28_CanadaThe latest round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship was held last weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), and we went into it with a lot of momentum for our SKYACTIV Mazda. We had been looking forward to getting to CTMP because we knew the high-speed cornering at that track would suit our car very well.

Our team and engineers continued to develop the car throughout the first day of practice, and we were able to improve our competitiveness. In qualifying we met our goals and bested our lap time, getting into the low 1:12s. Yes, that’s how fast the track is: 2.5 miles in just over 70 seconds!

In qualifying, it was all about mental focus and commitment. This track is so demanding and high speed: turns one and two are nearly flat out, and you don’t even touch the brake pedal until turn three. And turn four is back to being flat out again!

We knew the race was going to be an exciting start with the Prototype field being so close in lap times. The Prototype Challenge cars were starting directly in line with the Prototype field, too, so that created a lot of jockeying for position in the opening laps. We were able to clear the PC cars and build a gap, and we utilized our fuel mileage advantage to make our race in two stops, rather than the three stops that the other cars had to make.

The entire pit crew gave us an incredible first pit stop of just over 20 seconds with our driver change at 15 seconds, which is the best all-around stop we’ve had all season.

Our SKYACTIV diesel engine ran strong all race, allowing us to bring it home 7th in class and overall. We really optimized our package’s performance in every aspect, and we got the results to show it.