KYLE MARCELLI OF BARRIE (LEFT) AND TOMY DRISSI WON THEIR CLASS AND WERE THIRD IN ALMS.
Other races from the weekend:
– Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf, who won the last American Le Mans Series race at Mosport, were winners again Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course when they survived (and that’s the word for it) several torrential downpours that brought out not one but two full-course cautions and eventually a red flag.
The Muscle Milk Aston Martin drivers kept their cool and their car on course while all sorts of others spun off the track, bringing out the yellows and the red. It was the team’s third victory of the 2011 season.
The big surprise – and the big story of the race – was in the Le Mans Challenge class where Barrie racer Kyle Marcelli and his teammate Tomy Drissi of Los Angeles became first-time winners in the class and finished third overall in the race.
Marcelli set a track record for the class at Mosport two weeks ago and looked certain to win when he was caught up in a mid-race accident that sidelined his ORECA FLM09 race car.
Said Marcelli this weekend: “I was tired of second, to be honest. "I won in the (European Le Mans Series) race at Imola a few weeks ago, then won the pole at Mosport and thought we had a car to win before an unfortunate incident put us out.
“Tomy did a good job in the first stint, then we got that first penalty and I was saying a few prayers for rain because we were a lap down. I have driven in these conditions although not in a prototype. I have driven here in the rain before so I knew a bit of what the conditions would be like.
“It was a good battle with (team owner) Jon (Field). It was a really good weekend for the team. Jon has a lot of family and friends here so it was important for him for the team to do well. I think he's pretty happy now."
Bryan Sellers of Braselton, Ga., and Wolf Henzler of Nuertingen, Germany, won the GT class (and finished sixth overall) in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Duncan Ende of Los Angeles, and Spencer Pumpelly of Mason Neck, Va., won the GTC class in a Porsche 911.
Canadians: Tony Burgess of Toronto finished 19th in a Lola P1 car; Ken Wilden of Oakville was 21st in a GT Jaguar; Chris Cumming of Vancouver was 26th in a GTC Porsche.
– The Mid-Ohio track wasn’t the only place it was raining at the weekend. The headline event at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race, was run in a rainstorm and the conditions were perfect for a veteran road racer like Robin Buck of Campbelleville.
Buck, who’s only running a limited schedule this season, captured the “Three Rivers” race Sunday ahead of favoured Andrew Ranger of Roxton Pond, Que., who’d won the three previous stock car races at this event but had to settle for second this time.
Scott Steckly of Milverton was third, Jeff Lapcevich of Grimsby was fourth and L.P. Dumoulin of Trois-Rivieres was fifth.
According to information filed by NASCAR's Shon Sbarra, rain was falling prior to the drop of the initial green flag and pole winner Ranger had to pit because of visibility problems. Dumoulin assumed the lead and held it until Buck made what would be the decisive move on Lap 6. From there, Buck only had to withstand two restarts and the wet conditions to hold on to victory in the No. 66 Quaker State/Durabody Dodge.
The second of two cautions came out on Lap 35 and set up a green-white-checker finish. Ranger had battled back through the field to be in position to challenge Buck on the final restart but Buck, whose career stretches back to a support race at the inaugural Molson Indy Toronto in 1986, held on for his second win of the season and his first in four tries at Three Rivers.
Jason White of Sun Peaks, B.C., was sixth, Derek White of Kahnawake, Que., seventh, John Farano of Toronto eighth, D.J. Kennington of St. Thomas was ninth and Dave Connelly of Arnprior tenth.
In the points standings, Steckly stretched his lead over Kennington to 47 points. Don Thomson Jr. of Hamilton holds down third place while J.R. Fitzpatrick of Cambridge is fourth with Kerry Micks of Mt. Albert fifth.
– Pole sitter Esteban Guerrieri led the Firestone Indy Lights Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres flag-to-flag, clinching his third victory of the season after holding off a series of late challenges. Gustavo Yacaman finished second while championship points leader Josef Newgarden was third.
Before Sunday's race, David Ostella of Maple, Ont., who finished seventh, met a group of up-and-coming go-karters, who'd raced earlier in the weekend, in an effort to encourage the young racers in their sport.
Ostella is a veteran karter who's had success as a racer in series such as the World Karting Association, Stars of Karting and the Sunoco Ron Fellows series.
- The big drag racing weekend at Grand Bend was deep-sixed by rain.The winners in the Pro Modified Racing Association, the Quick 32 Sportsman Series, and the Pro Bike & Sled Series will be decided during the "Thunder by the Beach" Labor Day weekend event at Grand Bend Sept. 2-4.
- Moving overseas now, Mattias Ekstrom went from pole position to winner's circle for hist first DTM victory of 2011 with a dominant performance at the Nurburgring.
Canadian Bruno Spenger was second and Mike Rockenfeller finished third. Spengler's lead in the championship is a slender seven points.
But we've been down this road before. Spengler has been a DTM star for what seems like ages but has yet to win the title.
David Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher were both penalized for bashing into each other but there didn't appear to be any animosity afterward as both suggested they were very sorry the incidents happened.