With the day's F-1 events now over, it was time to once again turn our attention to the weekend's other race series. Next up was the first Formula 1600 race. F-1600 is a more budget-minded open-wheeled racer series that encourages racing at a more grass-roots level. Powered by 1.6L Ford Kent and 1.5L Honda Fit engines, the cars are small, nimble, light, fast and LOUD. In fact, for these guys we actually had to put in ear-plugs.
The competition at the head of the pack was very tight, with Tristan DeGrand of Missouri just managing to eke out a victory ahead of Michel Bonnet of Saint-Bruno, Quebec.
Next up was another race - this time the first of the Ferrari Challenge series. It was impressive to watch the Ferrari 458Cs tear up the track; these are seriously quick cars, despite being in essentially street-ready form. They make it look easy, though, coursing through turns with nearly imperceptable body roll, dive, or lift. One item of note: these 458Cs make a peculiar whistling sound when braking hard for a corner.
Local racer Damon Ockey of Ontario vied for the lead in an intense battle with Ricardo Perez of Houston and Carlos Gomez of San Francisco. Unfortunately, Ockey suffered an incident on the 6th lap that tore off much of the rear of his Ferrari. While he did finish the race, he was well back from the leaders (Perez won the race).
Columbo challenged by Herjavec
Next up, the final race of Saturday - the second (and final) of the Canadian Touring Car Championship. A flying start saw the 1-2 finishers from the first race (Mathieu Audette in an Acura RSX and Roger Ledoux in a Subaru WRX STi) continue an intense and close battle from race 1 (in that race, Audette managed to win just ahead of Ledoux).
Watching the CTCC cars was, in a way, a bit more exciting than the extremely fast but no-drama 458s of the Ferrari Challenge series. In the CTCC race, you could sense the cars were really being pushed to their limits, complete with hard cornering with noticeable body lean and where one - and sometimes even two - wheels were off the ground (see pictures).
The positions have flipped!
In the end, Ledoux managed to pass Audette just before the race ended, and the two leaders at the front of the CTCC super-series pack split the weekend 50/50: 1/2 Audette/Ledoux in the first race, and 1/2 Ledoux/Audette in the second race. It's a draw!
With the day's on-track events over, we began the long walk back to the subway station. Instead of heading back to Luke's brother in law's place, we elected to have a nice dinner out on the town. There was a clear race-weekend vibe on about Montreal, with many streets closed amidst a festival-like atmosphere.
Back towards the Olympic Stadium