Fuel Gamble Backfires Giving Jacobson and Kozar Gatineau Victory

Markus Jacobson and Valeri Kozar took home their second overall victory of the season at the 2018 Molson GT Gatineau.

This is their second Double-15 result in three race weekends after the pairing inherited the lead with just minutes remaining. Ahead of them before that point was the Gulf Aston Martin that would suffer another engine failure, and the Championship leading Scuderia Italia Ferrari of Evgeny Restov and James James Davies. The strategists at the factory Ferrari team put them on a highly aggressive fuel strategy, having the pair pit three laps before the regular pit window open. The resulting undercut gave Davies a thirty second gap over Roland Davidson in the middle stint, and a full minute over Matteo Rossi in the final stint of the race. But it would be all for naught as the Russian ran the car dry on the forty-ninth and penultimate lap of the race, his Ferrari 550 grinding to a halt at pit-in.

The main benefactors would be the Independents Championship frontrunners of Markus Jacobson and Valeri Kozar. The Finn’s aggressive driving in the first stint of the race shot them well into the top ten and the Russian’s consistency after exiting the pits second overall left them in the catbird seat for a good result, let alone the overall victory. Davidson would clear Kozar early on into the second stint and would promptly set sail, leaving the Commonwealth Corvette to deal with the pack behind. Valeri Kozar would do enough to remain in the pack with the likes of Einar Armannsson, Ryota Wong and Jacques Malenfant fighting tooth and nail for what was then the final podium position. The second round of pit stops would come around and Jacobson would find himself in clean air, and now in second place with the demise of the Factory Aston Martin. The gap to trio behind of Einar Armannsson, Fabian Rei and Paul Travesen would slowly shrink throughout the last stint of the race but none of them would get close enough to make a charge, or were too busy battling among themselves for vital championship points. Armannsson and Rei in particular traded then third place a few times in particular with time running out before the word came in that Restov had run out of fuel. By the time the word came in, it was too late for the Icelandic F1 Driver to make a pass for the win happen. The margin of victory would be as close as he would get to victors. Another maximum score in the Independent’s Championship for the Finn and the Russian, further cementing Kozar’s championship lead with his closest rival in a different car now 27 markers behind.

The other three championships saw major shifts at the top of their tables. With Restov and Davies scoring no points with their classified finish of twenty third, the pairing of Winter and Armannsson now have a ten point advantage in the championship with their second place result. Fabian Rei and Ryota Wong now find themselves only seven behind second place in the drivers championship. BMS Scuderia Italia lost two positions in the teams championship, with the Solvalou and Gerald Pereria quartet finishing second through fifth in the Molson GT Gatineau. Both Solvalou and GP Racing would gain eighteen points, leaving them on ninety-one and eighty-six respectively with BMS Scuderia Italia on eighty-four. Ferrari were four points clear at the top of the manufactures championship before heading to Gatineau, Quebec, but would leave ten points behind Lister after the 27 car driven by van Walwijk and Constantini suffered a engine failure early in the race.

Finishing sixth overall and second in class was the Reyna-Sanchez pairings in the best result of the season so far. Their pace on out laps would prove decisive in clearing battles that the pair were in earlier in the race, and were rewarded in kind with clear sailing in the final stint of the race en route to their sixth place finish. Deep in those battles was the Lynxe Development pairing of Emma Pescatore and Maria Rodriguez. Pescatore rocketed to a top fifteen position in the first stint after starting on the second to last row of the grid. Strong strategy calls and stern defensive driving from Maria Rodriguez against the factory Paganis and Boutsen Ginion driver Melanie Bourne to close out the race resulted in them getting seventh place and on the class podium in their last run as a part-time entry this season.

Local star Anton Robishaud would take home the final points paying position with Giulio Mari in one of the Pagani Zondas GR. It looked to have been a double points day for the factory Pagani team with Robishaud ninth and teammate Amato Agostini tenth with five minutes remaining. Amato would grind to a half on the final lap with a suspected gearbox failure and the Quebec-native would immediately start nursing the car home in case he would suffer the same fate. The resulting decreased pace handed the class pole-sitter Helena Bertinelli ninth place overall coming to the flag in her Lister Storm GT.

Race Results – After 50 Laps

314MRei/WongGerald Pereria+3.991
441MTravesen/SparksGerald Pereria+5.514
503MLe Fay/FazioSolvalou+11.227
6555IA.+V. Reyna-SanchezTom Douglas+15.275
83IBourne/TuckerBoutsen Ginion+23.998
112IKikkawa/GauthierBoutsen Ginion+33.122
1455IDouglas/MelroseTom Douglas+36.901
1630IJenkins/PellerinGlobex Scorpio+42.095
1708IWhiting/de LangeChris Short+42.625
2124MAgostini/HorvathPagani+1 Lap*
2299IEinfeldt/von SchweigerPeople's Republic+1 Lap
2328MRestov/DaviesScuderia Italia+2 Laps*
2444IVercuisse/CharpantierEuromotor+5 Laps*
2827Mvan Walwijk/ConstantiniScuderia ItaliaEngine
2921IVan Dycke/SeronBelgioSuspenion
30007MMagnus/GeiszlerFalken TireContact Damage

Fastest Lap – Car 28 (BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari – Restov/Davies) – 2:18.804

Infinite Improbability Drive of the Race – Fabian Rei and Ryota Wong – Getting punted by Jacques Malenfant, who got penalized for it, and finishing third anyways is a amazing result.

Reject of The Race – BMS Scuderia Italia: You had the race won on pace anyways, but you let your drivers down with a gamble that the championship leader should never make. The other car blowing up doesn’t help matters either.