MUSKOKA - The Celebration of Motorsports in Bowmanville on Sept. 29 was the seventh and final event of the Canadian Automobile Sports Clubs - Ontario Region 2012 season.
Martin Barkey pilots his Viper around the course at Bowmanville on Sept. 29 during qualifying laps for the Celebration of Motorsports. Despite not competing in the race due to other commitments, Barkey still managed to capture the points title for the GT-Challenge GT2 class.
COURTESY OF RICHARD COBURN
With multiple teams poised to take the championship this was to be the climax of what has been a stellar season for The Garage/MBRP team.
And with a field of 36 cars, six in class, this had all the makings of a closely fought race.
Once again Martin Barkey of Huntsville was able to post the fastest qualifying time in his class though the top three GT2 teams came within two seconds of each other.
However, due to the cool conditions drivers had to be cautious. Barkey’s fastest qualifying lap was not until lap five when his tires had heated up enough to provide a safe level of traction and control.
The Garage/MBRP crew had the Viper tuned to perfection. Everything was in place for an intense 60 minutes of racing. Then the waiting began with the clock ticking through delay after delay.
The most serious of these was a major crash in the Formula 1200 race with one driver being rushed to hospital. To the relief of all, it was later reported that he would recover with only a few broken bones and many bruises.
Unfortunately, oncoming darkness forced the GT-Challenge race to be postponed to the Sunday schedule.
Barkey had a pressing commitment that day and the team was forced to withdraw from the race.
In spite of this, The Garage/MBRP team still ended up with the most points and retained their first place standing in the GT-Challenge GT2 class, winning the championship.
“After spending the day getting prepared to race, then waiting a couple hours due to delay only to find out we were not racing Saturday was disappointing to say the least,” said Barkey, who is also CEO of The Garage and co-founder of MBRP Inc. “I am very thankful to hear the drivers involved in the huge crash during the race before us are fine. I would like to shout out a big thanks to all the track officials, volunteers and emergency staff for handling this situation so well.”
Barkey also wanted to thank the more than 80 people who came out to see the races with more than 80 of those arriving by motor coach charter. Though they were only able to see the Viper in qualifying runs the day was filled with racing of the highest calibre.
A whole new season begins May 2013 and it promises even more action, more competition and more excitement. The Dodge Viper ACR-X is being retired and replaced with a new Porsche GT3 Cup car. With the lessons learned in 2012 the team is already getting ready for the many challenges ahead.
– Submitted for publication