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Andy Lally files his Sportscar365 column following CTMP…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

In all honesty, it was an odd weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. I had an awesome race in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, but a very average race in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

I’ve been coming to this place for years, and it’s always been one of the more exciting places to drive.

It’s filled with some very fast corners that you really have to be on your toes for, a lot of elevation changes, off-camber corners, and a bunch of little details that need all of your concentration. A lap also goes by really fast so you have to make sure you don’t lose much ground.

It’s also the only race outside of the U.S. that we run all year, but to be honest, it’s not like it’s some crazy foreign race. Toronto is actually a very nice city, the track is about an hour East, and the area just feels like a small U.S. suburb with a lot of French words. It’s very quaint.

Since my last race, it’s been a busy few days.

As you may remember, at Watkins Glen I did a pretty good number on my foot having spent over an hour with my foot buried on the gas pedal of a searing hot pedal box in my Camaro during the Continental Challenge. I developed a giant blister on my right foot and was in a lot of pain, followed by a six-hour race the next day.

If I were smart, I would have slowed down and spent the next ten days soaking my foot, but nope.

Just a few days later I was off to Whistler, Canada, where I competed in the latest round of the IGSA Street Luge World Championship. The key element to street luge racing, however, is how you brake…. with your feet. So yes, just a week after burning my foot, I was dragging it on the ground at 40mph.

I never said I was smart.

But, I got another podium!

Heading into the weekend, the foot was still a little painful but not a big deal, I could drive through it.

In all honesty, as soon as our first session began our Magnus Porsche was never really where we needed it.

We have an extremely hard-working crew and some very smart people on the engineering side, but there were a few handling issues that we just never got to the bottom of. Mosport is so fast that it requires a lot of aerodynamic balance and we just didn’t have it.

On Saturday, however, we had our race for the Continental Challenge with Stevenson Motorsports and my Camaro, and that was by far the highlight of the weekend. We knew we had a good car, and the team had done an excellent job of getting the car ready, so I was optimistic.

After my teammate Matt Bell drove a really impressive stint, all I had to do was drive it home, and between strategy and car management we cruised to a fantastic victory. It was great to finally get one for the No. 9 team.

For Sunday’s TUDOR race, a morning rain shower created an interesting prospect for us as we thought the changing track conditions might play in our favor. John is really good in the wet, and in general we’ve always done well in those conditions.

By the time the green flag fell, however, that was long past and we were back in normal conditions.

Our race was pretty unremarkable. John did a great job to keep the car clean, but he’d never raced at the circuit before and was doing his best to manage lap times with keeping the car on course.

A yellow flag never fell, which we hadn’t expected, so by the time I was in the car we had a gap to the leaders that we just couldn’t get back. Everyone did a solid job in the pits, it just wasn’t our day.

The good news is we’re still in the thick of the championship hunt, in fact, we’re even closer to the lead.

We’re off to Indy in just over a week and so far we’ve had two podiums and one win there so we’re really looking forward to it!

Until then…

Andy Lally (@AndyLally) is a three-time GRAND-AM champion and former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie-of-the-Year, currently driving for Magnus Racing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

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