The 2008 Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship presented by Toyo Tires offered racers an excellent opportunity to showcase their talents at some of eastern Canada’s most widely recognized and well-established race tracks. The series provided amateur competitors with professionally organized events that would attract sponsors and fans.

This 2008 schedule consists of eight race weekends. The format at each venue includes two races – generally, thirty-minutes in length. The season kicks off on the Victoria Day long weekend at Mosport International Raceway. This is followed by the series only stop at Shannonville Motorsports Park. In mid-June, the championship returns to Mosport as a support event for the NASCAR Canadian Tire series. In July, teams travel Quebec and compete at the new ICAR Mirabel Airport circuit. Then it is back to Ontario for a weekend at Calabogie Motorsports Park. The final visit to Quebec takes place on the street circuit at Trois-Rivieres. The final two weekends of the championship will be conducted at Mosport. The penultimate rounds with be held on the Labour Day weekend with the finale in mid-September.

Perhaps the most significant change in the off-season was the elimination of the Grand Touring category. In 2008, there would be two classes.

  • Touring – This is intended to be an entry-level category. Vehicles competing in this class are allowed a minimal amount of performance enhancements. Manufacturers represented in this group include the Mini Cooper S, Honda Civic, Mazda Protege, Nissan Sentra and Acura Integra.
  • Super Touring – Super Touring includes many of the same makes and models found in Touring. However, this category allows engine modifications and aerodynamic enhancements. Additional manufacturers competing in the group include BMW, Subaru and Audi.

Rounds eleven and twelve of the 2008 Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship presented by Toyo Tires was held at Trois-Rivieres. Drivers would compete in two thirty-minute contests around the eleven-turn 2.462-km temporary street circuit.

It is Saturday afternoon at the Circuit Trois-Rivieres and thirty-eight competitors head to turn one for the start of round eleven of the 2008 Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship. Leading the way is the No. 52 Subaru WRX STi, driven by the pole-sitter, Nigel Krikorian. Behind Krikorian are the second and third fastest qualifiers, Kuno Wittmer and Mathieu Audette, who failed to complete the first lap.
Nigel Krikorian, driving the No. 52 Versace Parfums sponsored Subaru WRX STi, scored the maximum points ‘up for grabs’ at Trois-Rivieres. Krikorian had difficulty mastering the four-wheel-drive Subaru earlier in the season, but in the second half of the year, he was finishing at or near the top of the result’s sheet. With two more victories to his credit, Krikorian left Trois-Rivieres with a total of five wins to date.
Local resident, Daniel Blanchette did not start his 2008 campaign until the Grand Prix de Mirabel at ICAR. There he recorded second and eighth-place finishes in the Touring category driving the No. 89 Equipe 89 Acura Integra Type R. In his hometown, Blanchette started race one in the nineteenth position and finished sixth overall and first in class. On Sunday, the Acura was driven by Rejean Vincent, who was sixth.
The Velocity Motorsport team entered two very quick Honda Civic Si-R in the Super Touring category. The No. 45 Honda was raced by Peter Lejbjuk. Lejbjuk had swept the two previous rounds at Calabogie Motorsport Park. He qualified ninth fastest for the weekend’s first contest at Trois-Rivieres and captured the final position on the rostrum. On Sunday, Lejbjuk started and finished third in class.
Former open-wheel racer, Greg Pootmans made his 2008 series debut in rounds nine and ten at Calabogie Motorsport Park. Pootmans filled the seat vacated by the defending Super Touring class champion, Charles-Andre Bilodeau. His results at Calabogie were less than spectacular, but he redeemed himself at Trois-Rivieres by capturing second and fifth place finishes driving the No. 1 GT Racing BMW 325i.
The round twelve Super Touring podium for the 2008 Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship. In the center is Nigel Krikorian, who swept the weekend’s races at Trois-Rivieres. On the left side of the rostrum is the runner-up, Etienne Borgeat. This was Borgeat’s sixth podium finish of the season. The final position is occupied by Velocity Motorsport’s, Peter Lejbjuk, who scored a pair of third-place finishes.
Round twelve at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres was conducted early Sunday morning. The first competitor into corner one is yesterday’s winner and the pole-sitter, Nigel Krikorian. Chasing Krikorian are the BMWs of Greg Pootmans and David Bensadoun, who started fourth. Also in the shot are the Honda Civics of Pascal Carre and Kenneth Lau. Twenty-nine competitors took the Starter’s flag for this race.
Kenneth Lau was another driver that did not start his season until rounds nine and ten at Calabogie Motorsport Park. At Calabogie, he had sixth and seventh place finishes in the Touring category. At Trois-Rivieres, Lau proved to be much more competitive. Driving the No. 39 Durabond Products sponsored Honda Civic, he captured a runner-up finish on Saturday and the next day, Lau scored his first victory of 2008.
Andre Rapone, driver of the No. 73 Acura Integra Type R entered races eleven and twelve leading the Touring standings. But he was challenged at every event by his brother Anthony and the No. 04 Mazda Protege of Twofast Racing’s, Christian Raymond. Rapone increased his points lead when Raymond crashed in round eleven and he finished ahead of Anthony on Saturday and Sunday.
Super Touring title contender, Etienne Borgeat, drove the No. 2 GT Racing prepared BMW 325i. To date, Borgeat’s season did not include any victories, but he had a runner-up finish at Mosport and a total of five podium results entering Trois-Rivieres. In the first race of the weekend, Borgeat started fourth but finished seventh in class. On Sunday, he fared much better, earning his second runner-up result of 2008.
The second Velocity Motorsport entry was raced by Scott Nicol. Nicol’s season thus far had been quite frustrating, with his best result being a fourth place at Shannonville. Trois-Rivieres would be another character-building weekend. He qualified in a respectable fifth place for the weekend’s first race, but contact resulted in a nineteenth place finish. On Sunday, he gained twelve spots and finished seventh in Super Touring.
One the Touring class title contenders was Anthony Rapone, driver of the No. 72 Durabond Products Acura Integra Type R. Also, in the hunt for the championship was his brother Andre and Christian Raymond. On Saturday, he was gridded twenty-fifth overall but finished fourth in class. In the final race of the weekend, Rapone started in eleventh place but was third in the Touring category at the checkered flag.
The celebration begins for the top-three Touring class finishers on Sunday. In the center is the winner, Kenneth Lau. Lau is flanked by the second and third place finishers – the Rapone brothers, Andre who, finished second and Anthony who earned the final position on the podium. It is interesting to note that the three drivers were sponsored by Durabond Products.

1Super TouringNigel KrikorianSubaru WRX STi / Krikorian & Co.20-
2Super TouringGreg PootmansBMW 325i / GT Racing20-
3Super TouringPeter LejbjukHonda Civic Si-R / Velocity Motorsport20-
4Super TouringDavid BensadounBMW 328i / Aldo20-
5Super TouringPascal CarreHonda Civic / PCS Motorsports20-
6TouringDaniel BlanchetteAcura Integra Type R / Équipe 8920-
7Super TouringKenneth LauHonda Civic / Durabond Products Ltd.20-
8Super TouringEtienne BorgeatBMW 325i / GT Racing20-
9Super TouringEric HochgeschurzBMW 328i / 8Legs Racing20-
10TouringAndre RaponeAcura Integra Type R / Durabond Products Ltd.20-
11TouringAnthony RaponeAcura Integra Type R / Durabond Products Ltd.20-
12TouringNigel HeronAcura Integra Type R / Heron Motorsports20-
13TouringP.J. GroenkeHonda Civic / Groenke20-
14TouringBrad YoungHonda Civic / Dow Racing20-
15TouringAndrew BearssMercedes C230 Kompresseur / Star Motor20-
16Super TouringPaul DargisBMW M3 / Dargis Motorsports20-
17TouringEric LeblancMazda Protege / Twofast Racing19-
18TouringFrank BlanchetNissan Sentra / Blanchet19-
19Super TouringScott NicolHonda Civic / Velocity Motorsport19-
20Super TouringSylvain LaporteHonda Civic / Lombardi Racing19Penalty
21TouringThomas BorkMazda Protege / Doc B Racing19-
22TouringRoger BowesNissan Sentra / Bowes19-
23Super TouringMarc-Antoine CamirandBMW M Z3 Coupe / Production Le Carrossier18-
24TouringStéphane TrahanHonda Civic / Trac Racing18-
25TouringAlain LauzièreMini Cooper S / Mini Canada18-
26Super TouringJocelyn HebertHonda Civic Si / 89 Racing Team11Bearing
27TouringChristian RaymondMazda Protege / Twofast Racing11Accident
28TouringJohn LockhartSaab 93 Sport / JL Racing11Accident
29Super TouringJacques DeshaiesAudi A4 Turbo / Ingolstadt Compétition3Mechanical
30Super TouringArek WojciechowskiBMW 328i / 8Legs Racing1Accident
31Super TouringJean-Luc BergeronBMW 328i / Fondation Mira1Did Not Finish
32Super TouringKuno WittmerHonda Civic / Lombardi Racing0Accident
33Super TouringMathieu AudetteAcura RSX Type-S / Audette Racing0Accident
-Super TouringNicholas KrikorianSubaru WRX STi / Krikorian & Co.20Excluded
-Super TouringAndrew DanyliwChevrolet Cobalt SS / Schmidt Racing20Excluded
-Super TouringGary KwokHonda Civic / M&S Racing17Excluded

1Super TouringNigel KrikorianSubaru WRX STi / Krikorian & Co.15-
2Super TouringEtienne BorgeatBMW 325i / GT Racing15-
3Super TouringPeter LejbjukHonda Civic Si-R / Velocity Motorsport15-
4Super TouringDavid BensadounBMW 328i / Aldo15-
5Super TouringGreg PootmansBMW 325i / GT Racing15-
6Super TouringMathieu AudetteAcura RSX Type-S / Audette Racing15-
7Super TouringScott NicolHonda Civic / Velocity Motorsport15-
8Super TouringPascal CarreHonda Civic / PCS Motorsports15-
9Super TouringSylvain LaporteHonda Civic / Lombardi Racing15-
10Super TouringKenneth LauHonda Civic / Durabond Products Ltd.15-
11TouringAndre RaponeAcura Integra Type R / Durabond Products Ltd.15-
12TouringAnthony RaponeAcura Integra Type R / Durabond Products Ltd.15-
13Super TouringEric HochgeschurzBMW 328i / 8Legs Racing15-
14Super TouringJacques DeshaiesAudi A4 Turbo / Ingolstadt Compétition15-
15TouringEric LeblancMazda Protege / Twofast Racing15-
16TouringNigel HeronAcura Integra Type R / Heron Motorsports15-
17TouringRejean VincentAcura Integra Type R / Équipe 8915-
18Super TouringPaul DargisBMW M3 / Dargis Motorsports15-
19TouringStéphane TrahanHonda Civic / Trac Racing15-
20TouringAlain LauzièreMini Cooper S / Mini Canada15-
21TouringBrad YoungHonda Civic / Dow Racing14-
22TouringChristian RaymondMazda Protege / Twofast Racing14-
23TouringP.J. GroenkeHonda Civic / Groenke Racing14-
24TouringFrank BlanchetNissan Sentra / Blanchet14-
25TouringRoger BowesNissan Sentra / Bowes13-
26Super TouringKuno WittmerHonda Civic / Lombardi Racing12Did Not Finish
27TouringAndrew BearssMercedes C230 Kompresseur / Star Motor7Did Not Finish
28Super TouringArek WojciechowskiBMW 328i / 8Legs Racing5Did Not Finish
29Super TouringJean-Luc BergeronBMW 328i / Fondation Mira3Did Not Finish
-TouringThomas BorkMazda Protege / Doc B Racing0Did Not Start
-Super TouringMarc-Antoine CamirandBMW M Z3 Coupe / Production Le Carrossier0Did Not Start
-Super TouringJocelyn HebertHonda Civic Si / 89 Racing Team0Did Not Start
-TouringJohn LockhartSaab 93 Sport / JL Racing0Did Not Start

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