Club Race Celebrates 25

AFTER THREE DAYS of intense Porsche and BMW motorsport action at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Grand Prix track (also affectionately known as the legendary Mosport), plans are already underway for 2023.

Gear heads alike spent the civic long weekend, July 29 to 31, at the 25th Anniversary Can-Am Challenge Club Race at Mosport. Due to prolonged COVID-related border closures for non-essential travel, the 2020 and 2021 races had to be cancelled as PCA National Club Racing scrutineers could not travel to oversee the race. Everyone was happy to see Mosport officially back on the PCA Club Racing schedule for 2022.

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Saturday (Jardine/Martin)

The event drew PCA racers from Ontario, Quebec and across the United States, including one racer who drove up from Florida. Both rookies and well-seasoned racers spent the weekend pushing their Porsche racecars to the max, connecting each of the 10 turns of Mosport. Special shout-out to club racer Brion Charters of New York who has attended every PCA Club Race at Mosport since the inception 25 years ago.

The weather was perfect for racing — and volunteering — throughout the three-day race weekend. The weekend kicked off on Friday with PCA Club Racing practice sessions, a qualifying race and practice starts. On Saturday PCA racers battled hard in three 40-minute sprint races, and on Sunday undertook a demanding 90-minute enduro race. The weekend was run in cooperation with the BMW Trillium club which also ran its annual club race. In addition, the weekend included time for advanced solo lapping (ASL) by black and red group drivers from UCR’s Driver Education program.

After the track cooled down on Friday, a tailgate barbecue was held at 6 p.m. in the paddock and Isi Papadopoulos gave a guided track-walk tour to discuss the racing line and provide tips and tricks for improving one’s lap. On Saturday evening, following a full day of action on track, the awards banquet dinner was held in the CTMP event centre. The room was full of comradery, laughter, and many incredible racing stories as racers, crew and volunteers enjoyed a delicious meal overlooking the front straight. The awards ceremony was done together with prize draws of Porsche goodies donated by the UCR Goodie Store.

In addition to the drivers and volunteers, the success of this event race could not have happened without the support of our generous sponsors. The 25th Anniversary was presented by Pfaff Porsche and Porsche Centre Markham, which also provided a plaid track beast to be used as the race pace car for the weekend — a beautiful 991 GT3.

A special thanks goes to Porsche Canada as well for its ongoing support of our Club Race event. Porsche Canada has been our national event sponsor for all 25 years.

Thanks to Braidan Tire for its sponsorship and dedication to keeping the racers on the track with its amazing trackside tire-support services. Steam Whistle Brewing was on hand for the weekend to help cool everyone down at the Friday night barbecue with a sampling of a great range of beers and seltzers as well as stocking the bar for the Saturday evening racers award banquet. Thanks to G TEK for again keeping the volunteers dressed sharply at the grid and at the registration desk.

Based on a combined sprint race score, awards were presented to PCA racers during the Saturday banquet. Congratulations to the following PCA racers who achieved podium finishes.

Class Place Car # Name

    E     1   188 Henry Au

    F     1   54 Jordan Simon

    2   168 Tommy Chan

    3   179 Ben Wallace

    G     1     4 Sam Mammano

    2   941 Brion Charters

GTA3     1   72 Jody Miller

GTB1     1   132 Tim O’Meara

GTC4     1   361 Scott James

GTC7     1     3 Phillip Leja

SP2     1   104 Paul Neto

    2   59 Michael Sylvestre

    3   26 William Johnson

SPC     1   511 Benjamin Pook

    2   147 Waleed Chehadi

    3   515 Tim Lambie

During the Saturday awards banquet, the coveted Workers Choice Awards sponsored by Porsche Cars North America were also handed out to a racer from each sprint race for showing exemplary grit, courtesy and skill on track, as selected by the track marshals. Congratulations to the following winners:

Sprint 1: Sam Mammano #4, New York

Sprint 2: Waleed Chehadi #147, Ontario (a rookie)

Sprint 3: Tim O’Meara #132, Quebec

Enduro: Scott James #361, Massachusetts

PCA National also presented sponsored awards to the following racers:

GT Racing’s Best Prepared Car: Paul Neto #104, Ontario (a rookie)

Trailex Novice Racer Certificate: Michael Sylvestre #59, Ontario

Millers Oils Certificate: Henry Au #188, Ontario

Motion Control Suspension Certificate: Desmond Tam #298, Ontario 

Congratulations also goes out to Phil Leja who took the checkered on the 90-minute enduro on Sunday.

Similar to many motorsport series, PCA Club Racing has seen lower-than-average racer participation across the board in 2022, including the Can-Am Challenge Club Race at Mosport. This can be attributed to many factors including but not limited to: economic pressures, fuel prices, cross-border travel requirements, and, of course, lingering and resurging impacts of the pandemic. The UCR Club Race committee is working hard to identify and execute avenues that will boost participation in years to come.

Despite lower-than-average racer turn-out and many mechanical issues throughout the weekend that thinned the pack come Sunday’s enduro, the 25th Anniversary Can-Am Challenge Club Race still embodied key qualities that make PCA Club Racing a thrill to be a part of — comradery, passion and grit.

Sincere gratitude goes to PCA National and UCR volunteers, and all drivers and teams for including the 25th Anniversary Can-Am Challenge Club Race on their summer calendar. Special thanks to our PCA National Team who traveled up from the United States to oversee our race weekend: Bruce Boeder (Chief Steward, Minnesota), Steve Coomes (Scrutineer, Texas), Mark Gohlke (Scrutineer, Texas) and Roland Nieves (National Timing and Scoring, Nebraska). Thanks as well to trackside fire, rescue and medical teams for keeping everyone safe for the weekend. And to Robb Dobbie and the Motorsport Marshalling Services for proving excellent on-track services.

With a heavy heart, a very special thank-you goes out to Wayne Spiegelberg who coordinated and ran the ASL portion of the weekend. We received the very sad news that Wayne suddenly passed away Aug. 21, 2022. Wayne was an active and involved member with UCR serving in many roles over 29 years including president, board member and club race chair (2008 to 2010). Wayne was also a passionate track instructor with UCR and BMW Trillium. We thank Wayne for his passion and dedication to the club over the years and send our condolences to his family during this difficult time. Rest in peace #57.

On Sunday during the lunch hour, nearly 40 cars with members of UCR’s Special Interest Groups took to the track for parade laps. Members of the Boxster SIG led the pack in honour of the 25th anniversary of the Boxster, followed by cars ordered chronologically from production date. It was a great sight to see such an array of German engineering on track including a father and son in their 356, five club members enjoying laps in a Taycan, and many models in between. Thanks to John Tipper, advocate of the 914 SIG, and his daughter Erin for organizing the SIG car corral and parade laps.

Over 30 UCR volunteers came out to help put on this signature club event.

There are many moving parts to such a large event so having dedicated volunteers year after year helps to make the weekend run flawlessly. Thank you! Sylvie Neill took on the big role of race registrar for 2022 and did a phenomenal job. She jumped in with both feet and provided unconditional dedication to the role throughout the weekend and in the many months leading up to the event. Thanks Sylvie! A big thanks goes out to race co-chair Terry Cassan for his ongoing support, advice and problem-solving abilities. Terry has been event chair since 2018 and will be stepping down for 2023. Thanks, Terry, for your dedication to making this event a success year after year. Larry Funnell, Kathleen Wong, Matt Distefano and Brion Charters also contributed countless E-mails with ideas and logistical insight to help put on this event — thank you. Thanks as well to Al Norrie, BMW Trillium Club Race chair, and Isi Papadopoulos, BMW Trillium race advisor, who executed the BMW club race and cross-promoted the event.

The ongoing success of our Club Race weekend is a true testament to the hard work and dedication of the UCR volunteers, the sponsors, and the participation by PCA and BMW racers, and ASL participants. This weekend was a true testament to PCA’s slogan, “It’s not just the cars, it’s the people.” Planning is already underway for next year’s race. We hope to see you trackside in 2023. </>

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