“I’m five for five there,” said Pruett, whose last race at the Canadian circuit was an SCCA Trans-Am event in 2003. “I definitely want to keep that ball rolling.”
Pruett raced in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series since 2004, and did not have an opportunity to race at the circuit once known as Mosport International Raceway since then. This weekend, he’ll be joining a number of his former Rolex Series competitors with little or no experience at the circuit.
“It’s funny that the races at Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park are back to back on the schedule,” Pruett said. “I think that’s good. It really demonstrates how the unification is bringing together some of the best race tracks in North America.”
Pruett and co-driver Memo Rojas tested the No. 01 Telcel Ford EcoBoost/Riley on the 10-turn, 2.459-mile circuit in May.
“We gathered important information that will help us when we go back,” said Rojas, who last raced at CTMP in 2001 in Formula Ford. “We were satisfied with the results, although it didn’t mean anything because it was only a test.”
Prototype class points leader Action Express Racing has no prior experience at CTMP entering the event.
“I don’t even know where it is on the map,” Christian Fittipaldi said.
Other Prototype teams yet to race at the circuit include Wayne Taylor Racing, Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian, Marsh Racing, Spirit of Daytona and OAK Racing.
Team owner Wayne Taylor isn’t worried about the lack of experience, though, when his team unloads the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP at CTMP for the first time.
“Our drivers are professionals, and normally it doesn’t take them long to figure out a new track. The toughest part is finding the right setup. It gets interesting when the drivers are learning the track and engineers are learning the setup at the same time. We’ll figure it out, though.
“It’s fast and certainly like one of the old race tracks that I like,” added Taylor, who last raced a Ferrari World Sports Car there in the late 1990s. “It’s a famous track, and they really kept the history without making too many changes while they were modernizing the facility. I really look forward to going back.”
Montreal native and SpeedSource owner Sylvain Tremblay has plenty of experience at CTMP, racing in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. Will any of that experience carry over to his team’s Mazda Prototypes?
“No doubt, any time you have any track experience it always seems to help,” said Tremblay, who won at CTMP in a SpeedSource Porsche 911 in 2001 and was second in ST in a Mazda RX-8 in his most recent race in 2005. “This car is completely different from the other cars that I drove there, but the basic track layout has stayed the same. I know that Ron Fellows and his group have done a lot of updates, and I’m looking forward to going there. Hopefully, it hasn’t lost any of its character, which is why we truly love that particular race track. I’m looking forward to going back to my homeland and running at the really fun Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.”