Entered in this past weekend’s first two races of the Canadian Touring Car Championship’s 2016 season, the Audette Racing Team experienced a weekend of highs and lows in Ontario but Mathieu Audette earned himself a podium in one of the two races, rewarding the team’s hard work.
This first weekend of the season, at Mosport (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) near Toronto, started off well for Mathieu Audette, who recorded the fourth overall fastest lap time, and third in Super Touring Class, during the first race’s qualifying session. Knowing that this impressive lap time was earned even with a transmission problem, the driver of the Dimensions Doors/Novatech Acura RSX was fairly confident to even better his position during the race.
The first race, on Saturday, had a somewhat bizarre start as many of the cars did not keep their position at the point when the green flag was waved to signify the start of the race. ” I don’t know if I should say that some jump-started but it was a very chaotic situation. I found myself in ninth place but I wasn’t discouraged because the Dimensions Doors/Novatech Acura RSX is very competitive and I knew I should’ve been able to gain back a few spots as the race progressed ” explained Mathieu Audette.
The Quebec driver eventually finished the event in third place overall, second of the Super Touring cars, but he no doubt would’ve been able to aim even higher had the race not been neutralized as a result of an accident in the pack. ” We will never know with certainty what might have been but the fact that the race finished under a cautionary flag completely halted my progression, that’s for sure. That being said, the entire Audette Racing Team did a great job and a podium to start the season is a nice reward for all of us ” added the Quebec driver.
Sunday was a little more complicated for Mathieu Audette. During qualifying, a broken valve forced him to settle for tenth place on the second race’s starting grid.
At the start, he right away gained a few spots and was maintaining a place among the leaders when an unusual incident took place a few laps later : ” I slowed down in the approach to the slowest turn on the track because there was a yellow flag, indicating an incident, and this is when fellow competitor Tom Kwok, hit me from behind, sending me into a spin. He surely didn’t do it on purpose but he was definitely too aggressive and the officials penalized him after the race for his conduct. Unfortunately, distorted alignment ruined the rest of my race and I had trouble even finishing ” confided Mathieu.
Mathieu Audette finished the race in sixth overall and fourth in Super Touring Class. All in all, it was a satisfying start to the season for the Audette Racing Team, regardless of having to pull the team’s second car, François Audette’s Porsche Cayman S, during the first qualifying session as a result of a problem with the engine.