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 three of the 2001 Canada GT Challenge Cup was held at Mosport International Raceway during the Trans-Am Weekend. Teams would compete in a one-hour race around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.

The reigning Canada GT Challenge Cup champion, Klaus Bytzek, was looking for his first victory of 2001. In round three, he qualified behind the TMI Racing teammates, Brent Gates and Mark Swain. When Gates’ Stealth did not meet the series rules, Bytzek was gridded in the third position. He was in second for much of the race, but as the teams cycled through their mandatory stops, Bytzek grabbed the lead and win.
Mark Swain was quick in the first two rounds of the series but was suffering reliability issues. He finished fifth in race one but lost an engine on the final lap and retired at the next event. During the Trans-Am Weekend, Swain was second fastest in the No.05 Noble Ultima GTR and inherited the pole when his teammate, Brent Gates, was disqualified. He led early in the contest and would finish in the runner-up spot.
Another team that was quick but often encountered problems was the No. 02 Noble Ultima Mk3 shared by veterans Lew Mackenzie and Rolf Von Engelbrechten. To date, their record included an eleventh and fourteenth place finish. As usual, they were fast in qualifying and started fourth. After battling with Mark Swain, Keith Carter and the Coons / Beaton Chevrolet Corvette, the pair captured the final position of the podium.
Jerry Simmons entered the opening round of the Canada GT Challenge Cup in an effort to gain some valuable track time in advance of the Trans Am event at Mosport. He had an ambitious plan for the weekend, which was to participate in the Trans Am and Canada GT Challenge Cup races. Simmons and the No. 76 Ford Mustang succeeded in finishing both races and captured a fourth-place in the Canada GT Challenge event.
Sharing the No. 26 Chevrolet Corvette was Barry Coons and James Beaton. The pair qualified in fourth place for round one but failed to finish. In the next event, the duo captured the final position of the rostrum. They were fast at the Trans Am weekend and started on the outside of the front row. Beaton and Coons were in contention for second place during the race but added another DNF to their growing list.
TMI Racing’s Stealth B6 was fast but controversial. The car started the opening round at the back of the grid and finished second in the hands of Brent Gates. In the second race of the season, Gates recorded another runner-up finish after starting on the pole. However, the Stealth was disqualified for a technical infraction. The team was allowed to participate in round three, but the car was deemed illegal and was not eligible for points.

13Klaus BytzekPorsche 911 GT1 Evo / BMS Race Team39-
21Mark SwainNoble Ultima GTR / TMI Racing39-
34Mackenzie / Von EngelbrechtenNoble Ultima Mk3 / Roger@Home39-
46Jerry SimmonsFord Mustang / True North Racing39-
58Ahmad KodkarDatsun 240Z / Quest-Tech38-
614Larry BarczaChevrolet Camaro37-
716Aaron PettipasChevrolet Camaro / Dairy Queen37-
89Brad FlowersPorsche 911 Super Cup / Info Vision36-
913Blaise CsidaChevrolet Camaro / New York Fries/Martini36-
1011Allan DeWolfeBMW 325i / Eurotec36-
1117Frank & Peter ColivarisBMW M3 / Colson Motorcars36-
1212Jim HarrisonPorsche 911 Turbo / Longhill Energy36-
1323Gunter SchmidtVolkswagen Beetle / Greenbelt Motors36-
1410Steve HummelChevrolet Corvette / Tomsoft Racing35-
1522Mike PalladinoChevrolet Corvette / Four Way Auto34-
1624Reiner GrieseChevrolet Corvette / Peek A Boo34-
1715Greg CliftonChevrolet Camaro / Strudwick Motorsports34-
1818Malloy / CoswayPontiac Grand Prix34-
1916Markus GlarnerBMW 2002 CSL33-
2021Jay FiegerChevrolet Monte Carlo / Marathon Graphics33-
2127Bentley HammerChevrolet Camaro / Strudwick Motorsports32-
2220James HoltomChevrolet Corvette / Georgian Bay Motorsports27Did Not Finish
2325Jim ToddChevrolet Camaro / Aircraft Equipment16Did Not Finish
245Keith CarterChevrolet Camaro / Strudwick Motorsports15Did Not Finish
252B. Coons / J. BeatonChevrolet Corvette / Century Mechanical12Did Not Finish
2619Fernand LeblancPorsche 911 RSR / MCL11Did Not Finish
2728Brent GatesStealth B6 / TMI Racing4Did Not Finish
2826Matt Coveart / Martin GrayMazda RX-70Did Not Finish

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