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F1600: Tristan DeGrand wins series finale

The 2014 series finale for the Toyo Tires Championship was a fitting way to end the year – a huge grid and side by side racing all throughout the field.

One of the favourites, Jesse Lazare, had his car shut down on the pace lap in corner 2 at the same time as David Graham had to stop in corner 5, forcing Officials to run an additional pace lap.

Once the field got the green its was pole sitter Steve Bamford leading the first lap over Tristan DeGrand with Chase Pelletier and Zacharie Robichon in tow.

DeGrand moved into the lead as the battle intensified with the three cars behind. There were some very daring passes back and forth over the next few laps with Pelletier moving up to 2nd for a bit, then getting shuffled back as Robichon made his way forward, then Bamford.

The next group was a second back and a train of 10 cars led by Craig Willis and Caitlin Johnston was another pack of intense racing.

Toyo Tires F1600 Championship Series Tristan DeGrand
Tristan DeGrand. (Photo: Toyo Tires F1600 Championship Series)

At the checkered flag it was Tristan DeGrand getting the win followed closely by Chase Pelletier and Steve Bamford grabbing the final step on the podium by a mere inches over Zacharie Robichon. Craig Willis, Reid Arnold, Bruno Chapinotti, Jeffrey Kingsley, Caitlin Johnston and Max Hanratty round out the top 10.

“I am really happy with the race today,” said a relieved Tristan DeGrand. “I had cars in my mirrors the entire race and just needed to stay focused on driving my race with the Championship already decided. The team has done such an amazing job all year with the car and I have had a dream season.”

In the “B” Class race it was all Graham Lobban. He ran in the top 10 overall and cruised home, sweeping the weekend. Steve Bodrug had a very impressive drive to 2nd place in only his 2nd appearance of the season. The newly crowned “B” Class Champion, Connor Wagland, brought his car home in 3rd in front of Stephen Adams, Keith Lobban and Mike Lee. Sean Gocher, Amy Castell, Bruce Kitchen and Byron Leis round out the top 10.

“I can’t tell you how stoked I am to win this Championship,” said an elated Connor Wagland. “When I first came to the series last year I had no expectations. I started to run pretty good at the end of the season then this year I won my first race and here we are, with the Championship. I can’t thank my Dad and Gary enough for all the hard work and dedication they have for this and am going to have an awesome off-season.”

DeGrand had a record setting season with 10 wins and collected 1128 points. Chase Pelletier, who a short time ago won the Super Series, was 2nd with 928. 3rd in points was the 2013 “B” Class Champ Craig Willis with 724.

Wagland amassed 994 points on the strength of 5 wins over the course of the season. 2nd place was Mike Lee with 818 over Amy Castell with 796.

The 2nd Annual Night of Champions, celebrating all of the achievements by the Toyo Tires competitors will take place mid November in Toronto, ON.