Feud over Canadian sports activities automobile racing ends with a collection put ‘on h…

FEL’s Sports activities Automotive Championship Canada takes over the TCR class, placing the CTCC on ice

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A bitter feud that essentially fractured Canadian sports activities automobile racing for greater than a 12 months has lastly reached a conclusion — and introduced in regards to the collapse of a collection that had been operating for greater than a decade.

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The Canadian Touring Automotive Championship (CTCC) was established by John Bondar and contested its first season in 2007. Bondar’s spouse Dominique later joined him in administrating the collection, and she or he took over its management when he co-purchased Shannonville Motorsport Park late in 2019.

In roughly that very same timeframe, groundwork started on the Sports activities Automotive Championship Canada (SCCC), which was established by FEL Motorsports and its founder, Chris Bye. The collection was established with the intent of straight competing with the CTCC, which Bye says got here on the request of a gaggle of CTCC rivals who had turn into dissatisfied with a number of points of the operations and insurance policies of that collection. Bye integrated a prize cash system amongst different adjustments into the SCCC in response to those issues.

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Motorsport is a extremely regulated enterprise. Each racing collection anyplace on the planet that desires to host a particular class of vehicles must obtain a licence from a regulatory physique. The category at concern right here is TCR, which is a touring automobile racing class for front-wheel drive manufacturing vehicles with 4 or 5 doorways which can be powered by 1.75 to 2.0-litre turbocharged engines. Automobiles such because the Hyundai Veloster N TCR and Elantra N TCR, Honda Civic Sort R TCR, and Audi RS 3 TCR are amongst these competing on this class globally.

FEL SCCC
FEL SCCC Photograph by FEL Motorsports/John Walker

CTCC was the unique licence holder for the TCR class in Canada for 2021. Bye says that when he established SCCC, he was unaware that the TCR licence was unique and was below the impression that he would even be granted a licence when he started registering groups and signing tv offers for his inaugural season. (Each collection have been granted a GT4 class licence for 2021 as no unique Canadian settlement existed for the category on the time.)

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When Bye’s request for a licence was denied, he went across the TCR framework totally and as a substitute approached a distinct licencing physique for the proper to determine the TC Canada class, which hosted the identical vehicles that will qualify for the TCR class.

What adopted was months of in-fighting, mud-slinging, stop and desist orders, and unsustainably low automobile counts for each collection — although extra so for CTCC than for SCCC — together with a hearty serving to of concern over whether or not the rift within the sport might ever be mended.

The state of affairs lastly reached a conclusion on April 4 of this 12 months when the worldwide organizers of the TCR class, WSC Group, introduced that FEL has signed a three-year deal for the proper to function TCR in Canada. CTCC’s settlement with WSC Group was terminated a 12 months early, for which the collection acquired compensation of an unspecified quantity. The WSC assertion included a press release from Dominique Bondar of the thanking the group for his or her partnership.

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With CTCC not having rights to the TCR class and the GT4 class having a comparatively small pool of rivals to attract from in Canada, Bondar says the CTCC has determined to “take a break.”

“We didn’t shut the collection or terminate it,” Bondar informed Driving.ca. “We simply put it on maintain. … We don’t know what the long run will maintain, but when sooner or later there’s a possibility, or demand, or no matter, then we are going to come again. For now, we’re simply having fun with the peace of thoughts.”

Bye says the upper automobile counts in SCCC illustrate why his collection was profitable in procuring TCR class rights.

“The groups have spoken,” he says. “(Some observers name it) a hostile takeover. I completely don’t see it that manner. It’s like I opened a restaurant throughout the road out of your restaurant. Why is that an issue? I’d assume the groups really feel we provide higher worth as a result of all of them got here to us.”

The 2022 SCCC season begins on the Could lengthy weekend as a part of Victoria Day Speedfest at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. For extra data, go to felmotorsports.com.

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