Pirelli World Challenge, SprintX, Round 2: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park – Race 1:
Ben Barnicoat was hit into retirement in the opening race of the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX format at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park near Toronto in Canada.
The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, who along with K-PAX Racing team-mate Alvaro Parente, struggled to qualify for the opening race in ninth position the previous day.
As the sole driver who took part in the qualifying session, Parente began Saturday’s one-hour race, maintaining his ninth position in the opening laps while challenging on the tail of the #31 Ferrari 488 GT3 machine.
But Parente began to struggle for pace later in to his stint, with the McLaren 650 S GT3 continuing to be hindered by a lack of grip.
Parente’s earlier two and a half second advantage to the cars behind, was soon becoming erased as the Portuguese racer dropped into the clutches of the #8 Cadillac ATS-V.R which made its way up to 10th place.
With Parente making way for Barnicoat at the pit stop with 32 minutes remaining, Barnicoat exited directly behind the fellow K-PAX Racing McLaren of Jonny Kane.
But with only two laps in the bag, Barnicoat’s race would end at the final corner. While lapping the Pro/Am #017 Porsche Cayman up the inside of the corner, the #31 Ferrari 488 made contact with the right rear of Barnicoat’s McLaren.
The contact tipped Barnicoat into the Cayman, further damaging the car, and across the track into the outside tyre barrier. The damage ruled the car out on the spot, resulting in a safety car intermission.
With the grid for the weekend’s second race based upon the race one finishing order, Barnicoat and Parente face a challenge to make their way through the field from the back of the grid.
“Both the initial and the barrier contact severely damaged the rear of the car,” Barnicoat said. “It gives us poor track position for tomorrow, but the weather forecast is looking wet so hopefully we can make the most of that even though I haven’t driven the car in the wet.
“Our pace still isn’t what we need unfortunately with a lack of grip, but we’ll have to make the most of what we have and hope for some fortune and safety cars tomorrow.”
The weekend's second race was abandoned due to inclement weather, with standing water on track deemed unsafe for the SprintX field. The race will be re-scheduled for a further date.
|Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (3.956km / 2.458 miles): Race 1 results|
|Pos||Driver||Team||Car||Time / Gap|
|1||Michael Cooper / Jordan Taylor||Cadillac Racing||Cadillac ATS-V.R||1h 00m 37.942s|
|2||Patrick Long / Joerg Bergmeister||Wright Motorsports||Porsche 911 GT3 R||+46.659s|
|3||Johnny O’Connell / Ricky Taylor||Cadillac Racing||Cadillac ATS-V.R||+51.140s|
|4||Adderly Fong / Vincent Abril||Absolute Racing||Bentley Continental GT3||+56.906s|
|5||Pierre Kaffer / Spencer Pumpelly||Magnus Racing||Audi RS8 LMS||+57.233s|
|6||Ryan Dalziel / Daniel Morad||CRP Racing||Mercedes-AMG GT3||+58.425s|
|7||Jonny Kane / Bryan Sellers||K-PAX Racing||McLaren 650 S GT3||+1m 06.891s|
|8||Laurens Vanthoor / James Sofronas||GMG Racing||Porsche 911 GT3 R||+1m 07.736s|
|9||Peter Kox / Mark Wilkins||RealTime Racing||Acura NSX GT3||+1m 08.192s|
|10||Jan Heylen / Michael Schein||Wright Motorsports||Porsche 911 GT3 R||+1m 08.572s|
Practice: P16, 1m 17.707s, +1.507s. Qualifying (Race 1 grid): P9, 1m 16.567s, +0.818s. Race 1: DNF from P9.
Photo: K-PAX Racing. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation images are available from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf