Hello all and welcome to the first week of the Opening Knights series presented by SimGarage and Apex Racing UK!
For week 1 we take the cars to Candian Tire Motorsport Park (formerly known as Mosport), a track infamous for its elevation changes, and its subsequent unforgiving nature. One tire off the side out of turn 2 or setting up for Moss corner and you will quickly find yourself in the wall and out of the race.
The race saw 30 entries split into 2 grids of 15, short of the 20 car maximum in the series.
The 5-car Cadillac grid in the top split was headed by Nick Ritcey with a qualifying time of 1:17.813, followed by Matt Orr, Christoper M. Payne, Shawn Noble, and Joel Paquin respectively. Nick was able to capitalize on pole position with a strong start and carry the momentum all the way through the 25 minute race uncontested for the top position, bringing home the win with zero incidents. Quickly making his presence felt in the series. The battle for second was the focal point throughout the session.
Payne was relentless on the attack, as he seemed to have the better race pace, but was unable to find his way around Matt Orr. Christopher would take shots on Matt on lap 17 and again in the final corner approaching the line but come up short both times.
The top 5 in points standing in class after round 1 stand as: Nick Ritcey – 137, Matt Orr – 102, Mario Beaudry – 73 (by virtue of winning the second split), Christopher M. Payne – 68, Chris Sellars – 54.
In the larger Kia field, Kevin Parrish saw himself in the coveted pole position, qualifying with a 1:22.027. The rest of the top 5 consisted of Nicholas Bailey, Andrew Bakke, Andre Castro, and Nick Neben. In much the same fashion as Ritcey in the Cadillac, Parrish took advantage of his grid position and led to finish, uncontested in an incident free race, while Bailey missed the start time. Behind him though, positions were all up for grabs. Terry Nightingale Jr made his way up from 6th to 2nd in the opening 3 laps including a terrific outside move on Andre at the conclusion of lap 2
Lap 6 saw the only major wreck of the race as Julien came back on track with a damaged car and clipped Nick Neben with resulted in both drivers taking a detour into the wall and out of the race
The final result saw the standing as follows: Kevin Parrish – 178, Terry Nightingale Jr. – 158, Andrew Bakke – 138, Andre Castro – 118, Kevin Lawrence2 – 101 (winner of the second split) for the top 5.
With Round 1 in the books and round 2 just around the corner, we have some questions to ask. Will we see a full-field in the top split? Who or will anyone step up the challenges laid down by Ritcey and Parrish in their respective classes? Will we have more drama in traffic or will the racing continue to be clean?
See you next week!
Categories: Opening Knights