David Calvert-Jones Right On Pace in Maiden Visit to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Aussie Racer Qualifies Eighth for Race #1 at Grand Prix of Mosport
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (July 21, 2012) - It's been more than two months since David Calvert-Jones last raced in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama, but it certainly didn't take long for the man known as 'CJ' to rediscover why the word 'challenge' is part of the series' name.
There are not many more challenging racetracks on the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge schedule than the one hosting this weekend's Grand Prix of Mosport doubleheader. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park - formerly known as Mosport International Raceway - in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada is a demanding, 2.459-mile, 10-turn permanent road course with a reputation for 'separating the men from the boys.'
With a handful of promoter test and practice sessions over the last two days and one ultra-competitive qualifying session, CJ is beginning to come to grips with the racetrack. Still, it's a place unlike anywhere he's previously raced.
"It's a great track, but it's scary," he said. "You've got to be on the edge. To do well, you've got to be going around some of those high-speed corners - like Turn 2, which is blind and over a hill - you've got to be just hammering it and just hanging the thing right on the edge. Then Turn 8, which is after a long straightaway, you've got to be really brave to get through there fast. It's fun, but it certainly gets your attention."
CJ will start his No. 12 Porsche from eighth on the Gold Cup class grid for Saturday's first race of the doubleheader weekend after posting a best time of 1:25.397 (103.662 mph) during the 30-minute qualifying session on Friday evening. The starting position is a bit deeper in the field than he'd like, but the time was just two tenths of a second off the second-quickest qualifier, Ludovico Manfredi, who clocked in at 1:25.147.
"When it was all finished, I was pretty upset with myself that I only qualified eighth," said CJ. "But then we sat down and went through the data and realized I'm two tenths from second, so it's not that bad. I had one lap that I was half a second up on my quickest time, and I just messed up Turn 5. If I'd have just got that one corner right, I could have been second."
That gives him reason for optimism heading into Race #1 of the Grand Prix of Mosport doubleheader, which starts at 1:10 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon.
"Two tenths is still pretty tight and now it's going to get down to the race and racecraft," CJ said. "I think from looking at the provisional qualifying numbers, I'm starting on the inside, so who knows what will happen. I might be able to shuffle a few places ahead and get a good start."
CJ owns Gold Cup class podium finishes from two of his four starts in the 2012 IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama, scoring a third-place result in the season opener and a second-place run in Round 2, both of which were run at Sebring International Raceway in March. He also finished fourth in the second race of a doubleheader at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May and heads into the race on Saturday sitting sixth in the Gold Cup driver championship standings.
All IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge races are 45 minutes in length, and starting positions for Sunday's second half of the doubleheader will be determined by each driver's fastest lap in Race #1 on Saturday. Sunday's race starts at 3:20 p.m. ET.