Compass’ Canadians flock to Florida, and win

March 4, 2019

Compass’ Canadians flock to Florida, and win

March 4, 2019

There’s something nice for resident Canadians who seek warmth from winter in Florida. Lately, one Canadian team and one of its Canadian drivers have gone to Florida and won in the process.

Toronto-based Compass Racing has a pair of Florida wins to defend at the second IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge race in the 2019 season.

Karl Thomson’s team dominated the 2019 season opener at Daytona, as Paul Holton and Kuno Wittmer brought the No. 75 McLaren 570S GT4 to the win from pole. They even overcame an in-race penalty assessed for a jumped restart.

CANADIAN DRIVER JOINS CANADIAN TEAM
Paul Holton and Kuno Wittmer. Photo: Michelin North America

Wittmer’s shift to Compass occurred at the start of 2018. The past GT Le Mans class champion discovered a new opportunity with his countryman’s team, and raced an Audi RS3 LMS TCR car during the 2018 season.

At Sebring, he and co-driver Rodrigo Sales scored their first victory together. And to start 2019, he’s back winning again with his new co-driver.

This year provides Wittmer a chance to return to racing with Michelin as he did during his GTLM days with the SRT Viper factory effort. Wittmer has also just been named a McLaren factory driver for 2019.

HOLTON’S RAPID RISE
No. 75 Compass Racing McLaren 570S GT4. Photo: Michelin North America

Holton, who balances out the Canadian pairing nicely as a resident Floridian, has been integral in the team’s expanding relationship with McLaren.

A Tallahassee native, Holton has developed as a sports car driver over the last five years with Compass Racing. He’s won a wealth of pole positions, and he’s also won a class championship with Thomson before in another series. In 2019, he and Wittmer have laid the groundwork for success after their Daytona win in GS.

Roughly a year ago, McLaren named Holton a new factory driver. This means Holton has played a key role in testing and development of several of its GT offerings. The team’s new McLaren 720S GT3 car will come online in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition starting at Mid-Ohio. Holton and Matt Plumb will share the car.

But for now, the driving pair will head down to Florida, warm up, and hope to keep their on-track hot streak alive. They’ll have to fend off another Canadian team – Motorsports In Action – which fought back to a podium finish at Daytona with third place. Corey Fergus and Canadian Jesse Lazare share that No. 69 McLaren.

The IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 takes place Friday, March 15 at Sebring. This two-hour race streams live at 12:05 p.m. ET on Friday on IMSA.TV, with IMSA Radio commentary.

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