Dwight L. Moody once opined that “character is what you are in the dark.”
The box score tells us who won the Grand Prix of Mosport, but the most memorable aspect of Mosport may well have been the abundant display of character.
Racing at a track where the risks are high and the margins for error illusory, many drivers and teams stepped up to face technical, personal, and professional challenges. Here are just a few of the examples of character at Mosport:
Alex Job Racing saw one of its GTC Porsches involved in a major crash in practice earlier in the week. No one would have thought twice if they had loaded the wrecked car on the transporter and withdrawn, but they worked tirelessly to rebuild a car and finish on the podium in GTC.
Risi Competizione Ferrari ran 1-2 in Friday practice only to see its world turn upside down on Saturday. Pierre Kaffer crashed the #61 car heavily exiting turn one. The car was too heavily damaged to repair here. Kaffer was done for the weekend. Then came word that #62 driver Jaime Melo was out with a stomach virus. Kaffer’s co-driver Toni Vilander was moved to the #62 with Gimmi Bruni. Bruni won the pole, but the car was moved to the back of the grid due to the late driver change. Vilander then turned in a scorching drive to within one second of the lead as the team finished a superb second.
Flying Lizard Porsche took a car not ideally suited to the high speed turns and elevation changes of Mosport and with the series championship at risk brought it from eighth in practice to second in qualifying, then saw drivers Joerg Bergmeister and Pat Long withstand heavy pressure to claim the victory.
Highcroft Racing is down on horsepower and carrying more weight than its rivals, but played the performance cards they were dealt. An on the limit run by Simon Pagenaud kept them on the lead lap by a car length lap after lap in the hope of a caution flag and a shot at the win.
Muscle Milk Team CytoSport Porsche came back from Greg Pickett’s major crash at Mid Ohio and a heartbreaking last lap pass at Road America to arrive at Mosport and deliver a flawless performance. They led every practice session, won the pole and led every lap of the race. The team’s commitment, the leadership of Pickett and Klaus Graf, and the support from Porsche including mega-subs Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard was a case study in character.