TUSCC: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park preview
‘Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’ may not be the catchiest name in the motorsport world, nor may it be the most famous having only be used since 2012. However, under its original guise, Mosport Park, this Canadian circuit is jammed full of heritage.
Joining the Formula One World Championship in 1967, Mosport Park held eight points-scoring Grand Prix up until the arrival of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 1978 (the current home of the Canadian Grand Prix).
This weekend, the United SportsCar Championship makes its first visit north of the US border to take in a two-hour, 45-minute-long race for the Prototype, GTLM, and GTD classes.
The fast, undulating circuit is a favourite with drivers, with its 2.459-mile layout barely changing since the track’s inception in 1961. Like many of the recent high-speed circuit, Mosport’s dependency on aerodynamic grip is unlikely to play into the hands of the Porsche North America Racing crew.
The factory duo of Porsche 911 RSRs struggled to match the ultimate pace of the Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs at Watkins Glen last time out, though Nick Tandy and Richard Lietz very nearly wrestled their no. 911 entry onto the podium in upstate New York.
With the erstwhile championship-leading BMW Z4 of Andy Priaulx and Bill Auberlen struggling to 12th at ‘the Glen’, Tandy and Lietz are still well-placed in the championship battle, currently occupying fourth in the drivers’ standings, fifth in the teams’ standings, and helping Porsche to second in the manufacturer rankings.
Tandy and Lietz’s teammates, Michael Christensen and Patrick Long will once again line up in the no. 912 Porsche 911 RSR and will be looking to add to their victory at Sebring back in round two.
Christensen has shown impressive pace in his first season as a Porsche works driver, with his qualifying performances often giving the no. 912 crew an advantage over Tandy and Lietz, both of whom are learning many of the US tracks for the first time this season.
Team Falken Tire will also be looking for a good result as they continue to get on top of their 991 RSR, the only GTE-spec customer 911 in the United States. Regular drivers Wolf Henzler and Bryan Sellers will once again be behind the wheel.
In the GTD class, Total 911’s Supercup frontrunner, Ben Barker will once again be Stateside this weekend as he is called up in place of Michael Avenatti in the no. 81 Tully’s Coffee 911 GT America.
The 22-year-old Briton impressed on his debut in Detroit and subsequently returned to the fray for the Watkins Glen Six Hours. Barker will partner experienced Irish 911 ace, Damien Faulkner at Mosport.
Action gets underway today before qualifying for GTD and GTLM classes takes place on Saturday at 5:20pm and 5:40pm Eastern Time respectively. The 165-minute race roars away at 2:05pm on Sunday.