Bowmanville, ON (July 28, 2019) – The series rolled in to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this past weekend for the 60th Anniversary of the BARC Touring Trophy Races, the penultimate weekend in the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship.
Zachary Vanier put everyone on notice by putting his car on pole and winning race 1 handily with a 13 second lead over the pack fighting for 2nd place. The icing on the cake was that this race was the prestigious Al Craighead Memorial Can-Am Cup – it’s one of the most coveted races of the year. It was an especially happy podium as Brian Graham made the presentation and as always, Al’s wife Denise Athill is with us as well.
Teammate Matt Gidman has taken his driving to another level, posting the 5th quickest time in qualifying. His race was made challenging from lap 1 when contact with another car caused him to spin, bending the left front wishbone and track rod in the process. He would do a great job soldiering on and bringing his car home in 13th place.
Sunday was hot and humid and race 2 was a very early start. Vanier had pole and wasted little time edging out the field as they had a ferocious battle for the next 7 spots behind. He would lead every lap with little drama and grab his 2nd victory of the weekend.
Matt Gidman had a brilliant race, starting 13th due to his difficult race Saturday, and make up 5 spots during the race to grab and impressive 8th place finish.
Race 3 was full of drama. There were several incidents on the opening lap, one ending Matt Gidman’s race early when he suffered termail damage to his right front suspension after contact with another car in corner 5. Shortly thereafter, a terrantial downpour completely flooded the track and forced the red flag to be displayed and the race stopped.
It took only an hour for the rains to pass through, the sun to come out and for the race to be resumed. Vanier showed his mastery on a wet but drying track and left the field behind, cruising to his 3rd win of the weekend and sweeping the event.
Next up is the popular Grand Prix de Trois Rivieres, where Vanier will be partnered up with fan favourite Bertrand Godin. Last year Godin grabbed an emotional win and Vanier, only 15 at the time, witnessed what a special place it is and will be satisfied with nothing less than a victory.
The event gets under way on Friday with practice, qualifying and race 1. There are 2 races on Saturday.