***A hard crash at the end of qualifying has put the rest of the Pirelli World Challenge weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in questions for the R. Ferri Motorsports squad. With driver Alex Riberas seemingly on his way to smashing the track and claiming pole position for Saturday’s SprintX Race 1, Riberas dropped a wheel off course into some damp grass in Turn 3 and made heavy contact with a barrier, causing significant damage to the team’s Ferrari 488 GT3.
***The team indicated that the initial inspection revealed no damage to the car’s monocoque, but a more thorough survey of the damage was needed to confirm that finding. The team was hard at work beginning the repairs Friday night, but the final decision on whether or not the car will race this weekend is unlikely before Saturday morning. Although Riberas lost his fastest lap, and consequently the track record, when he brought out the red flag at the end of qualifying, his time of record would still be good enough for a third-place starting position for Race 1 if the car can be repaired in time.
***Two heavy crashes marred the day’s running in the Touring Car ranks as well. Two separate incidents early in the TCA qualifying session caused a major delay. Spencer Patterson made contact with the wall in Turn 10 in his Patterson Racing Mazda MX-5 and, after complaining of aches and pains, was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. He was subsequently released from the hospital later in the the day.
***In the second incident, Shea Racing driver Sarah Montgomery rolled her Honda Civic Si several times in Turn 2, and after a period of observation at the on-site medical facility was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. According to a PWC spokesperson, Montgomery was conscious and communicating with safety workers at the scene of the accident, and was reported to be in good spirits.
***It is the second major accident in as many races for Shea Racing following Jason Fichter’s flip at VIR last month.
***Red flags during the SprintX practice session Friday morning threw a wrench into Cadillac Racing’s plans to test the pit road delta ahead of Saturday’s race. After confusion in the last SprintX round at Virginia International Raceway, the Cadillac team planned to experiment with the timing system at the tail end of Friday’s practice. When the final minutes of the session were scrapped do to an incident on track, so too were the team’s plans, and there are no further practices before the hour-long race at 1:45 p.m. ET.
***A 34th car will be joining the SprintX field this weekend, in the form of a McLaren 570S GT4 fielded by GMG Racing for Kenton Koch and George Kurtz. The car will also be taking part in the GTS class sprint events with Kurtz as the nominated driver.
***Jade Buford will be driving a SIN R1 GT4 for Racers Edge Motorsports in the GTS sprint races this weekend and will have a very familiar opponent in the form of the PF Racing Ford Mustang of Ernie Francis Jr. The chassis that Francis is driving this weekend is the same chassis that Buford and Scott Maxwell drove to victory at Sebring and fifth at Daytona in IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge competition earlier this year.
***Buford admitted that it was strange racing against a Mustang, especially one that he has experience driving. He and Maxwell missed the last CTSC round at Circuit of The Americas despite leading the series points standings going into Austin. Currently Buford has no plans on returning to the series this year, although he noted that he would be open to it should the opportunity present itself.
***Watch the fifth round of the GTS championship Saturday at 10:35 a.m. ET on Motor Trend on Demand and World-Challenge.com, with the SprintX race set for 1:45 p.m.