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Race Report Round 5 MCO Calabogie September 1-2nd - TQLA President Chris Haley

HOT was the main word for much of the weekend, especially the two travel days there and back to London.  Jim and Richard arrived at the track on Thursday and arranged for parking in the tightly packed paddock with Mike, Aldo and Bob arriving on Friday.  Aldo started his weekend well with a flat tire on the trailer on the way there and it didn’t get much better as the weekend progressed.

Saturday was mostly clear and warm with a nice breeze for much of it so you could get fried and not really notice it!!!  The schedule for the weekend was setup with practice and qualifying on Saturday and all 3 races on Sunday.  This was done to accommodate the 1 hr GT Challenge race on Saturday.  I did hear that there were a total of 264 entries for the weekend as many of the Quebec drivers were on hand for the event.  The F-Libre/F-4 race had 18 entries in it to start.  Practice and qualifying were held under bright sunshine with Jim posting the fastest F4 time followed by Mike, Richard and Aldo.  Bob decided not to participate in practice and qualifying, electing to start at the back of the grid for Race 1 on Sunday.  Unfortunately Aldo’s car went onto 3 cylinders during practice, was later found to have no compression on one cylinder and that was him done for the weekend.

Race 1 on Sunday saw everyone scrambling off into turn 1 with Jim right up among the Sports Racers and Bob making his way quickly up through the back of the field.  On the 7th lap Jim did not come around due to an engine failure so that was his racing for the weekend as well but he did turn the fastest lap of the weekend in F4 with a 2:08.433.  Mike, Richard and Bob were each having fights with Fords or slower sports racers but Richard was having some issues with high exhaust temps so he slowed and only completed 8 of the 10 laps.  Bob worked his way up through the field to finish 5th overall and 1st in F4 with Mike 6th overall and 2nd in F4.

Saturday evening there was a great BBQ put on by MCO and once we had mowed down there we went off to visit with the new F-Libre Club who were also having an evening feast put on by Nigel Mortimer and his race group.  That turned out to be a very enjoyable evening as we met up with some old F4 people we hadn’t seen in years and a group of F-Libre people who run mostly in Quebec and Calabogie.  Many thanks to Nigel for the invitation and to his team for hosting the evening.

Race 2 on Sunday started with 14 F-Libre cars but only including 3 F-4’s.  Bob was starting 5th and made one of his usual quick starts heading into turn 1 alongside the 2nd place sports racers.  Not wanting to get run over he backed out and let him go and then as the lap went on got passed by the other two quick sports racers and settled back into 4th place.  Richard was still having some running problems so he came in and retired at the end of the first lap leaving Bob and Mike as the only remaining F-4 cars.  Bob had a good run with a sports racer for a while but eventually he got by and Bob moved back to 5th overall.  Mike was involved with a group of Fords, Formula Mazda’s and 2000 cars for most of the race, eventually finishing 10th overall and 2nd in F4.  This race was suppose to have been shortened to 15 minutes but halfway through the race I guess they decided to keep it at 20 minutes which really confused all the crew guys at the wall who were working on the plan that it was 15 min.  Ah well.........

Race 3 saw 13 cars line up for the start with only 2 F-4’s as Richard was not able to sort out his running problem to his satisfaction.  This race was definitely shortened to 15 minutes and it was a “Mosport 15 minutes” as we were back off the track in 15 minutes, not getting the checkered at 15 min.  When the cars rolled out onto the track, Mike’s wouldn’t start but after some work by Craig and a small fire, they got the car started and out onto the track but they were a half a lap behind.  Again Bob charged off at the start up in amongst the Sports racers but was not able to stay there long as once they got going, they just ran away.  About 4 laps into the race a F-Renault spun coming onto the front straight and ended up right along the side of the track next to the corner exit line.  This brought out a full course yellow but much to the credit of the organizers, they got it cleaned up very quickly and only had a lap and a half under the pace car.  This did allow Mike to make up his lost time and when the green flag was dropped again with 2 laps to go he was able to make up 4 positions on those last two laps.  When the checker was waved, Bob was 1st overall in F-4, 4th overall and Mike was 2nd in F-4, 10th overall.

All in all it was a fun weekend for most, great weather and considering the number of entries and very well run event by MCO.

The next race is at Mosport Sept 15-16/12 so we hope to see everyone there.






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