The 2018 Challenge Cup Series got off to a successful start at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Mosport), with a twenty-four car field of Challenge Cup and F1200 competitors entered.
Saturday morning dawned cloudy and breezy, but the predicted rain held off and practice, qualifying and the afternoon race were held under dry conditions. Regular Division Challenge Cup competitor Matt Clark secured the overall pole position, with Dean Curtis, representing the Master Division lining up alongside followed by former CCS Champion, Matt Garwood rounding out the top three starting 3rd overall. Challenge Cup competitors had a strong showing, securing the top five qualifying positions.
Saturday’s race was typical of what is the norm in the Challenge Cup Series – hammer and tong battles from the front of the pack and continuing down throughout the field. At the finish of the twelve-lap race, the top five cars were separated by just over one second. Dean Curtis won overall and also first in Masters, while Megan Gilkes, secured her first Challenge Cup Regular Division victory and edged Barrett Kingsborough by just over one-tenth of a second. Barrett took second in Regular and Trevor Carmody finished third. Ray Carmody took the second place trophy in Masters while Sam Ryan grabbed third place.
The evening pizza party, which was generously provided by Des and Derm Ennis, was well attended. Prize money and item giveaways donated by Challenge Cup sponsors were distributed to lucky Challenge Cup competitors and a good time was had by all.
The Sunday morning race saw another tight contest. At the finish line, Ray Carmody upheld the Masters category honors with the overall win, but Megan Gilkes was making a very strong impression by taking her second Regular division victory of the weekend and finishing just over a tenth of a second behind Ray. In Masters, Sherman Engler finished second with Dean Curtis third. Barrett Kingsborough was again second in the Regular Division, with Matt Clark taking the final trophy.
Before the start of the afternoon race Ray Carmody, in the true spirit of Challenge Cup racing, gave up the seat of his Mysterian to allow fellow competitor Rob Murray to compete. Rob had suffered severe mechanical issues in the previous race, but thanks to Ray’s generosity went on to finish seventh in the Regular category for this final race of the weekend.
At the end of Sunday’s final competition, F-1200 competitor Phil Wang took the checker with Megan Gilkes finishing second and completing a hat trick of wins in the Regular Division. Barrett Kingsborough was third overall and took home the second-place trophy in Regular, with Garrett Villano taking the final trophy. In the Masters Division, Sherman Engler was victorious, Dean Curtis finished in second position and Dennis Potocki took home the third-place hardware.