After a team effort that stretched from Central Ontario to Indianapolis, Kelly-Moss Road and Race moved into the IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda championship points lead as Colin Thompson scored two second place finishes at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Entering the weekend fresh from a breakthrough victory at Watkins Glen for Thompson in the No. 14 Norma M30, the team was looking to convert his consistent finishes into a boost in the championship standings.
The plan, however, was thrown out the window following a heavy accident that saw Thompson suffer extensive damage to the Norma.
With a sparse spares inventory on hand at CTMP, the team quickly realized that the needed parts were in Indianapolis.
Fortunately, the team was also competing in PCA Club Racing action at Putnam Park in Indianapolis, resulting in the crew scrambling from that event to secure the parts needed and headed towards Toronto on Friday night.
At the same time, Alex Stone (KMR Assistant Competition Director) and John Thompson, Colin’s father, headed south to meet the truck and pick up the parts in a late-night exchange in Toledo.
Driving through the night to get back to the track with the needed parts, Stone and Thompson brought what the Norma needed and the crew had the car ready to go in time for qualifying on Saturday morning.
”This weekend was a really solid points weekend,” said Thompson. “Kenton (Koch) was so strong this weekend but we kept pushing as hard as we could.
“The whole Kelly-Moss crew went above and beyond once again, the whole weekend to make sure we were on track every season and performing to the best of the car’s ability.
“That second race, we had pace but traffic didn’t play our way and we got a little unlucky.”
That effort saw Thompson score front row starting spots for both races, which he duly converted into two runner-up finishes to move into the lead of the championship with seven races to go.
Thompson now holds a 20-point lead over Koch, with former points leader Andres Gutierrez slipping to third after missing the CTMP weekend.
“We knew going into this weekend that we wanted to focus on taking the lead in the championship and we were able to do that,” said Thompson.
“So it is a good position to be in and we will just focus on getting the most that we can out of the next three weekends.”
“It was a really good weekend, although it felt like a very long one!” said team owner Jeff Stone with a laugh. “We are just thankful to be where we are.
“Colin drove great – we had an issue in the second half of the last race but he was able to bring it home okay. We will get it sorted out and will come back to it at Lime Rock Park.”