Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada — Toby Grahovec, Elivan Goulart and Will Rodgers won on Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in the TC, TCA and TCB classes, respectively, in Round 4 at the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Canada presented by Audi. The 40-minute race was held in overcast 59-degree weather conditions.
With the red lights switching off for the standing start, Grahovec, in the No. 26 BMW M235iR for Classic BMW Motorsports, launched from third and into the lead through turn one, passing Friday’s Round 3 winner Nick Wittmer, in the No. 91 Honda Ste-Rose Racing Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, and pole-sitter Adam Poland, in the No. 33 Doghouse Performance Edge Addicts Mazda MX-5, in what was about to become a race-long battle for the lead.
In TCA, Goulart, in the No. 70, S.A.C. Racing/SCDA1.com Mazda MX-5 Cup, took the lead over pole sitter Joey Bickers, in the No. 49 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5 Cup. Goulart moved up from third to first, with Bickers in second and Eric Powell, in the No. 23 Tech Sport Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup, up to third from seventh, earning him the Optima Batteries Best Start Award.
In the TCB class, pole-sitting Will Rodgers in the No. 65 Hale Motorsports Solvang Brewing Co/Kelly Benefit Strategies/Foundation Fighting Blindness Mazda 2, moved into the lead with Henry Morse, in the No. 14 Hale Motorsports MorseGPS powered by CalAmp/MazdaSpeed/FreeM USA/Corksport Performance/Rolling Hills Prep/Hale Motorsports/Bell/Leatt Prep Mazda 2, in second and Tom O’Gorman, in the No. 94 Black Armor Helmets TNIA Honda Fit, making moves to third after starting in fifth.
Grahovec led lap one in TC ahead of Wittmer, who passed Poland for second, while Dennis Hanratty, in the No. 4 KRUGSPEED Racing Beta Tools/OG Racing/Winmax Brakes Lotus Exige, followed in fourth position, and Patrick Gallagher, driving the No. 54 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5, in fifth.
A caution then flew for contact between Randy Hale, in the No. 17 Hale Motorsports TransAero Mazda MX-5, and Brian Lift, in the No. 99 Outlier/Scion Group Call One Porsche Cayman.
On the restart on lap six, Gallagher moved around Hanratty for fourth, while the Lotus dropped back after going off course. Up front, in TC, Wittmer was challenging Grahovec for the race lead down the long Mario Andretti back stretch while the MX-5 duo of Poland and Gallagher followed closely, as those four cars would feature in a race-long battle for the lead.
In TCA, Goulart continued to lead over Bickers and Powell, while Rodgers continued out front in the TCB class over Morse and O’Gorman.
As the lead group TC battled, Poland and Gallagher passed Wittmer who ran wide exiting turn seven, quickly recovering back to second as Grahovec led for the time being.
On lap eight, Wittmer powered past the BMW down the back stretch for the race lead, while Jason Fichter, in the No.7 Shea Racing Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, joined the battle for third, temporarily making it three wide with Gallagher and Poland. Poland then moved ahead of Gallagher and Fichter for third.
The halfway point of the race saw Wittmer build his lead slightly, while Poland passed Grahovec for second temporarily while Gallagher followed. That trio then closed on Wittmer for the race lead while trading spots and ducking in and out of slower traffic in an incredible race at CTMP.
On lap 11, TCB leaders Rodgers and Morse had been able to pull a gap on O’Gorman while running nose-to-tail while Goulart continued to lead in TCA.
Up front in TC, Grahovec then executed a daring move for the lead in turn five, passing Wittmer and bringing Poland and Gallagher with him.
Gallagher then closed on Grahovec for the TC lead, while Wittmer had passed Poland for third. Gallagher then made a move stick exiting turn two, on the outside, to take the race lead, earning him the Motortrendondemand.com Clean Pass of the Race.
With the clock ticking down, the leaders carved through TCA traffic, at one point going three wide through traffic down the Mario Andretti Straightaway as Wittmer led a charging Grahovec, Gallagher and Poland with seven minutes to go on the timed, 40-minute race clock.
Grahovec then pulled passed Wittmer on the back straight on lap 19 to take the race lead, as Wittmer’s car began to lose grip in the final moments of the race. A full course caution followed as Morse, went off into the tire wall at the exit of turn three. With only minutes remaining in the race, Race Control issued the checkered flag with Grahovec ahead of Wittmer, Gallagher and Poland. Grahovec would also score the StopTech Brake Late Finish First Award, as well as the Cadillac ATS Best Move of the Race Award for his pass for the lead.
In TCA, Goulart took the win ahead of Bickers and Powell, who scored the VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger for advancing 10 positions during the race.
In TCB, Rodgers scored the win ahead of O’Gorman and P.J. Groenke, in the No. 25 Tech Sport Racing Verax.ca/Tundra/Clorox Pool & Spa/Cabano’s Comfort Food/Clairhaven, Ltd/Martinrea Intl Inc/Pelto Agri Investments/Ro-Ro Property Management Corp./Warp Speed Computers Inc. Chevrolet Sonic.
For Grahovec, it’s his second win of the season and he closes out the weekend continuing to lead in the TC Driver’s Championship, while Goulart, completes the weekend sweep with his fourth career win –Goulart continues to lead in the TCA Driver’s Championship. For Rodgers, it’s his second win in four starts thus far in 2016.
“That was one of the most fun races I have ever had,” said Grahovec. “I couldn’t tell you how many times we all (top four) passed each other. I was insane. I got an awesome start and it looked like (Nick) Wittmer spun his tires a little bit too. I got around (Adam) Poland on the outside of turn one. It was back and forth between the four of us the entire race. It was pretty crazy going through lapped traffic and back markers. We were all going flat out and our lap times with incredible. It was like (one minute) 30.5 every lap. I couldn’t believe it. We were side-by-side in turns two, fourth and five. That just doesn’t happen too often. This place is awesome to race and the fans are great here too. Our BMW is quite a bit heavier than the Mazdas so we have set up our passing for the back straightaway. I was looking in my mirror the entire because everyone was just on top of each other. It was just crazy race and I’m so glad to win it here.”
“The start was exciting because I really couldn’t see the (starting) light,” said Goulart. “I stood up on the edge of my seat a little. As soon as I did that, the light went out and we were off. I said, ‘I gotta go!’ and I hit the start just right. (Joey) Bickers put the pressure on but I was able to get a clean run on the straightaway. We made some changes to the car overnight and the Mazda was fantastic today. I could put the car wherever I wanted. The SAC crew did a great job. Later in the race, I lucked out a little in traffic and Joey got stuck in traffic. So I opened up the gap at that point.”
“I started out with a good start. I got ahead right away. Henry (Morse) came up on me a little bit in the middle of the race,” said Rodgers. “Unfortunately, he did have the little wreck in turn three late in the race. I’m glad he is okay. It’s tough to see a teammate do that, let alone another competitor. I think he realized it was close to the last lap and he was trying to make up some ground. This TC guys were putting on a spectacular race and they were flying by us in the TCB division. I don’t know why I have won the second races of the weekends at COTA and here at CTMP. Maybe it is the drive to win. Maybe you don’t get the race you want in the first one and you push harder in the second one.”
Results are provisional until posted final. Watch the enhanced race coverage of Round 4 from CTMP on CBS Sports Network June 2 at 7pm Eastern. TC, TCA, TCB drivers next head to Lime Rock Park for Rounds 5 and 6, May 27 and 28th.
Bowmanville ON – Results from Saturday, May 21, 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Championship TC/TCA/TCB Race Round 4, part of the Canadian Grand Prix Presented by Audi. Drivers listed by position, place in class, class, name, hometown, car, laps:
1. 1, TC, Toby Grahovec, Little Elm TX, BMW M235iR, 21
2. 2, TC, Nick Wittmer, Montreal Canada, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 21
3. 3, TC, Patrick Gallagher, Thornville OH, Mazda MX-5, 21
4. 4, TC, Adam Poland, Ft. Worth TX, Mazda MX-5, 21
5. 5, TC, Jason Fichter, Jupiter FL, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 21
6. 6, TC, John A. Weisberg, , Mazda MX-5, 21
7. 7, TC, Kevin Krauss, Fishers IN, Porsche Cayman, 21
8. 8, TC, Anthony Geraci, Glen Head NY, Mazda MX-5, 21
9. 9, TC, Shea Holbrook, Orlando FL, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 21
10. 10, TC, Dennis Hanratty, Mechanicsburg PA, Lotus Exige, 21
11. 1, TCA, Elivan Goulart, Shelton CT, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 21
12. 2, TCA, Joey Bickers, Moorpark CA, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 21
13. 11, TC, Daniel Moen, Rindge NH, Mazda MX-5, 21
14. 3, TCA, Eric Powell, Orlando FL, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 21
15. 4, TCA, Forrest Landy/Forrest Landy, Great Falls VA, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 20
16. 5, TCA, Kris Wright, Pittsburgh PA, Kia Forte Koup, 20
17. 6, TCA, Samantha Tan, Gormley Canada, Honda Civic SI, 20
18. 7, TCA, Alain Lauziere, Vaudreuil-Dorion QC, MINI Cooper, 20
19. 12, TC, Dinah Weisberg, Webster NY, Mazda MX-5, 20
20. 13, TC, Gino Carini, Milwaukee WI, BMW, 20
21. 8, TCA, Jay Salinsky, Miami FL, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 20
22. 9, TCA, Kevin Anderson, Huntington NY, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 20
23. 14, TC, Brian Lift/Brian Lift, Crestwood IL, Porsche Cayman, 19
24. 1, TCB, Will Rodgers, Murrieta CA, Mazda 2, 19
25. 2, TCB, Tom O’Gorman, Mason OH, Honda Fit, 19
26. 3, TCB, P.J. Groenke, Richmond Hill ON, Chevrolet Sonic, 19
27. 4, TCB, Ted Hough, Farmington MN, Mazda 2, 19
28. 5, TCB, Patrick Wilmot, Roswell GA, MINI Cooper, 19
29. 6, TCB, Michael Johnson, Austin TX, Chevrolet Sonic, 19
30. 7, TCB, Jasper Drengler, Shawano WI, Honda Fit, 19
31. 8, TCB, James Wilson, Kyle TX, Mazda 2, 19
32. 9, TCB, Henry Morse, Redondo Beach CA, Mazda 2, 17
33. 10, TCA, Gary Kwok/Gary Kwok, Markham ON, Honda Civic SI, 16
34. 11, TCA, Matthew Fassnacht, Madison NJ, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 10
35. 15, TC, Randy Hale, Haddam CT, Mazda MX-5, 0