During the 2014 Canadian Touring Car Championship presented by Continental Tire Gala of Champions, series founder John Bondar offered an abbreviated ‘State of the Series’ address to the gathered celebrants. Reflecting on the past year’s achievements, Bondar noted the successful upgrades to the CTCC App, and made special mention of the 15 new drivers who participated over the course of the 14 race schedule, and especially the five female competitors who made their way into the field at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières.
Bondar’s statement also expanded on the impressive growth of interest in CTCC as he revealed that he has been approached by teams from as far away as the west coast of the country, from racing efforts looking for specifics as they plan their involvement in the 2015 campaign.
“I had a call from a team in Vancouver who would like to bring their three Mercedes to the series, they’re very interested in our program,” states Bondar. “I am getting many inquiries for next season and that’s great, but I am thrilled that existing teams are developing within the series. As a matter of fact, Audette Racing is adding a new Porsche Cayman to the team; the great surprise is that the veteran François Audette will be joining his sons in the 2015 CTCC racing season.”
Over the past several seasons, brothers Mathieu and Remy Audette have made significant contributions to the record books of CTCC, both drivers being proven race winners and championship contenders. And having watched his sons from the sidelines “for too long”, in 2015 ‘Papa’ Francois will be joining the Audette Racing effort, driving the Dimension Doors/ Novatech Porsche Cayman in the CTCC Super Class.
“I’m never going to beat Mathieu and Remy. I just want to have some fun racing with my boys, and improve my driving skills,” stated Francois Audette. “I tried some lapping days at ICAR and Calabogie, but it was nothing like racing, I didn’t like it. I’m a very competitive person, I like to race. So I thought, why not try it again?”
No stranger to touring car competition, ‘Papa’ actually began his career more than 50 years ago. What has Bondar equally enthused is the planned return of several past participants, drivers and teams that have been on a racing sabbatical due to a variety of business and personal commitments.
“We all understand that sometimes ‘life gets in the way’, where people are forced to focus on their priorities. But we also know that opportunities have a way of circling back around.”
With a recognized and respected presence in the Southern Ontario and Quebec markets, one that has been developed and nurtured over the past eight seasons, the Canadian Touring Car Championship Presented by Continental Tire has a solid foundation on which to expand, and offers room for growth in each of its Classes.
“Someone once told me that if you’re not moving forward, you’re losing ground. Our efforts in this off-season will be to keep the ball rolling forward. With more and more drivers and teams coming into CTCC, the potential for more and closer racing throughout the field is increased, and that growth will also translate into increased interest from the fans, more appeal to the promoters, and more visibility for the sponsors,” concludes Bondar.