The Canadian Grand-Prix has come and gone and Cote’s first driving experience on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve as a rookie to the F1600 series has been an overall success. With forty-five cars total registered to this event, he consistently improved his position and lap time with each session over the course of the 3-day event.
With Friday’s practice being his first introduction to Mortimer Racing’s car 28, Cote aimed to use the session to get a feel for it’s capabilities and to learn the racing line and braking points of the challenging circuit. Unfortunately, a loss of clutch and a sticking throttle undermined his best efforts, and produced a series of frustrating stalls and slow lap times. As a result, he would start Saturday’s qualifying session at just 37th position.
Luckily, mechanical issues were almost completely completely resolved for Qualifying. Thanks to improved mechanical performance and expert advice from legendary Canadian driver, Claude Bourbonnais (technical consultant to Mortimer Racing), Cote shaved nearly 9 seconds off his lap time despite a detached rear sway-bar and massive under-steering.
Now at 27th for Race Once, his run was notably clean and solid. Avoiding various bang-ups and messes along the way, Cote happily brought the car home in 17th position to a huge, highly animated crowd:
“Wow, what can I say? I feel I should talk about how the car ran today… but I can’t get over the crowd and how enthusiastic they were! Going through the hairpin with 50,000 people in that section alone…it’s a moment I won’t ever forget, especially given it’s my birthday!”
Sunday’s Race Two commenced with fresh tires and an improved grid position. Cote comfortably pushed the limits of the car and immediately attacked off the green flag. Catching two cars ahead of him in turn one, and getting around the outside of a third car exiting the Senna esses, he slotted in with the lead pack at 12th position. A little bad luck on Lap 9 nearing the infamous Wall of Champions however, forced Cote to execute an avoidance manoeuvre which set him back several places:
”I caught the car ahead coming down the straight and I guess he was watching me in his mirrors, because he missed his braking point and cut across the curbs, catching air. I had to stand on the brakes and veer into the run-off area to avoid him. I’m glad he didn’t land on me, but still a little disappointed to have lost those crucial positions in the meantime.”
All told, Cote managed to maintain pace with the top five cars during this race.
An intact, clean car and a steady climb from 37th to 16th over the course of the weekend had Cote leave the circuit satisfied and eager to return. He and his team plan to race there again in August on Nascar weekend.
Very special thanks go to Cote Racing’s sponsors and media partners: The Team 990, Redux Media, Produits Neptune, ProSportsBlogging.com, Xtreme Airbrush Designs and Chinook Productions, as well as our charity partner; Operation Enfant Soleil.
About the Author
Written by Kevin Lee
Kevin has had an extensive career as a sports writer and radio show host for almost 10 years. Kevin has covered the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA College Football and Basketball. From covering the BCS Championship Game to the Final Four and the Stanley Cup Finals, he has done it all. He has been featured on numerous sports radio stations in Canada and the United States and often a weekly guest on numerous XM and Sirius Satellite radio shows. He has also had his work featured on FoxSports.com.