BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – Remo Ruscitti completed the most successful day of his young racing career Saturday by winning Round 7 of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda season at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Ruscitti, 20, from Burnaby, British Columbia, earned the victory in the No. 4 8Star Motorsports entry from the sixth position on the grid in his first career start in the series. The win came just 3 ½ hours after he drove to victory in the ST class with teammate Adam Isman in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race.
“I’m a little speechless,” Ruscitti said. “We started sixth, and it was my first weekend in the car, so I wasn’t expecting to be on the top step of the podium at the end here. We had really good pace toward the middle. A couple of people dropped out, and we were able to take advantage and pull away.
“It was awesome, and I can’t thank everybody enough. It’s sweeter that this was my first time in the car and with the fact that I won earlier today in my ST car, so it’s a great day.”
Robert Alon finished second in the No. 9 Performance Tech Motorsports entry, 2.095 seconds behind the winner. Ruscitti’s Prototype Lites teammate, Christian Potolicchio finished third in the No. 2 8Star Motorsports Élan DP02 chassis powered by a Mazda engine, rallying from a crash in practice Thursday.
Andrew Novich finished fourth in the No. 61 Comprent Motor Sports entry. Lamont Harris rounded out a dominant performance by 8Star Motorsports, finishing fifth overall and as the first Masters driver (age 40 and older) in the team’s No. 65 car.
Ruscitti prevailed after a wild 30-minute race on the 10-turn, 2.459-mile circuit. He took first place for the first time – and for good – when leader Craig Duerson spun off course in turn eight in his No. 27 Performance Tech Motorsports car with eight minutes remaining.
That was one of many incidents throughout the field, especially up front.
Pole sitter Hayden Duerson and series leader Mikhail Goikhberg didn’t finish the first lap after a collision between them resulted in hard contact for both in Turn 8, giving Alon the lead.
Craig Duerson passed Alon for the lead halfway through the race but lost the top spot two laps later to Matt McMurry, 16, with 12 minutes remaining. But Duerson and Ruscitti passed McMurry two minutes later when McMurry slowed quickly due to a mechanical problem that reportedly caused fluids to leak from the rear of the No. 20 JDC Motorsports entry.
Then Duerson spun two minutes later, handing a lead to Ruscitti he would not surrender.
Michal Chlumecky, from nearby Windsor, Ontario, was the second-finishing Masters driver in the No. 31 Eurosport Racing entry. John Falb finished third in Masters in the No. 77 ONE Motorsports car.
Brian Alder, from Marysville, Ohio, was the top finisher in Lites 2 in the No. 22 BAR1 Motorsports car after a rugged duel for most of the second half of the race with Jerome Mee in the No. 95 Alta Velocita Racing entry. Mee ended up second in the class, and Todd Slusher was third in the No. 62 ONE Motorsports car.
Remo Ruscitti, Robert Alon, Christian Potolicchio, Andrew Novich, Lamont Harris, Michal Chlumecky, Tony Bullock, John Falb, Madison Snow, Brian Alder, Lee Alexander, Jerome Mee, Todd Slusher, Don Yount, Joel Janco, Craig Duerson, Matt McMurry, Hayden Duerson, Mikhail Goikhberg, Guy Laporte, Darryl Shoff.