2002 was the sixth season for the 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 prize fund that was reduced for 2002. Last season, the winner of each contest received a cheque for $6,000; this year, first place was awarded $3,000. The runner-up earns $2,000 and third-place collects $1,000. All other finishers receive $500. The end of season championship fund is $10,000 as opposed to $30,000 in 2001. Second place in the title chase earns $7,500 and third-place in the final standings is worth $5,000.

Vehicles eligible to compete in the series include 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.

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 weekends or in conjunction with major events at Mosport International Raceway. The Canada GT Challenge Cup season kicks off on April 28 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 16, the championship returns to Mosport for the CASCAR Weekend. The next two events are held at Shannonville. On August 18th, the championship competes at Mosport as a support race for the American Le Mans Series. The final round will be conducted at Mosport during the CASC Celebration event at the end of September.

The Canada GT Challenge Cup’s first 2002 visit to the Shannonville Motorsport Park was on June 3 for the CRDA Shootout.

The first lap of race three for the 2002 Canada GT Challenge Cup series and the field of twelve starters is being led by the pole-winning Chevrolet Camaro of Blaise Csida. Trailing Csida is the other front row starter, Jim Harrison, in the No. 49 Longhill Energy Porsche 911 Turbo. Next in line is the Mazda RX-7 of the third-fastest qualifier, Ian Phillips and Joel Reiser, in the No. 02 Reiser / Calles Porsche 911 RSR.
After three rounds, the 2002 Canada GT Challenge Cup championship was becoming a battle between three drivers – Malcolm Strachan, Jim Harrison and Ron Beyeler. Harrison entered the weekend at Shannonville second in the standings but left with the point’s lead. He qualified second fastest in the No. 49 Porsche 911 Turbo. Harrison grabbed first place and the victory when Blaise Csida retired on lap-12.
American Joel Reiser occasionally participated in the Canada GT Challenge Cup series, driving one of his Porsches. He started the season with his No. 03 911 GT3 Cup model, but in race three at Shannonville Motorsport Park, Reiser entered the No. 02 Porsche 911 RSR. In the qualifying session, he was fourth fastest. The retirements of Ian Phillips and Blaise Csida elevated Reiser to a runner-up finish.
Starting at the rear of the grid was becoming a habit for Ron Beyeler but appeared to be of little consequence as he finished third in round two at Mosport. A concern with the engine prevented Beyeler from taking part in Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions. With the issue resolved for race day, he moved through the field and inherited a couple of positions to capture the final spot on the podium.
The 2000 Canada GT Challenge Cup GT2 champion, Blaise Csida, put the No. 7 Martini sponsored Chevrolet Camaro on the pole. The winner of the previous round pulled out to a comfortable lead at the start of the sixty-minute contest. Unfortunately, trouble struck early and the rear of the Camaro began smoking. On the twelfth lap, Csida decided to call it a day and retired from the race.
Based on a second and third-place finish, Malcolm Strachan led the point standings in the No. 22 Konica Canada Chevrolet Corvette. He was the fifth-fastest in the qualifying session for the CRDA Shootout. When Strachan warmed-up the engine race day morning, there was an issue. He started the race in the No. 52 Toyota Corolla of John Lockhart and would finish fifth, which dropped him to second in the title chase.

12Jim HarrisonPorsche 911 Turbo / Longhill Energy50-
24Joel ReiserPorsche 911 RSR / Reiser-Callas50-
3DNQRon BeyelerOldsmobile Cutlass / Real Time Products49-
48Peter CarpenkoVW Corrado VR6 / Cedarbrae VW48-
55Malcolm StrachanChevrolet Corvette / Konica Canada47-
67Allan DeWolfeBMW 325i / Eurotec46-
7DNQIan MaddenVW Jetta / Metric39-
8DNQMatt CoveartMazda RX-736-
96Vito ScavonePorsche 96830Did Not Finish
109Gunter SchmidtVW Beetle / Greenbelt VW14Did Not Finish
111Blaise CsidaChevrolet Camaro / New York Fries12Did Not Finish
123Ian PhillipsMazda RX-75Did Not Finish

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