Dimeo, Wolfe, Price Double Up In Second Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Tc, Tca, Tcb Race
Michael DiMeo (Touring Car), Jason Wolfe (Touring Car A) and Brian Price (Touring Car B-Spec) all repeated their Friday wins in the second race of the three-race weekend for the Pirelli World Challenge Championships at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Round 3 of the TC/TCA/TCB season.
None of the three started from pole position this race, though, which made their victories today all the more interesting.
DiMeo, of Toronto in the No. 71 LiUNA Honda Civic Si for Compass 360 Racing, started second behind Gary Kwok, of Markham, Ontario in the No. 88 M&S Quality Produce Honda Civic Si. Kwok had the pole position by virtue of his fastest lap in Round 2.
But on Lap 3, DiMeo made the move on Kwok for the lead into Turn 1. He was able to methodically expand the margin from there over the course of the 23-lap race. At one point it was more than 5.4 seconds, but DiMeo held on to win by 3.862 seconds over Kwok. The win is DiMeo's third in as many races this season, and third of his Pirelli World Challenge career.
"I think special would be the word in winning three straight races in my first three series starts, because there's so much going on pre-season to get everything ready, to get all the sponsorship support," said DiMeo. "This past Thursday at CTMP was the first time in the rain for me, Barber was the first time I was in the car. I'm learning a lot everyday. It feels awesome. I hope we can continue to be this consistent throughout the rest of the season so we can continue to build the point lead."
Gary's brother Tom Kwok, in the No. 63 M&S Quality Produce Honda Civic Si and DiMeo's teammate, Compass 360 Racing team principal Karl Thomson, of Toronto, in the No. 72 CTF/Racing4Research/HPD Honda Civic Si finished third and fourth once again.
The top four in TC mirrored the top four on Friday, making it a Canadian P1-4 sweep for the second straight day.
Adam Poland, of Mt. Vernon, Texas, finished fifth in the No. 11 Eastex Motorsports/Poland Construction Mazda MX-5. Due to mechanicals, neither Jason Saini, of Chicago, in the No. 28 OMP/Motovicity Mazda MX-5 nor Jon Miller, of Tustin, Calif. in the No. 68 Titan Motorsports/Loudbasstard/BeTheMatch.org Honda Civic Si, was able to start Round 3. Saini is hopeful of racing in Sunday's Round 4, while Miller is withdrawn for the rest of the weekend.
In TCA, Shea Holbrook, of Groveland, Fla., in the No. 67 TRUECar/Lucas Oil/Radium Honda Civic Si, had the pole position after her fastest lap in Round 2. But Wolfe, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio in the No. 36 Wolfe Trucking Kia Forte Koup, made it through on Lap 2 in what netted him the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race award.
Wolfe held off a three-way challenge from Holbrook, Ernie Francis Jr. and Jason Cherry the rest of the way for his second career win. Holbrook tried a move on Wolfe into Turn 1 on the final lap, but it backfired. With momentum, Francis Jr., of Dania, Fla. was able to move past her into second in the No. 98 Breathless Performance Mazda MX-5.
Holbrook secured the final podium position over Cherry, of Gambrills, Md. in the No. 13 Autism Society of America/Avpro/Purposeful Architecture Mazda MX-5. Russell Smith, of Buford, Ga., was fifth in the No. 38 Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koup for the second day in a row.
TCB was a bit more chaotic. Tyler Palmer, of San Diego, Calif., set the fastest lap in Round 2 in the No. 37 MINI of Charleston Racing/MINIUSA.com Mini Cooper, so that car had the pole position set for Round 3.
The difference was, Palmer wouldn't be driving and instead handed off to Nick Lougee, of Minneapolis, Minn., in his first Pirelli World Challenge race. Lougee was due to start ahead of Nathan Stacy, Nick Wittmer, Jason Fichter and Round 2 winner Brian Price.
Wittmer, of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec, was unable to make the start in the No. 00 Shriners Hospitals for Children FIAT 500. He, along with Chris Capaldi, of Imlay City, Mich. in the No. 31 Wolverine Bronze/Capaldi Racing Ford Fiesta and Andrei Kisel, of North Vancouver, B.C. in the No. 57 Racing.ca/LaptopScreen.com Mini Cooper, also failed to start Round 3 after retirements in Round 2. That left the field at just eight cars for the start.
On Lap 1, Stacy, of Owassa, Okla. in the No. 14 TSG/Ford Racing Ford Fiesta spun out at Turn 9, and Paul Holton, of Tallahassee, Fla. in the No. 65 Radium/TRUECar/Lucas Oil Honda Fit had an apparent flat tire which took them both out of the equation.
As Lougee fell back, Price, of Middletown, Va., who started fifth in the No. 51 Unlimited Racing/RP Performance Honda Fit made a dynamic start from fifth on the grid to go to the lead by the end of the first lap with several moves over the course of the lap. Price's efforts earned him the Cadillac CTS-V Move of the Race award, and overall, the gains secured him the Sunoco Hard Charger Award.
There were two other big movers. Jason Fichter, of Jupiter, Fla., gained three spots on the start in the No. 7 Surf Fire & Security Mini Cooper to take home the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start Award. Fichter made it to second and Jim Cleveland, of Brisbane, Australia in the No. 78 Downunder Motorsports Mini Cooper, made it to third, in what was one of his best races.
Stacy recovered from his Lap 1 spin and Lougee also entered the podium battle behind Price. On Lap 17, Stacy passed Cleveland for fourth, while on Lap 18, Lougee passed Fichter for second and Stacy was just behind in the battle for third.
By Lap 21, Fichter was able to make it back around Lougee for third, and shortly thereafter Stacy made it past Lougee for the final podium position.
Price won from Fichter by 3.988 seconds. The trio of Fichter, Stacy and Lougee were separated by only 0.661 of a second, and Cleveland in fifth posted a career best finish, and first ever Pirelli World Challenge top-five.
On winning his first three races in Pirelli World Challenge, Price commented "it's honestly unbelievable. I've been watching the Pirelli World Challenge the past few years. Seeing the different classes growing. I wanted to run World Challenge. I went to St. Petersburg a couple of years ago and went to watch all the of the classes. And I said if I only do this racing I would do it in a heartbeat. But I just couldn't afford TC racing, I don't have the backing. I found my Honda Fit earlier this year, and I said this is the time to do it. And here we are. The Fit is a real all around car."
DiMeo and Price continue in the lead, unofficially, in the TC and TCB class points standings, and Wolfe's second win in a row should net him the TCA points lead over Holbrook at the end of Round 3.
Round 4 of the season, and Round 3 of the weekend, will commence on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. ET. DiMeo, Cherry and Stacy posted the fastest race laps in Round 3, so will have the pole positions for Round 4.
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario - Results from Saturday's 23 lap 56.557 mile Pirelli World Challenge Championship TC/TCA/TCB RND 3 race, part of the Victoria Day Weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, with finishing position, class, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out (if any).
1. TC, (2), Michael DiMeo(R), Toronto, Ontario, Honda Civic Si, 23.
2. TC, (1), Gary Kwok, Markham, Ontario, Honda Civic Si, 23, -3.862.
3. TC, (3), Tom Kwok, Markham, Ontario, Honda Civic Si, 23, -13.007.
4. TC, (4), Karl Thomson(R), Toronto, Ontario, Honda Civic Si, 23, -21.129.
5. TC, (5), Adam Poland(R), Mt. Vernon, Texas, Mazda MX-5, 22, -1 lap.
6. TC, (7), Jason Saini, Chicago, Ill., Mazda MX-5, 0, DNS.
1. TCA, (3), Jason Wolfe(R), Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Kia Forte Koup, 23.
2. TCA, (2), Ernie Francis,Jr, Dania, Fla., MAZDA MX-5, 23, -.377.
3. TCA, (1), Shea Holbrook, Groveland, Fla., Honda Civic Si, 23, -.989.
4. TCA, (4), Jason Cherry(R), Gambrills, Md., Mazda MX-5, 23, -1.637.
5. TCA, (5), Russell Smith, Buford, Ga., Kia Forte Koup, 23, -31.695.
6. TCA, (6), Robby Foley(R), Randolph, N.J., Mazda RX-8, 14, Mech.
1. TCB, (5), Brian Price(R), Middleton, Va., Honda Fit, 21.
2. TCB, (4), Jason Fichter(R), Jupiter, Fla., Mini Cooper, 21, -3.988.
3. TCB, (2), Nathan Stacy(R), Owassa, Okla., Ford Fiesta, 21, -4.291.
4. TCB, (1), Nick Lougee, Minneapolis, Minn., MINI Cooper, 21, -4.649.
5. TCB, (8), Jim Cleveland, Brisbane Australia, , Mini Cooper, 21, -14.973.
6. TCB, (7), George Calfo, Atlanta, Ga., MINI Cooper, 20, -26.063.
7. TCB, (6), Paul Holton(R), Tallahassee, Fla., Honda Fit, 20, -1:35.726.
8. TCB, (3), Nick Wittmer, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec, Fiat 500, 0, Crash.
9. TCB, (9), PJ Groenke, Toronto, Canada, Honda Fit, 0, Mech.
Time of race: 40 minutes, 17.322 seconds.
Average speed: 84.227 mph
Margin of victory: 3.862 Seconds (TC), 0.377 Seconds (TCA), 3.988 Seconds (TCB)
Lap leaders: Laps 1-2, #88 Gary Kwok; laps 3-23, #71 Michael DiMeo(R) (TC); Laps 1-2, #67 Shea Holbrook; laps 3-23, #36 Jason Wolfe(R) (TCA); Laps 1-21, #51 Brian Price(R) (TCB)
Fastest race lap: #71 Michael DiMeo(R), 1:32.561 (95.638 mph) (TC), #13 Jason Cherry(R), 1:35.445 (92.748 mph) (TCA), #14 Nathan Stacy (R), 1:45.208 (84.141 mph) (TCB)
Fastest qualifier: #88 Gary Kwok, 1:31.692 (96.545 mph) (TC), #67 Shea Holbrook, 1:35.579 (92.618 mph) (TCA), #37 Nick Lougee (Tyler Palmer set time), 1:44.607 (84.625 mph) (TCB)