(Updated) Davies and Kazama Break Through in Canada for Maiden Victory

CWG Team MacMillan got their first victory as a factory operation with Rhys Davies and Tomo Kazama taking the victory at the Molson GT Gatineau.

Update: The exclusion of the overall winning car, driven by Rhys Davies and Tomo Kazama has been confirmed. Also being excluded is their team car driven by Markus Jacobson and Darren Older Jr. who finished the race in ninth overall. As a result, the Carson Speedworks pair of Joey Alliot and Jacques Malenfant have been declared the winner, with the GP Racing car of Paul Travesen and Shane Sparks and the Boutsen Ginion Corvette of Melanie Bourne and Marie Alberta Luisa now finishing within the top ten. This is Alliot and Malenfant’s first victory in the series since Carson Speedworks made their debut in the series at the Round of Brazil last year.

After surviving a early scare in spinning in tandem at the last turn with the BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari of James James Davies, the pair of former open-wheel aces would go to work undoing the damage in the latter two stints of the race. They would be a part of the pack of factory cars that would chase down the Carson Speedworks Corvette of Joey Alliot and Jacques who were trying to make the most of the alternate strategy. Leading the chasing group during both stints was the Solvalou Lamborghini of reigning World Champion Chris Winter and Morgan Le Fay. The factory Lamborghini did most of the heavy lifting to crawl back the gap to the Corvette, but both they and the factory Corvette would struggle with worn tires as they battled for the lead, opening the door for the pack behind to take advantage.

The MacMillan Ford were put in the catbird seat to take advantage of the battling duo after the performance of their pit crew during scheduled pit stops; they had jumped numerous cars in the order after a bulk of the chasing group all pitted at the same time, them included. With fifteen minutes remaining and the gap down to two seconds to Jacques Malenfant, Rhys Davies made his move on Morgan Le Fay to take second overall at the turn 3 hairpin before setting sights on Malenfant. A few laps later Davies would make the most of the opportunity his team gave him, and powered by Malenfant at the start of the ultra fast turn 11 chicane and would not look back. Jacques Malenfant was left to defend from the pack on the worst condition tires out of everyone and allowed Rhys Davies and Tomo Kazama to take their, and Ford’s, first victory in GT Super Series competition, pending the inquiry into the Ford’s legality. As a result, the results from the Molson GT Gatineau and the Round of The United States are currently seen as provisional.

If that inquiry does affect the placing of both CWG Team MacMillan entries, the main benefactors will be that Carson Speedworks Corvette of Malenfant and Alliot after they survived the late charge by the chasing pack. The Carson Speedworks team put them on the same alternate strategy that BMS Scuderia Italia was unsuccessful in using last year, pushing the undercut to the absolute limit of the fuel window to get as much clean running on fresh tires as possible. It gave Alliot and Malenfant inital advantages of twenty seconds in each of their stints once the pit stops cycled through, but their advantages would start to dwindle once the competition got their tires up to temperature, before being caught a few laps before they were set to pit again. After Davies passed Malenfant, he was left to defend from Morgan Le Fay and Ravenwest driver Andrej Kremnicky for second place overall.

The Slovakian would dispatch of Le Fay in short order as she started to struggle on worn tires, leaving the former AutoReject World Series two laps to catch and pass Malenfant. And while Kremnicky would make the pass happen at turn 4 on what would be the final lap, he left the door open for Malenfant to take second back at the last turn coming to the chequered flag which the Frenchman took advantage of without hesitation. It would secure the Carson Speedworks duo their second second place finish of the season, the first coming at the RAC Tourist Trophy, and leaves them with the most to gain depending on the ruling on the inquiry. Kremnicky and Ravenwest Team Owner Nathan McKane are guaranteed their third podium result of the season with their third place finish, while Chris Winter and Morgan Le Fay hanged on for fourth overall.

Taking the Independent’s Class honors for the Molson GT Gatineau was the Boutsen Ginion duo of Melanie Bourne and Marie Alberta Luisa, finishing in twelfth overall provisionally. After the opening stint of the race, Bourne found herself in a hotly contested battle for second in class with the Team LKM Lamborghini then being driven by Carlton Cho. Leading the way in class during the middle stint was the Best In The World Lamborghini being driven by Marlin Hortin, the Kay Lon-run team followed Carson Speedwork’s alternate strategy and catapulted Hortin to the class lead.  But in a stunning turn of events, both of the Lamborghinis that surrounded the Boutsen Ginion Corvette retired within five minutes of each other with different mechanical issues. It left Luisa and Bourne uncontested at the front of the Independent Field, allowing them to cruise to class victory.

The ten points for a class win, as well as the seventh in class finish for Phil McCracken and the retirement of the championship leading Oliver Motorsports Lamborghini, puts the Boutsen Ginion duo at the top of the Independent’s Table trophy on 38 points as the championship pasts half way. The four points that were scored by McCracken and teammate at Czechmate Jiri Komarek puts McCracken now one point off the championship lead, even though he did not partake in the first two rounds of the championship.

Finishing tenth provisionally and falling out of the World Driver’s Championship lead regardless of Ford’s fate is the Gulf Racing pair of Matteo Rossi and Roland Davidson. After Matteo rallied to join the main chasing group after a middling starting position, progress to the leading pack continued when Davidson took over driving duties until a tussle with the GP Racing Lister of Shane Sparks in the final stint of the race undid a lot of the progress they had made getting through the lead group. Regardless of final results, Chris Winter and Morgan Le Fay will have taken over the lead of the championship as the series now heads to Azerbaijan for the Baku Grand Prix.

Original Race Results – After 50 Laps

401MWinter/Le FaySolvalou+2.866
528MJJ.Davies/ConstantiniScuderia Italia+2.223
614MRei/WongGerald Pereria+3.816
827MRestov/Van WalwijkScuderia Italia+4.750
EX43MOlder Jr./JacobsonMacMillan+9.601
1115MTravesen/SparksGerald Pereria+11.938
123IBourne/LuisaBoutsen Ginion+44.410
1430IJenkins/BrunoGlobex Scorpio+1:09.293
15007IMagnus/GeiszlerFalken Tire+1:14.098
1755IDouglas/MelroseTom Douglas+1:27.40
2278IRodriguez/von KoenigLynxe+1:40.169
23555IA+V Reyna-SanchezTom Douglas+1:43.231
244IDiaz/ShideharaBoutsen Ginion+1:45.160
2616ISeron/DragunovWestside+1 Lap
2741ISetou/HortinBest In The WorldSuspension

Fastest Lap – Car 63 (Carson Chevrolet – Alliot/Malenfant) – 2:17.962

Infinite Improbability Drive of the Race – The 63 and 41’s pit strategy: The 63 didn’t actually run out of gas coming to the flag, considering Scuderia Italia did the same last year and it failed miserably…pretty impressed they still got second place.

Reject of The Race – Antonio Reyna-Sanchez: Spun three times at the exact same place in his two stints, buried any chance of a good run for his TDR Saleen.