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With RC-Pro making its first venture into the Canada this was surely going to be a good race. The Can-Am Challenge has grown on its own merit in the three years the Ontario 1/8 On-Road Racing Club has been in existence. Some big names from the Midwest Series crossed the border for their first trip to the challenging layout in Hamilton. This was surely more of a Can-Am Challenge than in the previous year’s races.

The RC-Pro format of 10 minute qualifiers was a first for many racers and seemed to be liked by a majority in attendance. Tire wear was fantastic so no one was concerned about eating through a lot of tires on the Hamilton asphalt. The track was open Friday for practice and many took advantage of the opportunity to get some laps under their belt. Aaron Buran and Paul Cicarello were testing bodies to see what worked best for them. The new Proto-Form Shadow was seen at the race for its debut on Gary Swayze’s Evolva. Ted Hammer, Brian Berry, Raye Juhl and Howard Bortman were in attendance representing the Toledo contingency. Raye “Fossil” Field was in attendance as well amusing all the racers! Eli Ezrow, Mark Unger and Dennis Young made the trip from Cincinnati to see what all the hype was about this Hamilton surface. Ontario regular Corey DeLong from Rochester, NY was able to drag Kim Suphankomut from Buffalo out for the race. Canadian regulars, John Elliot, Lou Vanderwey, Bill McLean, James Mak, Allan Lai, Steve Bortolotti, Dan Engelbreth, Patrick Chan, Peter Yu and others, led by Captain Swayze, were in full battle gear. Could the Canadians hold off the American invasion?


In TC, Wayne Vince with his new NT1 was able to match most 1/8th qualifiers with 29 laps in 10:16. Steve Bortolotti and Francis Lee were able to hit 28 laps in round two rounding out the top three qualifiers for the TC A-main. Wayne’s car was simply amazing, running the kit straight out of the box, really proved a point.


On Sunday the racers voted to forego the fourth round of qualifying and get right into the mains as the weather forecast was questionable. We had an hour or so of controlled practice and decided to start the mains at 11am.


The TC A-main looked to be a close field with the exception of Wayne Vince who had the field covered in qualifying. Could he hold everyone off for 30 minutes? At the start Wayne Vince, Steve Bortolotti, Lou Vanderwey and Francis Lee were able to pull out front in a train and separate themselves from the pack pretty much holding down the top four for most of the race. James Mak made a hard run from 5th up to second before he retired just before the last pit cycle. At the end it was just as expected with Wayne Vice grabbing first. Steve Bortolotti and Lou Vanderwey finished off the podium followed by: Francis Lee, Mark Rodney, James Mak, Art Trinos, Ray Juhl, Peter Yu, Dennis Lee and Kuniharu Ujima.


Just as we concluded the racing and took a few pictures of the top finishers the sky opened up. It was great timing and a great ending to a perfect race weekend. We look forward to seeing some more American racers make the trip up north for “The Canadian Gas Nationals”.