All my recent travels led me to overlook recent racing, which I’ll attempt to remedy right here and now.
JL Racing, in Canada, participated in an event recently at Shannonville. Here’s the race report from Phil Reilly from JL Racing:
Although Shannonville race track is one of the flattest in the country, it managed to produce a lot of ups and downs for the JL Racing team.
We had just received a brand new truck and only had to collect it from GM. At the last minute, the paperwork had not been completed and we were supposed to be on our way to the track. Team member Diane Dale stepped in and we loaded the car onto her trailer and managed to get the car to the track for Friday evening practice. Never mind the old saying “To finish first, first you must finish” – sometimes, just getting to the track can be a challenge!
Once at the track, everything swung into place and we were out racing on Saturday. There was a huge field of 54 cars for the Touring car series which meant some tough competition from BMW and Honda. Shannonville’s tight and twisty circuit actually favours front wheel drive cars with exceptional handling, so we were confident of a strong finish. We’d also installed some new aero with a carbon fibre rear wing and a new air splitter at the front and were anxious to test the handling.
Jason Sharpe drove a superb race on the Saturday. He managed to avoid some nasty incidents at the start with cars exiting the track for some unexpected rally maneouvres across the grass. The track was dirty and 54 cars made for some close racing. Jason finished in the top ten, demonstrating the strength of the Saab 9-3 on these tight circuits.
Sunday had its moments with John Lockhart behind the wheel. Unfortunately a turbo hose blew and John lost significant power halfway through the race. He managed to finish the race however to gain valuable points for the season.
The story of the day was Len Clue’s great battle with the BMW M3. Len managed to move up to first place in the GTB sprints through a daring move early in the race where he scooted past several cars on the outside of a difficult corner. Lap after lap, Len held off the BMW. Although not as powerful, the Saab 9-3 was faster through the corners. This “cat and mouse” was a great race to watch and the spectators were on the edge of their seats for the entire race. Eventually, the M3 found a hole at the end of the back straight and managed to squeeze through to first place. The team were still pleased with the Second Place trophy and the way the car performed throughout the race.
The next race is at the famous Toronto Grand Prix, where Champ cars, Star Mazda racers and other great series will be on track with the Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship. This will be a big event for Saab and the premier race of the year. Video blogs and more on the Shannonville race at www.jlracing.net
Len certainly seems to be doing some great work in the sprints o a consistent basis. Here’s hoping JL’s season can continue to improve and build on the initial success they had in their debut season last year.
I found this promo clip on YouTube today. Good Stuff.