Dore Chaponick Jr. and Brett Sandberg were happy to travel north of the border for rounds 7 and 8 of the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge. After a first day of promoter test-day practice at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, north of Bowmanville, Ontario, both drivers were expecting great results in Canada.
On Friday morning, Sandberg was second fastest in the only practice session before qualifying. Chaponick, from Miami, Florida, scored the ninth-fastest time in the qualifying session, and Sandberg from Allendale, New Jersey, qualified eighth.
For race 1, both drivers took a great start. During the race, Sandberg made the show! He passed six race-winning contenders and had one of his best races of his Pirelli World Challenge career. At the end, Sandberg finished second, only a few seconds behind race winner Lawson Aschenbach. That result marked Sandberg’s fourth podium finish of the season so far. Thanks to his fastest lap in race 1, which is also a new race-lap record, he captured the pole position for race 2.
“Overall, we were really happy with our KTM X-Bow car,” Sandberg said. “We struggled early here, as we suffered on straight-line speed. But we improved our pace throughout the weekend, and we worked hard on our race craft. The GTS class is quite evenly matched with the Camaro, Aston Martin and the Mustang fast on the long straight. Then our cars work well through the tighter corners. We lose a large margin on the back straight; we need to make up the difference in corners 1 through 5. It’s hard, but we can do it. We make it up in different places with the other GTS cars. The consistency of setting up the car has paid off for us this year.”
Chaponick was upbeat before the start and had a good first half of the race, but was involved in a racing incident that forced him to park his No. 12 damaged KTM on the side of the road on lap 30 of 36. He finished 14th.
In race 2, Sandberg was looking for his second win of the season, but the gods of racing were not on his side last Sunday. From an exciting standing start, Saturday’s Round 7 winner, Aschenbach, and Sandberg made contact in turn 1, which sent both cars spiraling back through the field with damage. Aschenbach and Sandberg both pitted for repairs, going laps down. That was a true disappointment for Sandberg, who was second in the 2016 championship points at the time. The ANSA Motorsports crew did a great job and was able to fix the No. 13 KTM, so Sandberg could regain the race and score precious championship points with his 11th-place finish in race 2.
Chaponick had his best race of the season so far in round 8 at CTMP. After a great start from the fourth row of the grid, 19-year-old Chaponick was able to pass cars and take advantage of some racing situations. He had a fast car at CTMP with an almost perfect set,up and was able to fight and pass some of the most serious GTS championship contenders and position himself all the way to third place, ten laps before the end. In the final laps, Chaponick was not able to keep his anticipated podium-finish position and lost three spots in a last-turn incident that cost him a well-deserved top-five. Chaponick finished 7th in race 2.
The Canadian event showed once again that the Reiter Engineering KTM X-Bow GT4 is one of the most competitive race cars in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS championship and that the KTM should be competitive in the upcoming racing events.
Watch the enhanced race coverage of Round 8 from CTMP on CBS Sports Network June 2 at 8 p.m. EDT. The next two rounds of the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge GTS championship will be held at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, during the Memorial Day weekend, May 27-29.
Follow ANSA Motorsports on Facebook.com/ansamotorsports and Twitter @AnsaMotorsports. Visit www.ansamotorsports.com. and on Instagram @AnsaMotorsports .