After a twelve-year absence, the Honda Michelin Challenge Series returned in 2004 with a ten-race schedule featuring the Honda Civic DX Coupe.
Encouraged by the positive support for the series from competitors and fans, the championship returned in 2005.
The first race of the 2005 season will be held on the Victoria Day weekend at Mosport International Raceway. Next on the calendar is the series most prestigious event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as a support race for the Canadian Grand Prix. Then teams will return to Mosport for the second of four visits to this track. Another high profile event takes place at Exhibition Place in Toronto during the Molson Indy weekend. Round five of the championship sees drivers compete on the temporary street circuit at Trois-Rivieres. This is followed by the third weekend at Mosport, when the teams will be a support event for the American Le Mans Series. Then it is back to Quebec for the next two races – the Molson Indy Montreal and the penultimate round at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant. The finale is held where the season began, Mosport.
The cars competing in the series are Honda DX Coupes. The Honda DX is powered by a 1.7-liter 16-valve SOHC engine, which produces 115-horsepower at 6,100-rpm. The DX is also equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission. There is an improved suspension package and exhaust system for the 2005 season. All cars are required to race on Michelin Pilot tires - Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires 205-50x15 (dry) and Michelin Pilot XGT V4 tires 205-50x15 (wet) – on 15-inch Honda alloy wheels. Modifications to the Hondas such as a padded roll-cage, braided stainless steel flex-lines, FIA five-point seat harness and window net are mandated for safety.
The opening round of the 2005 Honda Michelin Challenge Series was held at Mosport International Raceway as part of the Victoria Day Weekend Speedfest. Competitors would race around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course for sixteen laps.
|The field rounds Moss corner during the pace lap for race one of the 2005 Honda Michelin Challenge Series at Mosport International Raceway. On the pole is Didier Schraenen in the No. 94 Radio Energie / RDS Honda Civic DX. Sharing the front row with Schraenen is the No. 33 Lombardi Honda Racing Honda Civic of Robert Boyer. Behind the leaders are Nick Wittmer and the defending champion, Steven Laporte.|
|Didier Schraenen put the No. 94 Radio Energie / RDS Honda Civic DX on the pole with a new lap record. In fact, the thirteen fastest drivers eclipsed the current quickest time for the class. Schraenen had an excellent start and trouble behind in corner two on lap-1 allowed him to gap the field. He would go unchallenged and lead the sixteen-lap contest flag-to-flag.|
|Lombardi Honda had a formidable line-up, which included Robert Boyer, Normand Boyer and the reigning series champion, Steven Laporte. Laporte qualified fourth quickest in the No. 1 Honda Civic DX. Early in the race, he and his teammates began drafting in an effort to chase down the leader Didier Schraenen. They were unable to catch Schraenen, but the tactic allowed Laporte to finish in the runner-up position.|
|Lombardi Honda’s Robert Boyer missed winning the pole-position by a mere 0.07-seconds. Boyer, driving the No. 33 Honda Civic DX started on the outside of the front row. He entered corner two on lap-1 in second place, but midway through the turn, Boyer’s car was sideways and off course. The field avoided hitting him and he returned to the track. Working with his teammates, Boyer finished third.|
|Local racer Alex Penfold drove No. 8 Pfaff Leasing sponsored Honda Civic DX. During the qualifying session, Penfold recorded the fifth-fastest time. He was the beneficiary of the Robert Boyer incident on lap-1 in corner two and moved into second place. However, Penfold could not hold-off the Lombardi drafting strategy and fell to a fourth-place finish late in the contest.|
|The runner-up in last year’s Honda Michelin Challenge Series, Nick Wittmer, was part of a two-car team that included his brother, Kuno. Nick raced the No. 91 Honda de Sigi / Honda Ste-Rose Honda Civic DX and started round one in the third position. He was caught up in the Robert Boyer incident on lap-1 and left the track. After losing several spots, Wittmer fought back to finish in the seventh-place.|
|FINISH||START||DRIVER||CAR / ENTRANT||LAPS||RETIREMENTS|
|1||1||Didier Schraenen||Honda Civic DX / Radio Energie||16||-|
|2||4||Steven Laporte||Honda Civic DX / Lombardi Honda||16||-|
|3||2||Robert Boyer||Honda Civic DX / Lombardi Honda||16||-|
|4||5||Alex Penfold||Honda Civic DX / Lakeshore Honda||16||-|
|5||6||Normand Boyer||Honda Civic DX / Lombardi Honda||16||-|
|6||7||Kuno Wittmer||Honda Civic DX / Honda de Sigi||16||-|
|7||3||Nick Wittmer||Honda Civic DX / Honda Ste-Rose||16||-|
|8||8||Frederick Lelievre||Honda Civic DX / Lelievre Karting||16||-|
|9||11||Denis Baillargeon||Honda Civic DX / Hamel Honda||16||-|
|10||9||Emmanuel Boivin-Moreau||Honda Civic DX / Lombardi Honda||16||-|
|11||10||Sylvain Ouelet||Honda Civic DX / Auto Frank & Michel||16||-|
|12||12||Matt Champagne||Honda Civic DX / Centre Honda||16||-|
|13||13||Kris Rams||Honda Civic DX / Ready Honda||16||-|
|14||14||Richard Penfold||Honda Civic DX / Lakeshore Honda||16||-|
|15||17||Tyler Givogue||Honda Civic DX / Dow Honda||16||-|
|16||16||Philip Major||Honda Civic DX / Dow Honda||16||-|
|17||18||Jim Kenzie||Honda Civic DX / Honda Canada||16||-|
|18||15||Kurt Kossmann||Honda Civic DX / Honda De Sigi||16||-|
|-||-||Ryan Kelly||Honda Civic DX / London Honda||-||Did Not Start|
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