In 1999, the successful Canada GT Challenge Cup entered its third season. Sanctioned by ASN Canada FIA, it was a twelve-round series of races one-hour in length. Drivers competed at Mosport International Raceway, Shannonville Motorsport Park and Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant.

  • Mosport International Raceway – BARC Spring Sprints
  • Mosport International Raceway – BEMC Spring Trophy Races
  • Mosport International Raceway – Victoria Day Trans-Am Weekend
  • Shannonville Motorsport Park – CRDA Shootout
  • Shannonville Motorsport Park - DAC Trillium Trophy Races
  • Shannonville Motorsport Park – TLMC-MCO Canaska Cup
  • Le Circuit Mont Tremblant – Mountain Thunder Weekend
  • Mosport International Raceway – BARC Grand Prix of Ontario
  • Mosport International Raceway – C.A.G. 250 Weekend
  • Mosport International Raceway – CRDA-SCCA Nationals
  • Mosport International Raceway – BEMC Indian Summer Trophy Races
  • Mosport International Raceway – Panoz Motorsports Celebration

A wide range of vehicles was eligible for the series – FIA GT, Professional Sportscar GTS & GT, SCCA Improved Touring, GT1, GT2 & Trans Am and ASA Stock Car. The list of ineligible cars was much shorter – Sports Racers, Ground Effects Cars and Showroom Stock.

There were two classes (GT1 and GT2) based on qualifying and race lap times:

Mosport International Raceway

  • GT1 – Faster than 1:31.999
  • GT2 – Slower than 1:32.000

Shannonville Motorsport Park

  • GT1 – Faster than 1:10.999
  • GT2 – Slower than 1:11.000

If a GT2 driver broke out of the time bracket, they would be moved to GT1.

One or more drivers could compete in a car. However, the second driver had to complete either twenty minutes or one-third of the total race laps to earn points. The races also included a mandatory one-minute pit stop during green flag conditions.

Round one of the 1999 Canada GT Challenge Cup was held at Mosport International Raceway in conjunction with the British Automobile Racing Club’s Spring Sprints weekend. Teams were initially slated to compete in a sixty-minute contest around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course. However, a one-hour delay resulted in the race being reduced to forty-five minutes plus a lap.

A starting line incident eliminated several competitors from round one of the 1999 Canada GT Challenge Cup. As the green flag flew, the outside front row qualifier, Klaus Bytzek, slowed and was hit by the No. 04 Dodge Daytona of Brent Gates. Bytzek spun and backed into the pit wall. The No. 00 Porsche 911 EVO was hit by Bently Hammer, which broke Bytzek’s leg. The race, which was red-flagged, started an hour later.
The third-fastest qualifier, Charlie Webster, was able to avoid the start line incident. When the contest resumed an hour later, he was gridded in the second position. Webster was no match for the pole-sitter, James Holtom, in the No. 93 Chevrolet Camaro. However, Holtom lost an engine on lap-5, which gave Webster the top spot. He went unchallenged and won his first series race by a one-lap margin.
GT2 honours at the season opener went to John Brenner. Brenner replaced last year’s Pontiac Firebird will an ASA tube frame Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The car ran so well in qualifying that he dipped into the GT1 category times. Early in the contest, Brenner chased the Porsche of Ludwig Heimrath. However, a stop-and-go penalty took Heimrath out of contention. Brenner would not exceed the GT2 limitation and finish second overall.
In the off-season, Barry Coons and Jim Beaton joined forces to campaign the No. 26 Century Mechanical sponsored Oldsmobile Cutlass. Beaton, who drove the first stint, was fortunate to avoid the start line incident. Coons was in the car for the second half of the contest and maintained a steady pace. The high attrition rate among GT1 competitors allowed them to finish in the runner-up position.
Another beneficiary of the starting line crash was Keith Carter. Carter, making his Canada GT Challenge Cup debut, drove the No. 98 Phil Strudwick Motorsports prepared Chevrolet Corvette. He qualified eighteenth overall and eleventh in class. At the checkered flag, Carter was fourth in GT2. However, Jim Harrison and Fernand Leblanc were penalized after the race elevating Carter to second place.
Quebec’s Fernand Leblanc tested the Canada GT Challenge Cup waters last season with the entries at Le Circuit Mont Tremblant and round seven at Mosport International Raceway. He recorded the fourteenth fastest time during the qualifying session for round one and started in seventh in the GT2 category. Leblanc avoided incidents during the event and, despite a penalty, was classified with a third in class.
It appears that Jerry Simmons was involved in the starting line incident, but that was not the case. From his fifth place qualifying position Simmons, driving the No. 70 Chevrolet Camaro avoided the carnage. His problems came on lap-3 when he lost a tire and hit a guardrail. The crew removed the damaged bodywork and Simmons returned to the race. He finished third in GT1, albeit four laps behind the winner, Charlie Webster.

13GT1Charlie WebsterChevrolet Camaro / C.J. Webster30-
27GT2John BrennerChevrolet Monte Carlo / Hoosier Tire29-
39GT1B. Coons / J. BeatonOldsmobile Cutlass / Century Mechanical29-
418GT2Keith CarterChevrolet Corvette / Strudwick Motorsports28-
514GT2Fernand LeblancPorsche 911 RSR / MCL28-
615GT2Jim HarrisonPorsche 911 / Longhill Energy28-
713GT2Gunter SchmidtVW Corrado VR6 SC / Greenbelt Motors27-
823GT2Blair KilloranPorsche 911 / -27-
920GT2Ray ArbesmanPorsche 968 / Heimrath Porsche27-
1010GT2Ludwig HeimrathPorsche 968 / Heimrath Porsche27-
1121GT2Dino ColivarisPorsche 924 / -26-
125GT1Jerry SimmonsChevrolet Camaro / Westward Tools26-
1319GT1Lew MackenzieChevrolet Camaro / Rogers AT&T26-
1416GT2Duane HooMazda RX-7 / Can-Jam Auto24Did Not Finish
1517GT2Greg CliftonChevrolet Corvette / Strudwick Motorsports9Did Not Finish
161GT1James HoltomChevrolet Camaro / Scadapack5Engine
172GT1Klaus BytzekPorsche 911 GT1 Evo / BMS Race Team0Accident
184GT1Brent GatesDodge Daytona / TMI Racing0Accident
196GT1Harry BytzekPorsche 911 GT2 Evo / Bytzek Porsche0Accident
208GT2Peter KluttChevrolet Corvette / Country Style0Accident
2111GT2T. Martin / N. GleasonPontiac Grand-Prix / Georgian Bay Motorsports0Accident
2212GT2Bentley HammerChevrolet Monte Carlo / Strudwick Motorsports0Accident
-22GT2F. & S. ColivarisBMW M3 / -0Did Not Start

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