The Audette Racing Team contested this weekend’s two Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC) rounds at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montréal, as part of the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada. Condensed into just Saturday, the CTCC races saw Mathieu Audette bring his Dimensions Doors/Novatech Acura RSX to victory in the first race, before following that up with a second place finish in the second race. His brother, Rémy Audette was not so lucky. Forced to retire during the initial race, he displayed an amazing performance to climb all the way to finish sixth later that same day.
Qualifying in second (Mathieu Audette) and third (Rémy Audette) places on the starting grid after dominating the free practice on Friday, the Audette brothers and their entire team knew that victory was knocking at their door on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, but that it wouldn’t be easy in a pack of twenty-nine entries.
Mathieu Audette managed to take the lead from the start of the first race: ” I was able to get the jump on 2013 champion Scott Nicol from the start and I was on maximum attack for the entire length of the race because even after Nicol’s retirement, Roger Ledoux and his Subaru were hot on my tail. I couldn’t let up at all and I really had to go flat out on each lap ” explained Mathieu after a magnificent victory on the legendary Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. For the Audette Racing Team, this outing was not a double victory like last month in the season opener at Mosport, where Rémy Audette won both races just ahead of his older brother: ” unfortunately, the module that controls the throttle body stopped working right on the first lap and we had to DNF ” he explained.
The second race, taking place under a blazing sun late Saturday afternoon, was reduced to only eleven minutes due to an accident at the back of the pack that required an interruption in the race. Mathieu Audette maintained control but once again found Ledoux glued to his rear bumper. When the “Last Lap” board was displayed at the start/finish line, Mathieu all of a sudden lost the lead: ” I’m not looking for excuses, I simply missed a gear change and it was just enough for Ledoux to overtake me and grab the victory ” commented Mathieu, who crossed the finish line just four-tenths of a second behind!
Starting in last place after his abandon in the first race, Rémy Audette mastered his Dimensions Doors/Novatech Honda Civic Si to climb twenty positions in eleven minutes of racing! He finished sixth. ” The module was replaced for the second race but since it’s not exactly the same car, we were short about 15 HP. Despite this, one more lap and I think I would have been in the “Top 4″ ” he admitted. The Audette Racing Team wants to thank the Lombardi Honda Racing Team who leant them the necessary equipment in order to repair Rémy’s Honda.
It’s still the first time since July 6, 2013, almost a year, since the Audette Racing Team lost a race that they have contested. ” It had to end one day but I didn’t envision this scenario. Regardless, coming away with a victory at the Grand Prix du Canada is nothing but positive and I am very proud of the work the entire team has done ” concluded Mathieu.
The next outing for the Audette Racing Team in CTCC will be in two weeks in Ontario on the Calabogie circuit, southwest of Ottawa. It’s yet another CTCC doubleheader that the Audette brothers and all other competitor will be faced with.