Francis Jr.'s teammate and Barber Round 1 runner-up, rookie Jason Cherry of Gambrills, Md., finished fourth in the No. 13 Autism Society of America/Avpro/Purposeful Architecture Mazda MX-5. In fifth was Wolfe's teammate, Russell Smith, of Buford, Ga. in the No. 38 Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koup.
Price, of Middletown, Va., had things his way in TCB for the second straight race in the No. 51 Unlimited Racing/RP Performance Honda Fit. He took a flag-to-flag win by 3.016 seconds but like DiMeo in TC, the battle was intense behind him for second.
"It feels good to come to a new facility, driving this awesome Honda Fit. The car handled flawlessly, braking, handling, power, the car was a well-oiled machine the whole race," said Price. "The first couple of laps on the start, and then the restart my car right off from the get go was a little bit better through the corners than Stacy's car, and I was able to get that little bit of gap and then I just set sail."
Nathan Stacy, Nick Wittmer(a special entry racing for charity) and the late arriving Tyler Palmer had a say in the battle for second. On Lap 12, Stacy, of Owassa, Okla. in the No. 14 TSG/Ford Racing Ford Fiesta and Wittmer, of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec, in the No. 00 Shriners Hospitals for Children FIAT 500, were side-by-side for second with Palmer, of San Diego, Calif. in the No. 37 MINI of Charleston Racing/MINIUSA.com Mini Cooper up to fourth and just behind them.
Palmer had only arrived in Toronto Friday morning and qualified 10th. But he put in a comeback drive from there and ultimately made it around both Wittmer and Stacy for second, earning the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for gaining eight positions during the race.
Wittmer, a former Pirelli World Challenge race winner, held off Stacy for the final podium position. Fifth in TCB was Jason Fichter, of Jupiter, Fla., in the No. 7 Surf Fire & Security Mini Cooper.
Wittmer, driving for the Shriners Hospitals for Children - Canada in Montreal which is near and dear to the Wittmer family (Nick's younger brother received care at the hospital). "My brother is well today because of the hospital," said Wittmer. Wittmer was also awarded the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race Award for his pass on Nathan Stacy for second.
Of note, Jim Cleveland, in the No. 78 Mini Mayhem/Downunder Performance Mini Cooper was awarded the Optima Battery Best Standing Start Award having gained four positions off of the start.
After Round 2, in TC DiMeo leads with 299, Saini has 191, Poland 171, and Thomson 161. In TCA, Holbrook leads with 263, Wolfe with 246, Cherry 196, and Smith with 165. In TCB, Price leads with 293, Palmer with 221, Stacy 180, and Holton with 152. Results are final as posted.
Race 2 of the weekend, Round 3 of the season, goes green at 10:35 a.m. ET on Saturday.
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario - Results from Friday's 24 lap 59.016 mile Pirelli World Challenge Championship TC/TCA/TCB RND 2 race, part of the Victoria Day Weekend - CTMP at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, with finishing position, class, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out (if any).
1. TC, (1), Michael DiMeo(R), Toronto, Ontario, Honda Civic Si, 24.
2. TC, (4), Gary Kwok, Markham, Ontario, Honda Civic Si, 24, -12.082.
3. TC, (3), Tom Kwok, Markham, Ontario, Honda Civic Si, 24, -13.365.
4. TC, (6), Karl Thomson(R), Toronto, Ontario, Honda Civic Si, 24, -13.976.
5. TC, (5), Jason Saini, Chicago, Ill., Mazda MX-5, 23, -1 lap.
6. TC, (7), Adam Poland(R), Mt. Vernon, Texas, Mazda MX-5, 19, Mech.
7. TC, (2), Jon Miller, North Tustin, Calif., Honda Civic SI, 5, Mech.
Time of race: 40 minutes, 13.889 seconds.
Average speed: 88.014 mph
Margin of victory: 12.082 Seconds
Lap leaders: Laps 1-4, #68 Jon Miller; laps 5-24, #71 Michael DiMeo(R)
Fastest race lap: #88 Gary Kwok, 1:31.692 (96.545 mph)
Fastest qualifier: #71 Michael DiMeo(R), 1:32.788 (95.404 mph)
1. TCA, (1), Jason Wolfe(R), Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Kia Forte Koup, 24.
2. TCA, (3), Shea Holbrook, Groveland, Fla., Honda Civic Si, 24, -.590.
3. TCA, (2), Ernie Francis,Jr, Dania, Fla., MAZDA MX-5, 24, -1.200.
4. TCA, (5), Jason Cherry(R), Gambrills, Md., Mazda MX-5, 24, -13.329.
5. TCA, (4), Russell Smith, Buford, Ga., Kia Forte Koup, 24, -14.358.
6. TCA, (6), Robby Foley(R), Randolph, N.J., Mazda RX-8, 24, -36.644.
Time of race: 41 minutes, 10.707 seconds.
Average speed: 85.990 mph
Margin of victory: .590 Seconds
Lap leaders: Laps 1-24, #36 Jason Wolfe(R)
Fastest race lap: #67 Shea Holbrook, 1:35.579 (92.618 mph)
Fastest qualifier: #36 Jason Wolfe(R), 1:35.900 (92.308 mph)
1. TCB, (1), Brian Price(R), Middleton, Va., Honda Fit, 22.
2. TCB, (10), Tyler Palmer, San Diego, Calif., Mini Cooper, 22, -3.016.
3. TCB, (5), Nick Wittmer, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec, Fiat 500, 22, -3.272.
4. TCB, (2), Nathan Stacy(R), Owassa, Okla., Ford Fiesta, 22, -3.475.
5. TCB, (7), Jason Fichter(R), Jupiter, Fla., Mini Cooper, 22, -19.086.
6. TCB, (6), Paul Holton(R), Tallahassee, Fla., Honda Fit, 22, -19.487.
7. TCB, (9), George Calfo, Atlanta, Ga., MINI Cooper, 22, -55.817.
8. TCB, (11), Jim Cleveland, Brisbane Australia, , Mini Cooper, 21, -1:09.450.
9. TCB, (3), PJ Groenke, Toronto, Canada, Honda Fit, 21, -1 lap.
10. TCB, (4), Andrei Kisel(R), N. Vancouver, British Columbia, Mini Cooper, 0, Crash.
11. TCB, (8), Chris Capaldi, Imlay City, Mich., Ford Fiesta, 0, Mech.
Time of race: 40 minutes, 53.639 seconds.
Average speed: 79.373 mph
Margin of victory: 3.016 Seconds
Lap leaders: Laps 1-22, #51 Brian Price(R)
Fastest race lap: #37 Tyler Palmer, 1:44.607 (84.625 mph)
Fastest qualifier: #51 Brian Price(R), 1:45.143 (84.194 mph)