ARL – TCR Winter Series 2019/20 R7 Montreal
Last week the ARLTC headed to the first of two “street circuits” on the calendar for the season in Montreal.
Qualifying was a tight battle between Apex Racing’s Jack Sedgwick and CQR’s Ashley Sutton Racing. Jack took the pole position spot by exactly 0.1 of a second, with Ross Balfour picking up 3rd place and Nicol Foggie sitting 4th on the grid.
As usual these 4 were the main players for Race 1, with Jack making a good start and edging into the lead on the opening laps. Nicol Foggie squeezed his way through into 2nd place with Balfour following, and Ash Sutton falling victim to an unfortunate slowdown through the final chicane on the opening lap.
Sedgwick looked happily in control of the race until a mistake saw him too catch a slowdown in the final chicane, although fortunately he had built a large enough gap to hold onto 2nd place. With Foggie now in the lead, Sedgwick mounted a comeback and scooped the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap while he gave chase.
Eventually the pair were close enough to battle for the lead once more, and into the final chicane on the last lap they were once again side-by-side. However, Foggie stood firm and Sedgwick ran out of room across the kerbs forcing a second slowdown, and allowing Ross Balfour to sweep past into 2nd place.
Top AM driver went to Mark Woodhouse, who did an excellent job to avoid the slowdowns & rose from 22nd to 12th at the checkered flag.
Only the top 20 cars were swapped for Race 2, meaning the PRO drivers more or less held onto the top grid-slots, and opened opportunities for the Race 1 leaders to seek out more big points!
Reigning champion Wojciech Swirydowicz came prepared to stand in their way however, and although he was chased hard by Daniel Craft the charging pack just couldn’t make it far enough to topple them from the top steps of the podium.
Jack Sedgwick set the fastest lap once again as he battled his way back up from 18th to take 3rd, with Ross Balfour following him through the traffic to grab 4th position.
Top AM honours went this time to Adam Mcnally, who was fortunate enough to be promoted to pole position, and then executed a tidy race to keep his nose clean while the PRO drivers made their way through. A sterling effort allowed him to hold onto 8th place.
Finally Race 3 saw a BIG reverse swap the entire grid from head to toe. This time we were set up for carnage and on the first lap exiting the 2nd chicane a small incident predictably cascaded and resulted in a number of drivers parked on the track!
Meanwhile up at the front, drivers from both Automek teams were living it up and making the most of their free space to drive off into the distance. Kip Stephens set the pace for the early laps until Adam Hadfield made his move into the last chicane and stamped his authority on the race & the AM win!
Julian Genovski was also running in the podium spots until a mistake dropped him back behind hard-charging Nicol Foggie who somehow managed to avoid the first lap carnage, and simply sliced through the traffic from 32nd on the grid to the podium.
In the championships, Jack Sedgwick’s two 3rd’s helped him retain his lead in the drivers standings over Nicol Foggie, but the all-important showdown points are now leaning in Foggie’s favour. Apex Racing Team also lead the teams standings with a narrow margin to Simsports Racing USA, however XVR Simracing are also closing the gap!
In the AM’s, a great rivalry between Adam Hedgecock and Mark Woodhouse is bubbling up with just 44 points separating them. Meanwhile SmileTime Simmortal continue to assert their dominance on the AM teams title with over a 550 point deficit to their nearest competitors.