BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (May 20, 2019) – RealTime Racing made the most out of a challenging weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for Rounds Five and Six of the Blancpain GT World Challenge America. The team came away with a top-five result in both races.
FRIDAY – QUALIFYING
The weekend began as promising as the previous event at VIRginia International Raceway ended. Driver Bret Curtis qualified the No. 43 Acura NSX GT3 Evo third for Saturday’s race, while Dane Cameron qualified second for Sunday’s race.
SATURDAY – RACE 1
Curtis had a strong start on Saturday, taking over the Pro-Am class lead, but an injury sustained in practice began to flare up during his stint.
“I popped something in my back in the first 15 minutes of bronze practice on Thursday and stayed out of the car until qualifying on Friday afternoon,” Curtis explained. “My start of the race on Saturday was good, I moved up two positions right away to lead Pro-Am but the soreness in my back just didn’t go away and I really struggled physically in the car and couldn’t keep pace.”
Curtis fell down the order before it was time to pit and change to Cameron. The pit stop was perfect and Cameron’s pace was on par with the leaders, but without a full-course yellow to close up the field, there wasn’t an opportunity to pick up any more positions.
“When I got in, we had pretty good pace and the crew had a great pit stop, we were really close to the required minimum,” Cameron said. “Without any yellows, we cruised around pretty uneventfully to the end in fifth.”
“We had really high expectations for this weekend at Mosport because of prior race successes I’ve had there; I love the track so much and I knew Dane and I would be quick there,” Curtis added. “Dane and the team did a great job to bring the car home fifth in Pro-Am.”
SUNDAY – RACE 2
Concerned that his back pain was affecting his race pace, Curtis made the selfless decision to step out of the car for Sunday’s race. In searching for a qualified replacement, Curtis and RealTime chose Trent Hindman. The New Jersey native, who was already present at the track, has five years of professional sports car racing under his belt, but most importantly, he races the same Acura NSX GT3 Evo in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship with Meyer Shank Racing.
“It’s a testament to Acura and the work they do building these race cars that there was absolutely no difference,” Hindman said about stepping into the RealTime NSX. “The RealTime guys did an amazing job getting me ready to go and Dane was an open book. I really appreciate Bret, Peter Cunningham (team owner) and Nathan Bonneau (team manager) for giving me the nod to step in the car. I really feel for Bret. Nobody wants to be in a situation where they can’t race, but I hope he’s feeling better and back in the car soon.”
The change in driver moved the No. 43 to the back of the grid and also changed which class the car was entered: from Pro-Am to Pro-Pro.
“My back was pretty sore again after Race 1 and I didn’t see it getting better,” Curtis said. “I didn’t want to let Dane and RealTime down, so I let them know I should stay out of the car. I’m glad RealTime could get Trent to run with Dane and at least compete on Sunday.”
It didn’t take Hindman long at all to get up to speed in the RealTime Acura. Though he started last, he charged to 11th overall before bringing the car in for a pit stop and driver change to Cameron.
“It took no more than two or three laps get comfortable,” Hindman said. “I wish I could have moved up a couple more positions and put Dane in a better spot. It’s a tough track to pass on already, but the nature of GT3 racing can make that even more difficult.”
The Acura continued to gain positions in Cameron’s hands. He made his way past the Pro-Am field and was into fifth overall with his sights on the fourth-place Porsche of Patrick Long.
Cameron closed a gap of more than 10 seconds to Long, but ran out of time to make a challenge. At the checkered flag he was 0.815-second behind the Porsche.
“It’s a shame we had to start at the back, because with the cars being so aero-dependent it can be difficult to pass here,” Cameron said. “Trent did exactly what we asked of him and moved up without putting a scratch on the car. We pushed like hell and ended up fifth. The RealTime guys did a great job giving us a fast car and it was a shame that Bret couldn’t race with us today.”
Next up, RealTime heads to Sonoma Raceway, June 7 – 9, for Rounds 7 and 8 of the Blancpain GT World Challenge America.