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Canadian Touring: Victory for the Audette brothers in Mirabel

This weekend, CTCC presented by Continental Tire held the fourth outing of the 2014 season, at Mirabel’s Circuit ICAR. Two races saw brothers Mathieu and Rémy Audette exchange victories while in Touring Class, Éric Lacouture won for a well-deserved first time on Saturday before his teammate Michel Sallenbach continued Mini’s success by winning on Sunday.

Under sunny skies and full grandstands at Circuit ICAR, the two scheduled CTCC races were highlighted by multiple twists. Saturday was notably dominated by the Audette brothers.  As much in the free practice, as in qualifying, as in the actual race, Rémy Audette remained in control of his Honda Civic Si, ahead of his brother Mathieu, who has returned to the series with his Acura RSX.  At the finish line, Rémy Audette beat his older brother by less than one second. The podium was completed by Ontarian Scott Nicol, 2013 Super Class champion, driving a brand new Honda Civic Si. 

Championship leader Roger Ledoux rounded off the Top 4 ahead of Benjamin Distaulo and Nick Wittmer, who was a victim of mechanical woes.

In Touring Class, Team Octane’s Mini Cooper S’s were the favourites on the technical track at Circuit ICAR. Heading into this race as championship leader, Michel Sallenbach had to DNF during the first lap before Éric Lacouture eventually claimed the victory. This was the Québec driver’s first win in this series.  The 2013 champion, Ontarian Damon Sharpe, and Montrealer Karl Wittmer completed the podium with their Honda Civics.

The following day, Saturday’s scenario was looking to be repeated : Rémy Audette qualified in pole position, leading the first third of the race, but a disconnected alternator wire forced him to stop in the pits twice.  Restarting in last, he managed to climb all the way to fourth spot with his eye on the podium but a caution period after a collision between Nathalie Hénault and Karl Wittmer eliminated those chances.

After taking over the lead when his brother entered the pits, Mathieu Audette was never really worried as he earned his second victory of the season. Nick Wittmer claimed a magnificent second place with his Honda Accord V6 ahead of Benjamin Ditaulo.

Roger Ledoux maintains top spot in the Super Class drivers’ championship, despite his collision with Scott Nicol, but Rémy Audette managed to tighten the gap. This ensures a great battle for the second half of the season.

In Touring Class, Michel Sallenbach got his revenge after having to end Saturday’s race early, by winning a tight race on Sunday. He nevertheless benefited from Éric Lacouture’s abandon, who seemed poised to take his second consecutive victory before succumbing to a collision with Marc-André Bergeron. Paul Gravel eventually finished the race in second, ahead of Damon Sharpe.

The next CTCC presented by Continental Tire event will take place on July 26th and 27th in Ontario at Shannonville Motorsport Park, near Belleville.