IMSA Prototype Challenge Prepares for Double Header Street Racing in Trois-Rivieres
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda makes its second and final trip north of the border this weekend, for a doubleheader at the Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres, the tight 1.52-mile, 10-turn street circuit located at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.

The last time the series traveled to Canada, it was for the Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, July 7-9. The top three finishers were the same in both of the 45-minute races that weekend: Kenton Koch took the top spot in the new LMP3 class in his No. 8 P1 Motorsports Ligier JS P3, followed in both races by Colin Thompson in the No. 14 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Norma M30.

Third overall was Kyle Masson, racing his Mazda Prototype Challenge (MPC) Elan DP02, giving Masson and his No. 18 Performance Tech Motorsports team the victory in the separate Mazda Prototype Challenge class.

Indeed, since the last time the series raced at Trois-Rivieres, there have been some substantial improvements: The series was previously called Prototype Lites, which accurately reflected the car that was competing - the open-cockpit Elan chassis, powered by a competition-built Mazda engine. Those cars continue to race under the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda umbrella in the MPC class. Indeed, plenty of those drivers will return this weekend, including Masson, who scored a second- and third-place finish at the track one year ago.

But the Mazda Prototype Challenge cars will be joined on track by the new LMP3 cars, which are closed-cockpit, rear-engine cars, powered by a 420-horsepower V-8. If the LMP3 cars look and sound like slightly smaller versions of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototypes, there's a reason - they are built by many of the same manufacturers that build the WeatherTech Prototype cars.

The LMP3 class was developed in Europe, and just this season IMSA brought it to the U.S. to race in conjunction with the familiar MPC cars. The two classes compete on track at the same time, but run for separate championships. In addition, there's a Masters championship inside the LMP3 and MPC series, with separate points kept for drivers aged 45 and up.

Of the six separate manufacturers approved by the ACO sanctioning body in Europe to build the LMP3 cars, we've seen representatives from four manufacturers this year, but two seem to be dominating: The Ligier JS P3, which makes up the balance of the field, and the Norma M30. The Norma of Miami, Florida's Colin Thompson, the only Norma in the field for now, is leading the points, just 23 ahead of former series champion Kenton Koch of Glendora, California, in a Ligier.

Unfortunately for Koch, his deal to drive the P1 Motorsports car came just a little too late to make the season-opening doubleheader at Sebring International Raceway, so he has had to dig out of a hole all season. No question he's done all he can: He's scored three wins, one more than Thompson.

Third in the points is Naj Husain of The Plains, Virginia, driver of the No. 3 Extreme Speed Motorsports/Cloudistics Ligier. Husain is also leading the Masters points, just ahead of Williamsville, New York's Paul Fix, who drives the only North American-built car in the field so far this year, the No. 44 Ave-Riley/Stop Flex AR2.

In the Mazda Prototype Challenge class, Kyle Masson of Windermere, Florida, has a comfortable lead, winning an incredible eight of nine races this season. Second in points is Tazio Ottis, the Alameda, California driver of the No. 72 JDC Motorsports entry. Third is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's Kris Wright, Ottis's teammate in the No. 7 JDC car, and the only driver to break Masson's winning streak.

Indeed, it could be a double championship this season for the Masson family: Kyle's father, Robert Masson, is leading the MPC Masters, in his No. 11 Performance Tech Motorsports car for Global Microsurgical Center.

The IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda will practice Friday, qualify and run Race 1 Saturday, with Race 2 Sunday. Live timing, scoring and race coverage will be available on IMSA.tv, and a delayed broadcast of the races will be shown on FS2 Thursday, Sept. 14, at 8 p.m. EDT. The broadcast will also be available on YouTube 24 hours after it airs on television. 

For more information on all IMSA competition - or to access IMSA Radio, which will have live streaming audio of both races - visit IMSA.com.

For more information about the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series, visit www.imsa.com, follow hashtag #IMSAPC @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.

Schedule (all times ET):

Practice: 2:20-2:55 p.m. and 5:20-5:55 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11

Qualifying: 9-9:20 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12

Race 1: 8:45-9:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 13

Race 2: 4:15-5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 13

Race Coverage: 

Live Streaming: Both races will be streamed live at IMSA.tv

Live timing: All on-track sessions at scoring.imsa.com and on the official IMSA app for iOS, Android and Windows

Twitter: Live text commentary from all sessions at @IMSALive

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