Volume 4 |  July 10, 2017
IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda Event News and Notes 
The following is a summary of competition stories, news and results from Rounds 7 and 8 of the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series at the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix held July 7-9, 2017 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. 

At the halfway mark in the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series schedule, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is the perfect facility to shake up results and set the stage for narrowing points gaps and tightening up championship hopes for series contenders.

The 3.957-km (2.459-mi), 10-Turn road course located just North of Bowmanville, Ontario has provided a challenge to all classes of sportscar racing since it opened in 1961.

The Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix has proved to be no exception as the Prototype Challenge competitors enjoyed a spirited battle in Saturday’s first race of weekend competition in conjunction with the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Despite an initial full-course caution on the first lap for multiple-car contact, it was Kenton Koch in his P1 Motorsports No. 8 Ligier JS P3 entry that had a perfect race, leading flag-to-flag to take the LMP3 victory, edging out Colin Thompson who kept his No. 14 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Norma M30 firmly in Koch’s mirrors throughout the 45-minute sprint.

The two LMP3 contenders have been battling for top championship honors in lockstep throughout the first half of the season, setting the stage for what undoubtedly will be an amazing drive to the series finale.

Thompson provided Koch a continual challenge, reeling him in and shortening the gap until another full-course caution was issued on Lap 14 as the No. 13 of Gary Gibson and Team Perfect Pedal had light contact with the tire barrier in Turn 5. The yellow brought the field back together and as the field went back to green on Lap 16, Thompson was on a mission. He continued to push throughout the last 10 minutes of competition, setting the fastest lap of the race at one minute,15.187 seconds as the white flag dropped, but it was just not enough to catch Koch, relegating Thompson to the second tier of the podium.

LMP3 Masters contender Naj Husain enjoyed his first race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park as he brought his electric green and black No. 3 entry for Extreme Speed Motorsports across the finish line in third place in LMP3 competition and first in class.

Husain was followed by series newcomer Michael Watt who finished second in Masters in the No. 2 ASC Motorsports entry – his first time running with the series. This is also Watt’s first foray into Prototype racing, coming from two seasons in Ferrari Challenge.

Paul Fix, in the No. 44 Ave Motorsports Ave-Riley AR2 chassis suffered a rough start, getting caught up in a first-lap kerfuffle that forced his early retirement from the race and put him in third on the Masters podium.

It came as no surprise to anyone however that Kyle Masson continued to demonstrate speed in his No. 18 Performance Tech Motorsports Elan DP02 Mazda Prototype Challenge (MPC) entry. He once again led the class flag-to-flag, taking a page out of Koch’s racing handbook and the class victory, as well as finishing third overall.

Masson maintained a huge gap throughout most of the event, running as high as 15 seconds ahead of the closest competition, Michal Chlumecky in the No. 31 Eurosport entry. Chlumecky was holding out for redemption from a disappointing finish last weekend at Watkins Glen International and kept his Elan DP02 on cruise control while focusing on his racecraft to put him in second place on the MPC podium and first in class for MPC Masters.

Eurosport teammate and fellow Masters Classman Jon Brownson took the third step of the overall podium in his No. 34 MPC entry, and second in the Masters category. Proving that age and experience can keep pace with youth and exuberance.

And speaking of age and experience, Robert Masson, also known as Kyle’s father and teammate, ran an excellent race and moved up two positions from his initial start to put his No. 11 Performance Tech Motorsports entry on the third step of the podium in Masters competition.


In the ever-changing, on-track battle between Thompson and Koch, it was Koch who put his Ligier JS P3 car on Pole for race one. He dominated the session out of the box, clocking his fastest lap time of 1:13.562 on Lap 4 of the short 20-minute session.

Thompson was not far behind with a lap of 1:14.304 despite suffering some damage in an incident in afternoon practice Friday.

Masson captured his seventh series pole in seven rounds of competition thus far in the MPC category. He powered his Elan DP02 to third overall on the starting grid with a hot lap of 1:15.283, once again proving the former Lites 1 chassis are fully capable of mixing it up with the LMP3 cars.

Race 1 Driver Quotes:

Kenton Koch – No. 8, P1 Motorsports - LMP3 Winner

“The race went pretty smooth. There were some cautions and some water in [Turns] 5 and 6 and so we just had to adapt in the middle of the race to that. It looked like Colin was having some trouble with it while I was able to through it pretty clean. The whole time I was pushing, but I was trying to take care of my left rear because it was definitely showing signs of having no life in it. So, I was fighting the car a bit. The P1 Motorsports guys gave me a great car and I can’t thank everyone enough for getting me here.”

Naj Husain – No. 3, Extreme Speed Motorsports - LMP3 Masters Winner

“It was pretty good. In the beginning I lost a couple of places. I haven’t been to this track yet, but I kept the pace going and I was trying to catch the guy ahead of me in the MPC car [Kyle Masson]. Pretty tough, he ran a great race. But the car was awesome. The team, ESM [Extreme Speed Motorsports], did a great job setting up the car and thanks a lot to my coach Ross Bentley. It was a fun race. This is probably my favorite track now.” 

Kyle Masson – No. 18, Performance Tech Motorsports - MPC Winner

“The race went really well from beginning to end. The start was a bit iffy because there was an incident and for the next three laps we had to worry about weaving through debris so that we wouldn’t get flat tires. Once the yellow flag went out and the restart happened it was smooth sailing from there. I just put in consistent laps in the mid to low 16’s. We got toward the end of the race with four or five minutes left and I was told I had about a 15-second gap. So I just started driving smoothly and saving the car. Just trying to get the most out of what I could and save fuel. Performance Tech did a great job at this track. Our car was really, really quick this weekend.”

Michal Chlumecky – No. 31, Eurosport - MPC Masters Winner

“I had a good run and it was an enjoyable race. I just got settled into the midstream. I had nothing for Kyle [Masson] but I found my rhythm and stayed there and maintained my position and after that it was enjoyable. I was just happy to finish this race for once. Last year was quite a disappointment here, so this was redemption.” 


The second of two 45-minute weekend sprint races of the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park found Kenton Koch once again leading a field of exuberant points chasers to the green flag for another heated contest on his road to another series victory.

A field of 17 cars rushed to take the green flag Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. ET on the 3.957-km (2.459-mi), 10-Turn road course and formed a tight scrum at the start. 

As Koch breezed under the flag in his P1 Motorsports Ligier JS P3 and took point in nearly a repeat of yesterday’s performance, a multiple-car incident in Turn 2 nearly three quarters of the way through the field spelled trouble for the No. 2 of newcomer Michael Watt, the No. 38 of Stephen Dawes and the No. 7 of Kris Wright, causing the first full-course caution period of the race.

Watt in his ASC Motorsports Ligier continued, but Wright of JDC Motorsports and Dawes of Performance Tech Motorsports were unable to continue and retired from competition.

As the field went back to green on Lap 6, Koch and rival Colin Thompson in the No. 14 Kelly-Moss Road and Race entry took the opportunity, and the perfect track conditions, to check out and build a significant gap on the field.

In a repeat of yesterday’s performance, Thompson seemed to be struggling with the Norma M30 chassis in handling due to repairs from an on-track incident last weekend at Watkins Glen International. As the race progressed, the gap between he and Koch continued to grow, despite Thompson’s increasingly faster lap times.

As the checkered flag dropped on LMP3 competition, Koch had gained over a 12-second gap on Thompson to take his second flag-to-flag win of the weekend. And while Thompson’s efforts resulted in a solid second place, he proved that he still had the pace to challenge with very nearly a 40-second lead on the third finishing LMP3 entry of Naj Husain in the No. 3 entry of Extreme Speed Motorsports.

This was Husain’s second finish of the weekend on the overall LMP3 podium as well as a dual sweep of the LMP3 Masters victories. All in all, a great weekend for the Plains, Virginia driver in his Cloudistics Ligier in his first weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

In a flip-flop of yesterday’s performance, Paul Fix moved into the second-place position in LMP3 Masters in his No. 44 Ave Motorsports Ave-Riley AR2, taking advantage of Watt’s battle with Stuart Rettie in his ODU Motorsports MPC entry. The two had light contact near the end of the race on Lap 29, forcing Rettie to retire and Watt to limp the last two laps to the checkered flag to finish third in class.

It was déjà vu again in MPC competition, as Kyle Masson restarted his winning streak in yesterday’s sprint and continued to keep in high gear for race two, taking his seventh series victory Sunday.

He once again shared the podium with his elders, as the MPC Masters field boxed Masson in with Jon Brownson in the No. 34 Eurosport entry taking second place on the MPC podium, as well as the victory in Masters. He was followed by his race rival Joel Janco in the No. 25 entry of Performance Tech Motorsports. The two enjoyed an epic on-track duel throughout the race, improving their positions to finish in fifth and sixth overall, respectively.

Yesterday’s MPC Masters class winner, Michal Chlumecky, began his race in fine form, holding the lead and running as high as fifth overall before a spin in Turn 1 and light contact with the tire barriers ended his day, giving up the class win to Brownson.

Up next for the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series are Rounds 9 and 10, which will take place July 21-22 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut as part of the Northeast Grand Prix.

For more information on all IMSA competition - or to access IMSA Radio, which will have live streaming of both races - visit IMSA.com.

For more information about the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series, visit www.imsa.com, follow hashtag #IMSAPC, @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.

DOWNLOAD RACE 2 IMAGES:  LMP3 Podium | LMP3 Masters Podium | MPC Podium |

MPC Masters Podium | Race Start

Race 2 Driver Quotes

Kenton Koch – No. 8, P1 Motorsports - LMP3 Winner

“The car was hooked up and I really couldn’t ask for a better car. Yesterday I was really hanging on, but was able to drive around it. But today the car was just hooked up and the P1 [Motorsports] guys did an awesome job. They’ve been really working their butts off this weekend. Late nights and it feels good to get them a double win and a good sized victory. It’s the first year for the team and they’re pretty stoked and are going to be doing some more things to come and I can’t thank everyone enough.”

Naj Husain – No. 3, Extreme Speed Motorsports - LMP3 Masters Winner

“We started with stickers and changed the setup a little bit just to give us more grip and exit speed, which helped us a lot. Trying to catch Chlumecky, the guy in front of me, was difficult. He ran a great race. I think this track is a lot about committing to power. If you commit you get rewarded. The cars will take it, it’s just very fast. If you commit, your times will start to inch down. We’re happy with that. ESM did a great job. The team is awesome and the car is reliable, strong and ran beautifully.”

Kyle Masson – No. 18, Performance Tech Motorsports - MPC Winner

“The track was a little bit quicker today. It was cooler and and more grip all around. I just had to really focus on my race and running consistent laps. I was figuring out a few tricks here and there. Like in Turn Two I figured it was faster to do a little bit of a lift to get more grip on my front tires to not scrub off my speed as opposed to going in flat. I was just starting to get into a little rhythm, figuring out a few tricks and there and really put down the same lap time every time. That was my goal for the race. I wanted to really have a consistent spread. Catching up to traffic messed me up a little bit and my times started to fluctuate, but it was a really great race and I had a great car. I am excited looking forward to Lime Rock. We’re going to there strong and it will be a really good weekend. We had some engine troubles yesterday and I was firing on three cylinders and it started to misfire during the race, but we went back to the trailer and the Performance Tech guys figured out what was wrong and fixed it and we were flawless for today’s race. I’d like to thank my sponsors NeuroSpine and Global Surgical Institute.”

Jon Brownson – No. 31, Eurosport - MPC Masters Winner

“My race was a lot of fun. It was a good challenge and every once in a while, even a blind squirrel can find a nut. I think we found it today. This track is such a challenging, fun track and I think it’s the best track we race. Great to have two good races here in beautiful Ontario.” 

Delayed television coverage of Canadian Tire Motorsports Park Rounds 7 and 8 will be provided on July 27, 2017 on Fox Sports 2 (FS2) at 8 p.m. (ET). The broadcast will also be available on YouTube 24 hours after it airs on television.

All races are streamed live on IMSA.tv. 

July 21 - 22, 2017
Lime Rock Park
Lakeville, CT
About IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda:

IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda, an International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Challenge Series, is in its 12th season in 2017. The series provides thrilling action and grooms drivers for future IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition.

Action will be divided into two classes in 2017, blending new and existing IMSA machinery. The LM P3 class will feature LM P3 chassis from as many as six different constructors powered by identical V8 engines. The MPC class will use the existing Élan DP02 chassis powered by Mazda engines that previously comprised the Lites 1 class of the series.

Nine of the 13 rounds on the 2017 schedule will take place during WeatherTech Championship weekends, putting drivers and teams into the brightest sports car racing spotlight in North America. Most event weekends will include a pair of 45-minute sprint races. For more information about Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda, visit  www.imsa.com , follow hashtag #IMSAPC @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.

About IMSA:

The International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) was originally founded in 1969 and owns a long and rich history in sports car racing. Today, IMSA is the sanctioning body of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the premier sports car racing series in North America. IMSA also sanctions the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda, as well as four single-make series: Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama; Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama; Ferrari Challenge North America; and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. IMSA – a company within the NASCAR family – is the exclusive strategic partner in North America with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) which operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The partnership enables selected IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competitors to earn automatic entries into the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. For more information, visit www.IMSA.com , www.twitter.com/IMSA or www.facebook.com/IMSA .
Ruthie Forbes | IMSA Communications | 317-258-5630 | ruthie.forbes@lstmarketing.com