2001 was the fifth season for the highly successful Canada GT Challenge Cup series.
Sanctioned by ASN Canada, the championship draws a wide array of high powered Grand Touring cars and the attention of fans.
Helping the series attract competitors is a healthy prize fund. The winner of each contest receives a cheque for $6,000, the runner-up earns $5,000 and third-place collects $4,000. The remainder of the payout is on a sliding scale, with the last-place finisher receiving $1,000. There is also an end of season championship fund. The driver collecting the most points is paid $30,000. Second place in the title chase earns $20,000 and third-place in the final standings is worth $10,000.
Vehicles eligible to compete in the series included FIA GT, Professional Sportscar GTS & GT, Sports Car Club of America Improved Touring, GT1, GT2 & Trans Am, plus ASA Stock Cars. Sports Racers, ground effect cars and Showroom Stock vehicles are not permitted to compete in the Canada GT Challenge Cup series.
The most significant change for the 2001 season was the elimination of the GT2 category. Any debate about fast cars ‘sand-bagging’ so that they could collect GT2 points and win the class title ended.
All races are one-hour in length and require a mandatory one-minute pit-stop. For teams that use two drivers, one-minute is sufficient time to make the change. Competitors driving solo can remain in the car during the stop. Re-fueling is not allowed.
The events are contested during CASC Ontario Region weeks or in conjunction with major events at Mosport International Raceway. The Canada GT Challenge Cup season kicks off on April 26 at Mosport International Raceway during the BARC Grand Prix of Ontario. This is followed by two more events at Mosport – the BEMC Spring Trophy Races and the Victoria Day Trans-Am Weekend. Round four is the series’ first of three visits to Shannonville Motorsport Park. On June 24, the championship returns to Mosport for the CASCAR 250 Weekend. The next two events are held at Shannonville. The BARC Canadian Touring Trophy at Mosport event hosts round eight for the series. On August 18th, the championship competes at Mosport as a support series for the American Le Mans Series. The final three rounds will be conducted at Mosport, with the finale taking place on October 2.
Round one of the 2001 Canada GT Challenge Cup was held April 26 at Mosport International Raceway. Teams would compete in a sixty-minute contest around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.
|The start of round one for the 2001 Canada GT Challenge Cup at Mosport International Raceway. Leading the field of twenty competitors is the pole-sitter, James Holtom in the No. 32 Scadapack sponsored Chevrolet Corvette. Slotting in behind Holtom is the No. 05 Noble Ultima GTR of the sixth fastest qualifier Mark Swain. On the outside is the other front row starter, Charlie Webster, in the No. 95 Chevrolet Camaro.|
|Qualifying on the pole and setting a new lap record for round one of the 2001 Canada GT Challenge Cup was James Holtom. The Georgian Bay Motorsports team rebuilt the No. 32 Chevrolet Corvette during the off-season and their efforts paid off. Holtom jumped into the lead with the drop of the green flag. He was able to pull out a comfortable gap and led flag-to-flag, winning by a margin of over thirty-five seconds.|
|Brent Gates and the TMI Racing team traded their Noble Ultima GTR for a new Stealth B6. The Stealth arrived just weeks before the first event and the crew spent many all-nighters completing the car – finishing it on the morning of the race. Gates was unable to participate in the qualifying session and started from the back of the grid. He charged through the field and captured a runner-up finish; he also set the fastest race lap.|
|Charles Webster entered the Canada GT Challenge Cup rounds as a test-session for the Trans Am race at Mosport International Raceway. Webster recorded the second-fastest time in the No. 95 C.J. Webster Chevrolet Camaro during the qualifying session. At the start of the race, he lost second place to Mark Swain but regained the position. Before the end of the contest, Webster was passed by Brent Gates and finished third.|
|Four-time Canada GT Challenge Cup champion, Klaus Bytzek, was scheduled to start the opening round at Mosport International Raceway in the third position. However, during the Sunday morning warm-up, Bytzek crashed his Porsche 911 GT1 EVO. The damage was severe and the BMS Race Team reverted to the back-up car. He started at the rear of the grid and despite issues with the Porsche, Bytzek finished fourth.|
|Rookie Mark Swain drove the No. 05 TMI Racing prepared Noble Ultima GTR. He qualified the Ultima sixth fastest but advanced a spot when Klaus Bytzek had to use his back-up car. Swain made a terrific start and moved into second on the opening lap. He was running fourth late in the contest when the engine began to overheat. Swain had to slow, which allowed Bytzek to pass him – he finished in fifth-place.|
|FINISH||START||DRIVER||CAR / ENTRANT||LAPS||RETIREMENTS|
|1||1||James Holtom||Chevrolet Corvette / Georgian Bay Motorsports||43||-|
|2||23||Brent Gates||Stealth B6 / TMI Racing||43||-|
|3||2||Charlie Webster||Chevrolet Camaro / C.J. Webster||43||-|
|4||3||Klaus Bytzek||Porsche 911 GT1 Evo / BMS Race Team||42||-|
|5||6||Mark Swain||Noble Ultima GTR / TMI Racing||42||-|
|6||10||Steve Hummel||Chevrolet Corvette / Tomsoft Racing||40||-|
|7||17||Bentley Hammer||Chevrolet Camaro / Strudwick Motorsports||39||-|
|8||14||Allan DeWolfe||BMW 325i / Eurotec||38||-|
|9||19||Mike Palladino||Chevrolet Corvette / Four Way Auto||38||-|
|10||22||Jacques Guenette||Porsche 911 Turbo / D.L.G.L. Ltee||38||-|
|11||8||Jim Harrison||Porsche 911 Turbo / Longhill Energy||38||-|
|12||11||Matt Coveart / Martin Gray||Mazda RX-7||37||-|
|13||15||Peter Botsinis||BMW M3 / PJC Autoworks Ltd||37||-|
|14||5||Mackenzie / Von Engelbrechten||Noble Ultima Mk3 / Roger@Home||36||-|
|15||7||Jerry Simmons||Ford Mustang / True North Racing||25||Did Not Finish|
|16||4||B. Coons / J. Beaton||Chevrolet Corvette / Century Mechanical||23||Did Not Finish|
|17||9||Fernand Leblanc||Porsche 911 Turbo / MCL||20||Did Not Finish|
|18||13||Keith Carter||Chevrolet Camaro / Strudwick Motorsports||17||Did Not Finish|
|19||12||Frank & Peter Colivaris||BMW M3 / Colson Motorcars||4||Did Not Finish|
|20||16||Vito Scavone||Porsche 968 RS||2||Did Not Finish|
|-||18||John Brenner||Noble Ultima Spyder / Hoosier Tire||-||Did Not Start|
|-||20||Jay Fieger||Chevrolet Monte Carlo / Marathon Graphics||-||Did Not Start|
|-||21||Brad Flowers||Porsche 911 Super Cup / Info Vision||-||Did Not Start|
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