Trophies and Controversy at Mosport
Mosport International Raceway (a contraction of Motor Sport) - Bowmanville, ON Rounds 4-5 July 8-11, 2010
HD VIDEO Documentary Part ONE & TWO available at Irnieracing.com
Five days after earning second and third place honors at the Calgary rounds of the Parts Canada Superbike Series, Amateur Sportbike class contender Marcel Irnie embarked on the 5000 kilometer trek to the legendary Mosport race circuit for rounds 4 and 5. Calgary had been a tumultuous affair for Irnie as he enjoyed the highs of leading races and standing on the podium to the lows of being placed on probation two weeks later by series officials with no specific information as to the reason(s). Marcel used the Wednesday, July 7th track day to ride the track for the first time.
The Mosport track is legendary and many great racers have raced there. Halewood, Villeneuve, McLaren, Baldwin, Crevier, Szoke, and up-and-coming superstars Jodie Christie, Cody Matechuk, Steven Nickerson and Raphael Archambault. The venerable circuit has many elevation changes and blind corners, so learning the track and gaining confidence would be a daunting task.
For Thursday’s first official practice session Marcel brought out his 2008 Irnieracing.com zx-6r on used tires. Much more work was needed as his best time was good only for 12th place at 1:31.341; almost 4 seconds away from the top spot. He would have to overcome the complex Mosport circuit before even beginning to think about becoming a contender. For the afternoon session, Irnie turned to his trusty 2005 zx-6rr. Now he was finding his groove as he clocked a 1:28.449; good enough for 3rd spot. He was now closing in on leader Raphael Archambault’s 1.27.215.
Friday morning’s practice was marred by torrential rains. Of the 37 riders in the Amateur Sportbike class, only Marcel and Bodhi Edie ventured onto the track. The riders gingerly rounded the rolling circuit some 30 to 40 seconds off of the dry pace. As the session unfolded, Irnie started to have hopes for a wet race. Irnie offered, “Since everyone opted out of practice, they would have no clue about Mosport's wet traction for the first couple laps. My horsepower disadvantage would not show up in the rain as much.” As the track was still damp for the afternoon’s scheduled qualifying session, race officials opted to cancel it and use Thursday afternoon’s practice times as qualifying. Marcel’s third place time from that session would put him on the front row for both races.