Several announcements were made in the Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC), as the series kicks off its 2012 season this weekend at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, formerly known as Mosport.
For one, yet another manufacturer announced a contingency program. Honda and Mazda had already confirmed their contribution to the series during the winter, but recently, MINI broke out with a program of its own.
"MINI’s motorsport heritage is impressive and has been part of the brand’s DNA since the 60’s[.] We want to recognize and foster the passion and success for MINI motorsport in Canada and continue building that legacy," said Adam Shaver, Director of MINI Canada.
"To show our support, we have launched a significant contingency program in Canada for 2012."
The said program also extends to MINI competitors in the 2012 Targa Newfoundland rally.
Mazda too, came up with some news. In 2012, on top of their contingency program, it will field a car – a B-Spec Mazda2 – for guest media drivers. The first journalist to get a crack at it is The Globe and Mail's Mark Hacking, whose race experience ranges from karting to rally.
"I’ve been hoping to race in the CTCC for years now and I’m thrilled to finally get my chance with the Mazda2 B-Spec Media Race Car," Hacking said.
"This is an exciting opportunity for [us]," CTCC President John Bondar added. "I can’t wait to see how the different personalities will do behind the wheel of the Mazda2 B-Spec Media Race Car."
Other announcements included the addition of two drivers to Alain Lauzière's Team Octane line-up. The CTCC squad will race a total of 6 MINI – 4 in the Touring class and 2 in the B-Spec category – in 2012.
Michel Sallenbach and Paul Gravel had already been confirmed in the Touring class, as well as P.J. Groenke in the B-Spec.
Now we know that two veterans and former rivals of Lauzière are joining the ranks of Team Octane this weekend, both in order to compete in Touring. They are Karl Thompson – Grand Am's C360R team principal – and Ian Madden – the CASC-OR regular.
Racing starts this afternoon, with the presentation of the first race of the weekend – round 1 of the series.