Wet track makes for interesting decisions on tire usage Sunday in TC Round 4

BOWMANVILLE, Ont., Canada – Wet track conditions made for an exciting and interesting scenario in Round 4 of the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car class Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park with youngsters Mason Filippi (TC), Tom O’Gorman (TCA) and Jake Pipal (TCB) winning their respective divisions.

Several of the top qualifiers in the TC division made the decision to go to Pirelli treaded rain tires before the start of the 40-minute sprint event at the legendary 2.458-mile, 10-turn road circuit northeast of Toronto including Round 3 winner and Round 4 pole winner Paul Holton.

However, the decision to stay on slick tires seemed to help those racers at the start of the event, as the track did not become completely wet until later in the TC event.

Filippi, the 19-year-old from Alamo, Calif., drove from his 13th starting position Sunday in the No. 12 Winding Road Racing BMW M235iR and took the lead in a battle with Cody Ellsworth in the No. 11 RacerInk Motorsports Porsche Cayman. However, Ellsworth retired from the event on lap 14 and Filippi expanded his margin to 25.904 seconds at the checkered flag in the 25-lap contest.

Placing second to Filippi was JT Coupal of Rochester, N.Y., in the No. 09 BERG Racing Audi RS3 LM Clubsport sedan followed by Tony Rivera of Oceanside, Calif., in the No. 34 Brass Monkey Racing Nissan 370Z, John Weisberg of Webster, N.Y., in the No. 5 BERG Racing Mazda MX-5 and Anthony Magagnoli of Dexter, Mich., in the No. 80 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M235iR.

“We ended up sitting in the pits and we saw everyone coming in trying to get their tires done,” said Filippi. “My coach went over to turn two and three to check out the corners and I had someone else check out the back side. It wasn’t raining too much so we decided to stay on slicks for this race and it ended up being a great decision. We were going at it for a while and ended up catching traffic – TC, TCB, and TCA – and we were all together and it seemed that whoever could get through the track faster would be able to pull ahead. (The rain) seemed to move around. It was very exciting on slicks.”

O’Gorman, 25, won last year’s TCB series championship and moved to TCA this year with Shea Racing and the new No. 94 Honda Civic Si. Starting from the TCA pole position, the Mason, Ohio driver grabbed the lead early and was able to extend his advantage throughout the 40-minute race.

Some incredible TCA racing was going on behind O’Gorman with three to four wide action on the CTMP back straight. Contending with the semi-wet track and passing-in-traffic were defending TCA champion Elivan Goulart of Shelton, Conn., in the No. 70 S.A. Racing Mazda MX-5, VIR double winner Matthew Fassnacht of Madison, N.J., Gary Kwok of Markham, Ont., Canada in the M&S Racing Honda Civic and Round 3 TCA winner Dean Copeland of Grasonville, Md., in the No. 97 Copeland Motorsports Mazda Global MX-5 Cup.

At the finish, it was O’Gorman with a close-to 30-second margin over Goulart, Fassnacht, Kwok and Copeland.

“A bunch of the Touring Cars switched to the rain tires at the last minute and it ended up being dry for 80-percent of the race so it wasn’t paying off for them,” said O’Gorman. “TCA and TC are close enough that they were holding us up through the corners so we had this ebb and flow of one of us getting by the Touring Car that was slow in the corners and then Elivan (Goulart) and Matt (Fassnacht) would catch up. We would get by cars and I finally got by long enough to clear them by a couple of seconds. After that it was just put my head down and clear my marks. Then it started raining and the front-wheel drive with the new Civic Si was awesome in those conditions and it likes the cool (weather) in general so the car was fantastic today.”

The TCB victory for Pipal was the second of the weekend at CTMP in the No. 6 Pipal Racing/Carbotech Brakes Honda Fit with a provisional 14-second lead over Canaan O’Connell of Chandler, Ariz., in the No. 24 Tech Sport Racing Chevrolet Sonic and local favorite P.J. Groenke of Richmond Hill, Ont., Canada, in the No. 25 Tech Sport Racing Chevrolet Sonic.

“The track was dry for about half the race and it ended up getting wet, so I ended up going off-line,” said Pipal. “Then it dried up again and we were all able to put some fast laps down and I was able to pull away. It was just a great race. I’ve never been here before. It’s probably one of my favorite tracks I’ve driven. The double-win (this weekend) is a dream come true.”

Touring Car racing from CTMP will premiere on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, May 31st at 10:00 p.m. EDT. Check your local listings for additional broadcasts and channel information. The PWC series now moves to popular Lime Rock Park for TC Rounds 5 and 6 at the end of this week (May 26-27).

Result of Round 4 in the Touring Car classes Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Results are provisional until posted Final.

Pos,PIC,Class,Name,Hometown,Car,Laps,Status,Race Time,Gap
1,1, TC,Mason FILIPPI,Alamo, CA,BMW M235iR,25,Running,41:00.207,
2,2, TC,Jason COUPAL,Rochester, NY,Audi RS 3 LMS Clubsport,25,Running,41:26.111,25.904
3,3, TC,Tony RIVERA,Oceanside, CA,Nissan 370Z,25,Running,41:51.589,51.382
4,4, TC,John WEISBERG,Webster, NY,Mazda MX-5,25,Running,41:52.201,51.994
5,5, TC,Anthony MAGAGNOLI,Dexter, MI,BMW M235iR,25,Running,42:30.746,1:30.539
6,6, TC,Nick WITTMER,Montreal, Quebec,BMW M235iR,25,Running,42:33.865,1:33.658
7,7, TC,Greg LIEFOOGHE,San Francisco, CA,BMW M235iR,25,Running,42:34.903,1:34.696
8,8, TC,Paul HOLTON,Orlando, FL,Audi RS 3 LMS Clubsport,24,Running,41:00.635,1 LAP
9,9, TC,Jeff RICCA,Milford, CT,Genesis Coupe,24,Running,41:08.140,1 LAP
10,10, TC,Toby GRAHOVEC,Celina, TX,BMW M235iR,24,Running,41:08.749,1 LAP
11,11, TC,Anthony GERACI,Glen Cove, NY,Audi RS3 LMS Clubsport,24,Running,41:33.208,1 LAP
12,1, A,Tom O’GORMAN,Mason, OH,Honda Civic Si,24,Running,41:38.947,1 LAP
13,12, TC,Justin RAPHAEL,Franklin Lakes, NJ,BMW M235iR,24,Running,41:46.916,1 LAP
14,13, TC,Rodrigo SALES,Sonoma, CA,BMW M235iR,24,Running,42:01.968,1 LAP
15,14, TC,Aristotle BALOGH,Palo Alto, CA,BMW M235iR,24,Running,42:02.155,1 LAP
16,2, A,Elivan GOULART,Shelton, CT,Mazda Gobal MX-5 Cup Car,24,Running,42:08.799,1 LAP
17,3, A,Matthew FASSNACHT,Madison, NJ,Mazda MX-5,24,Running,42:09.033,1 LAP
18,15, TC,Karl WITTMER,Montreal, Quebec,Honda Accord,24,Running,42:17.109,1 LAP
19,16, TC,Robert NIMKOFF,Newton, CT,BMW M235iR,24,Running,42:21.870,1 LAP
20,17, TC,Henry SCHMITT,San Francisco, CA,BMW M235iR,24,Running,42:21.879,1 LAP
21,18, TC,Dennis HANRATTY JR,Mechanicsburg, PA,Lotus Exige,24,Running,42:29.628,1 LAP
22,4, A,Gary KWOK,Markham, ON,Honda Civic,24,Running,42:31.795,1 LAP
23,19, TC,Samantha TAN,Gormley, ON,BMW M235iR,23,Running,41:08.105,2 LAPS
24,20, TC,Chris OHMACHT,Franklin Lakes, NJ,BMW M235iR,23,Running,41:08.995,2 LAPS
25,5, A,Dean COPELAND,Grasonville, MD,Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Car,23,Running,41:19.031,2 LAPS
26,21, TC,Chetan PURANIK,Belgaum, India,BMW M235iR,23,Running,41:51.502,2 LAPS
27,6, A,Eric POWELL,Orlando, FL,Mazda MX-5,23,Running,41:59.613,2 LAPS
28,7, A,Eric LAPORTE,Blainville, Quebec,Honda Civic Si,23,Running,41:59.999,2 LAPS
29,22, TC,Shea HOLBROOK,Fulshear, TX,Honda Accord,23,Running,42:17.591,2 LAPS
30,8, A,Daniel MOEN,Rindge, NH,Mazda MX-5,22,Running,41:13.085,3 LAPS
31,1, B,Jake PIPAL,Oakdale, CA,Honda Fit,22,Running,41:22.741,3 LAPS
32,2, B,Canaan O’CONNELL,Chandler, AZ,Chevrolet Sonic,22,Running,41:37.012,3 LAPS
33,3, B,P.J. GROENKE,Richmond Hill, ON,Chevrolet Sonic,22,Running,41:37.788,3 LAPS
34,4, B,Travis WASHAY,Milford, CT,MINI Cooper,22,Running,41:52.635,3 LAPS
35,5, B,Taylor HANDWERK,Jim Thorpe, PA,MINI Cooper,21,Running,41:06.583,4 LAPS
36,6, B,Jasper DRENGLER,Shawano, WI,Honda Fit,21,Running,41:18.451,4 LAPS
37,7, B,Ted SAHLEY,Cleveland, OH,Mazda 2,21,Running,41:18.834,4 LAPS
38,23, TC,Cody ELLSWORTH,Jupiter, FL,Porsche Cayman,14,Not Running,23:37.529,11 LAPS
39,8, B,Blake THOMPSON,Oak Creek, WI,Mazda 2,9,Not Running,24:31.567,16 LAPS
40,24, TC,Stefan SAJIC,Belgrade, Serbia,BMW M235iR,5,Not Running,12:13.042,20 LAPS
41,25, TC,John ALLEN,Denver, CO,Audi RS 3 LMS Clubsport,0,NC,,