CTMP Notebook No. 2
CTMP Notebook No. 2
Last year’s race at CTMP marked a turning point for the Risi Competizione team. After a run of misfortune that saw the No. 62 Ferrari 458 Italia finish last in the hotly contested GTLM class at the Canadian track, drivers Pierre Kaffer and Giancarlo Fisichella found their groove. Fisichella won the pole for the next round at Indianpolis Motor Speedway, and the pair finished second. But that was only a prelude to consecutive victories at Road America and Virginia International Raceway for the Risi Ferrari.
So far in 2015, the red car has scored runner-up finishes at Sebring and Long Beach, and drivers Fisichella and Kaffer are ranked second in the driver point standings. Could the Ferrari’s elusive first victory of the season come at CTMP?
The TUDOR Championship cars were literally and figuratively tearing up the track at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Friday afternoon. The hot track temperatures combined with the torque of the TUDOR Championship cars to break up a section of turn 5B during the steamy afternoon practice session.
Team engineers estimate that the deteriorating track condition in that area cost approximately four tenths of second in lap time.
The highly efficient CTMP team had contractors lined up and ready to make the necessary repairs as soon as the last cars were finished on track last evening.
While TUDOR Championship class lap records may be in jeopardy during qualifying later today, the all-time CTMP track record appears to be safe for another year. Dindo Capello’s 1:04.094, set aboard an LMP1 class Audi R10 in 2008, is five seconds quicker than Friday’s best lap of 1:09.216 set by Ozz Negri in Michael Shank Racing’s P2 Ligier Honda.
Chris Baker, director of motorsport, Michelin North America believes that a current LMP1 hybrid like the Porsche 919 Hybrid that won the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans would be well under the one-minute barrier.
All eight entries in GTLM were under the qualifying record set last year by Kuno Wittmer in a Viper at 1:15.206.
Final Practice Report
Ozz Negri made it two straight, topping the timing sheet in the second and third practice sessions with Michael Shank Racing’s No. 60 Ligier Honda P2. In the third and final practice on Saturday morning, Negri turned a lap at 1:09.168, nearly half a second quicker than the No. 31 Corvette DP of Dane Cameron in P2.
Renger van der Zande was on top in Prototype Challenge ahead of Colin Braun (who completed only 13 laps) by .255 seconds. The GTLM field was separated by six tenths of a second, bracketed by Nick Tandy in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR at 1:14.429 and Joerg Bergmeister, whose No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR brought up the rear with a 1:15.056.
In addition to great hospitality and racing at an iconic circuit, a side benefit for the American-based teams racing at CTMP is the chance to stock up on snacks and chocolates not available at home. That was the scene on Friday evening when members of three different TUDOR Championship teams ran into each other on the snack aisle at a local Walmart.