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IMSA’s Canadian Contingent Converges on CTMP

Bevy of Talent across Four IMSA Series Gets to Race on Home Soil This Week

By Tony DiZinno


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Chevrolet Grand Prix weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park provides more than 20 IMSA drivers in four IMSA-sanctioned championships a chance to race on home soil.


The iconic 2.459-mile, 10-turn track – formerly known as Mosport – set roughly an hour outside of Toronto in Bowmanville, Ontario, is renowned for its sweeping elevation, fast corners and overall speeds. Since Corvette Racing legend Ron Fellows and his group took over track ownership and leadership, the caliber and presentation of CTMP has only increased.


The most populous IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship class featuring Canadians is the Grand Touring Daytona (GTD) class, with six Canadian-flagged drivers in the field.


Five of those six have already earned an IMSA championship at some level, and include Parker Thompson (No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3), Roman De Angelis (No. 27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo), Mikael Grenier (No. 32 Korthoff/Preston Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3), Kyle Marcelli (No. 45 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2) and Misha Goikhberg (No. 78 Forte Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2). Thompson is the only one of these six who’s won a WeatherTech Championship race in 2024, having done so at Long Beach co-driving a renumbered No. 89 Vasser Sullivan Lexus with Ben Barnicoat.


The only one who hasn’t is Orey Fidani, co-driver in the No. 13 AWA Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R, who is leading the Bob Akin Bronze Cup thus far this year and keen to secure that. The top finishing Bronze-rated driver within IMSA’s GTD class secures an automatic entry to the following year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Heading into the weekend, Fidani leads the Akin standings by 70 points over Sheena Monk.


John Farano, another championship-winning Canadian, brings the total of WeatherTech Championship Canucks up to seven. The Bronze-rated driver co-drives the No. 8 Tower Motorsport ORECA 07 and won the 2022 Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class title, after previously winning a Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) class title a decade earlier in 2012.


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There’s another Canadian link within the LMP2 class, albeit from a Florida-based team. The lone Ligier entry in class – Sean Creech Motorsport – will carry a Canadian flag on its JS P217 chassis in deference to Lance Willsey’s family escaping from pre-World War II Czechoslovakia. His family was able to take roots in Niagara Falls, Ontario, a new safe haven following an arduous journey.


Beyond the WeatherTech Championship, three other IMSA series – the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, VP Racing SportsCar Challenge and Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by Michelin – are active at CTMP and bring the number of Canadian drivers competing north of double digits.


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Most notable among the Michelin Pilot Challenge entries is 2023 Touring Car (TCR) class champion Robert Wickens, the Guelph, Ontario, native who co-drives the No. 33 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N. BHA teammate Mark Wilkins is another past TCR champion in the sister No. 98 Hyundai. Wickens and Wilkins teamed up to win at CTMP two years ago.


There are six other Canadian drivers in TCR: LP Montour and Jon Brel (No. 6 Montreal Motorsport Group Honda Civic FL5 TCR), Dean and Sam Baker (No. 52 Baker Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR), Denis Dupont (No. 76 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N) and Karl Wittmer (No. 93 Montreal Motorsport Group Honda Civic FL5 TCR).


The Grand Sport (GS) class isn’t lacking for Canadians either, with an additional six drivers. Toronto’s Daniel Morad is a consistent win contender in the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT GT4. The other four include series veteran Jesse Lazare (No. 69 Motorsports In Action McLaren Artura GT4), Jesse Webb (No. 34 JMF Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT GT4), Thomas Collingwood (No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche 718 GT4 RS Clubsport), and Justin Di Benedetto and Travis Hill (No. 22 TWOth Autosport Porsche 718 GT4 RS Clubsport).


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The VP Racing Challenge adds in Jonathan Woolridge (No. 38 Performance Tech Ligier JS P320), who won at CTMP last year, and George Staikos (No. 61 Ave Motorsports Ligier JS P320) in the Le Mans Prototype 3 (P3) class, and Lazare (No. 21 Motorsports In Action McLaren Artura GT4) and Jack Polito (No. 98 Polito Racing Ford Mustang GT4) in Grand Sport X (GSX).


Finally in MX-5 Cup, Jonathan Neudorff (No. 55 BSI Racing) is the lone Canadian racing on home soil.


You can see all the Canadians and everyone else racing this weekend at CTMP across the IMSA television and streaming platforms of USA Network, Peacock, IMSA.tv and youtube.com/IMSAOfficial.