Prototype Challenge Trois-Rivieres Friday Notebook
Friday, August 11, 2017

The only street circuit on the 2017 IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda schedule, the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres was certainly up to providing a challenge and a new perspective to series competitors Friday as they took to the track for two 30-minute practice sessions.

This is the first time the new LMP3 chassis has contested the 1.52-mile (2.433-km) temporary street course that winds its way around the Hippodrome in downtown Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.

A fan favorite, drawing significant crowds, “GP3R” as it is often referred, is more of a three-day festival of speed, celebrating all manner of horsepower on its narrow and twisty concrete and asphalt surfaces.

And much like the circuit at Lime Rock Park from earlier this season, the length and configuration of Trois-Rivieres proved to be an equalizer for the series, allowing the older, tried and true, MPC chassis to push further forward through the LMP3 field based on its lightness and agility.

Kenton Koch took the top spot in overall practice, setting a fast lap of one minute, 2.302 seconds in the second session at the end of the day in his No. 8 Ligier JS P3 for P1 Motorsports. As per usual, Colin Thompson was hard on his heels to run second overall in his No. 14 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Norma M30 entry.

The two drivers have been swapping victories and sharing podiums all season, creating a tight, but friendly rivalry for championship honors. Thompson currently leads the points, but Koch isn’t far behind, despite missing the first two races at Sebring International Raceway, making this weekend a pivotal points grab before the season wraps up at the Motul Petit Le Mans, just a few weeks away.

And just like at Lime Rock, Kyle Masson in the No. 18 MPC entry of Performance Tech Motorsports/Neurospine Institute once again outpaced not only the MPC class, but pushed his Elan DP02 chassis into the overall top three with a lap of 1:02.937 that he set in the first practice session of the day.

Kris Wright followed Masson’s practice line, so to speak, and ended his day with his No. 7 MPC entry for JDC Motorsports in fourth overall, just 0.253 seconds behind Masson.

In the Masters Championship, for drivers 45 years or older, Platinum Master classman Naj Husain wrapped up the top five overall in his LMP3 No. 3 Extreme Speed Motorsports/Cloudistics entry with a hot lap of 1:03.671 set in the second session.

Gary Gibson set the fastest time for the MPC Masters division running in eighth position overall in combined practice. He is one of six MPC entries running in the top 10 overall.

The first practice session of the day was run under optimal conditions, with the second session serving as a forecast for tomorrow, with light-to-steady rain the last 10 minutes of the session, causing most competitors to park their cars early and retire back to the paddock in preparation for tomorrow’s 20-minute qualifying session scheduled for 9 a.m. ET.

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):

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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