Podium success for Aston Martin crews after MPC and VP Sportscar Challenge rounds at CTMP

Sunday, July 09, 2023


It was a profitable return to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for some of the Aston Martin Racing powered contingent of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and VP Sportscar Challenge Series as two crews left with hard earned silverware.

Competing in Canada with the 6th round of the Michelin Pilot Challenge, five AMR Vantage GT4 powered crews made the journey north having last competed at Watkins Glen where only a post-race penalty for a rear wing infringement denied an opening podium win for the #64 Team TGM crew of Ted Giovanis and Owen Trinkler two weeks ago.

Continue their fine thread of form since the enforced rebuilding of their #19 car saw the Van Der Steur crew of Rory Van Der Steur and Austin McCusker again claim a top three starting position after Van Der Steur finished second fastest after Fridays Qualifying, a row ahead of the 4th placed #46 Team TGM car of Hugh and Matt Plumb.

Running alongside both the #44 Accelerating Performance and #88 Archangel Aston Martins of both Moisey Uretsky and Todd Coleman who were both also competing within the parallel VP Sportscar Challenge Series as solo drivers as well as the dual classed MPC Series.

After a busy day of practice and Qualifying across many supporting series, the thirty-five strong MPC race finally got underway late in Saturday afternoon under cooling and greying skies with the #19 Aston Martin holding station in second as the pack behind bumped and ground for position on track.

With two front running GS cars coming into contact with one another before the #64 Team TGM Aston also encountered contact with a charging TCR class car, the race did manage to stay green as all afflicted parties managing to keep going – either completely or at least back to pit lane for emergency attendance.

Fifteen minutes in and the first Aston Martin casualty as the #44 car of Uretsky became victim to his own opportunist move with the cars ahead to damage his multi-coloured cars steering and suspension, consigning his car behind the wall and into retirement.

Reaching the minimum drive time in GS saw many of the Aston Martins pit at the first availability but both the #46 and #19 cars stayed out till the end of their fuel tanks capacities. The #88 Archangel car would see Kyle Marcelli emerge in P19 whilst the #64 would continue to circulate to the rear of the GS pack thanks to its earlier contact and visit to pit lane with the #19 eventually pitting from second and the #46 Team TGM car in P6.

Into the final hour and it was becoming clear that many GS cars could run the race on perhaps a single fuel stop but in order to do so, fuel saving would be required in the absence of any full course cautions. Doing so would see the #19 car of McCusker being passed for third by the car that would go on to ultimately take the chequered flag in first. The presence of rain around the circuit would also see others take a more conservative approach with that and fuel dropping the #46 car still further to P9.

Eventually crossing the line in P4, two post-race penalties for the #95 Turner BMW would see the #19 Van Der Steur crew elevated up to P3 in class for their first AMR powered MPC Series podium.

Supporting that series saw both the #88 Archangel and #44 AP Aston Martins also compete within the two 45-minute races of the VP Sportscar Challenge Series for only the second time since Sebring.

Whilst the first race didn’t exactly go to plan for the two GSX classed Astons, Sunday mornings second race saw Uretsky capitalise upon the misfortune of others ahead of him to come home second in class for his second P2 finishing position of that series season so far.

Next stop for the MPC Series will be from Lime Rock Park in two weeks’ time.

Photo credits – Teams / Series
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