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Alberta’s Parker Thompson in pole position in first of 2 weekend races! – details and link to live racing here

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Photos courtesy – RMAC Motorsports Photography

Parker Thompson Teams Up with Speedstar Motorsport to Race the Canadian Touring Car Championship

Parker Thompson has been enlisted by adventurous Canadian race team, Speedstar Motorsport (SSM), to pilot the #1 Audi R8 LMS GT4 race car in the Canadian Touring Car Championship GT Sport class. The season opens this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park as part of the Castrol Victoria Day SpeedFest. Thompson will start race 1 from pole position after setting the fastest time of any CTCC entrant during Friday afternoon’s qualifying session.

Speedstar Motorsport has a rich history in the Canadian Touring Car Championship. With connections that extend all around the world, the team has also participated in China Formula Grand Prix, the infamous Macau FIA GT World Cup and recently challenged the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.

Parker Thompson

“I want to express my gratitude to Albert Au and Frank Law of Speedstar Motorsport, and Michael Croxon at New Roads Automotive Group for this opportunity. I have a lot of respect for what they have accomplished in racing and look forward to building a relationship with their team. It is a dream of mine to get behind the wheel of an Audi GT car.  I’m excited about my future with the team and manufacturer as I put my mark on sportscar GT racing.”

Frank Law – SSM Project Director

“We are thrilled to have Parker joining us for the 2019 CTCC season. We’ve been very keen and have been following Parker throughout his outstanding open-wheel racing career. Ever since our initial conference with Parker, we have been very enthusiastic about the prospect of having him join our team. We have heard great passion from Parker about our team accomplishments and future goals. Additionally, partnering with Parker is in line with our team vision to develop young, talented Canadian drivers within the GT car family. Great to welcome Parker, and have him represent our team, sponsors and manufacturer!”

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND LINKS

Speedstar Motorsport – https://speedstar.com/motorsport/
Canadian Touring Car Championship – https://touringcar.ca
Castrol Victoria Day SpeedFest  – Full Event Schedule (PDF)

CTCC Event One Schedule at Castrol Victoria Day SpeedFest

Race 1– Saturday May 18th, 2019, 08:00 – 08:40 EST – LIVE STREAM HERE
Qualifying 2 – Sunday May 19th, 2019, 09:00 – 09:30 EST
*Race 2– Sunday May 19th, 2019, 17:35 – 18:15 EST – 
LIVE STREAM HERE


About Parker Thompson

Red Deer, Alberta native Parker Thompson is regarded as one of Canada’s premiere racing drivers. He started racing karts at age 8 and his natural talent and competitive drive quickly elevated him to international level competitions. By age 13 he was ranked 3rd in the world in Rotax Max karts. Now 21 years old, Parker continues his successful career racing on the Road to Indy, and in multiple sports car series.

About SpeedStar Motorsport (SSM)

Based out of Markham, Ontario, Speedstar Motorsport has a background in motorsports that dates back to 2006. The team has a winning history in the Canadian Touring Car Championship, Porsche GT3 Cup,  China Formula Grand Prix and Macau FIA World Cup. SSM recently partnered with Belgium based WRT to contend in the Rolex 24hrs of Daytona. The team took their Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo to a 3rd place finish in GTD.

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Red Deer race car driver winning on 2 completely different circuits!

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From Quentin Osborne at ParkerThompsonRacing.com

Contenders of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge across the continent gathered in Montreal this weekend as both the Canada and USA branches of the one make series participated in the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix event. Thirty-five cars packed the famed 4.3km Gilles Villeneuve Circuit for two races. Parker Thompson ran near the front of the field all weekend, and lead much of Race 2. The final results put him on the podium for Race 1. A twenty-nine second penalty for contacting another car during race 2 negated his third place finish and dropped him to 12th after the race conclusion.

Driving the #3 entry of SCB Racing and Porsche Center Victoria, Thompson was able to simultaneously score points in the GT3 Cup Canada series and the GT3 Cup USA series where he regularly competes with JDX Racing. With the weekend’s result he holds second place in the overall championship standings in both countries.

The top two spots in both Canada and the USA, show Thompson trailing series veteran Roman DeAngelis, winner of both of the weekend’s races. As a newcomer not only to Porsche GT3 Cup, but sports car racing as a whole, Thompson has surprised people on and off the track with his ability to adapt to the series. Qualifying results on Saturday placed him in the second position for the start of both races. When the green flag dropped, he further demonstrated the pace we have seen from him all season.

In Race 1 Saturday afternoon, Thompson held second from the race start to the fall of the checkered flag. With more than half of the race being driven under a full course caution, he never found a real opportunity to challenge the leader.

Race 2 on Sunday showed more drama. Thompson took the lead on the opening lap, and found himself engaged in a tight battle with DeAngelis. Thompson would hold his lead for 5 laps, before a mistake in the critical hairpin corner cost him two positions. In the remaining laps, Thompson was tightly engaged with American racer Riley Dickenson. The two traded places multiple times before the race was red-flagged after multiple collisions among the field back markers. Thompson was in the third position at the race end, but a virtual drive through penalty equivalent to 29 seconds was later assessed for making contact with Dickenson’s car. The final Race 2 results scored him 12th overall – 7th in the Canadian group, and 6th among competitors of the USA series.

“I’m happy with our overall pace on the track this weekend, but disappointed to be leaving points on the table. Ultimately, I made a couple of mistakes that put me in a position where we were more vulnerable to our competitors. With 35 cars in the field, all of the same spec, there is certainly going to be some tight racing. There is not much room for error.  I’m so thankful for the support of SCB Racing who came together with our partners in America, JDX Racing, to make this result possible. We are having a lot of fun. This #3 SCB Racing / Porsche Center Victoria car looks fantastic with its classic livery. We’ve enjoyed playing that up. Racing is it’s best when it can put on a good show. We certainly did that this weekend!” – Parker Thompson 

Thompson’s busy race season continues in two weeks’ time when he returns to Indy Pro 2000 at Road America circuit in Wisconsin. After starting this 2019 Road to Indy Championship series with a bang, dominating the opening two races, Thompson has since struggled to find a winning pace. That has been only a minor detraction from a year of racing that has otherwise been filled with great achievements. Between Porsche GT3 Cup Canada and USA, Indy Pro 2000, and the Canadian Touring Car Championship, the young Alberta native has already raced 17 times this season. In those races he has seven wins and thirteen podiums.

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Massive crowds, security concerns prove to be issues at Raptors parade

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TORONTO — A shooting that sparked a stampede at a massive rally celebrating the Raptors’ historic NBA title highlighted the challenges of organizing a large celebratory event in a sprawling metropolis such as Toronto, authorities said Monday.

Officials had to balance the fan experience with safety concerns as they planned for a kilometres-long victory parade and ensuing public party, said city spokesman Brad Ross. The biggest logistical challenge, he said, was the estimated two million fans who turned out — about a million of which were gathered at the rally outside city hall.

“How do you keep back more than a million people on the parade, when really this is all about a celebration and not security,” Ross said. “You try to make the players and the team accessible because the fans want to thank the players and players want to thank the fans.”

Barriers had been set up along parts of the parade route, but fans hopped those fences in many areas, crowding the floats that carried the team and other dignitaries. The parade itself was significantly behind schedule, leaving fans packed into Nathan Phillips Square — the site of the ensuing rally — waiting hours to see the champions.

The public party at the square, once it finally got underway, was briefly suspended due to the shooting before carrying on even as fans on one end pushed and shoved while scrambling for cover. Some parents were separated from their children, other fans lost backpacks and purses and several screamed amid the chaos.

Police said four people suffered injuries related to the shooting. Three people were arrested and two firearms were recovered, police said.

Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders defended the city’s role in the massive Raptors’ party.

“We’re not going to turn it in to a security event, we’re not going to transition to that, we didn’t feel there was a need for that,” Saunders told reporters after the celebration. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime for so many people.”

Ross said the city had begun planning for the parade while the Raptors played the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, using experience the team’s owners — Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment — and police had gleaned from the numerous events at Jurassic Park, the fanzone outside the Raptors’ arena.

Security during the parade and rally was tight around the team, Ross said, noting that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other high-profile guests such as Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Toronto Mayor John Tory were all on stage when the shooting occurred.

“Given the time we had to pull this together and the size of the crowd, I’d say it was a special event overall,” Ross said. “There are things that are going to happen you can’t control for, but that’s why we had such a heavy police and security presence.”

Tory said he wanted to thank the Raptor fans who showed up and celebrated peacefully as well as the police for their efforts after the “unfortunate” shooting.

“It is disappointing and I’m sure a source of anger for more than just me that anyone would carry a gun and discharge it at what was otherwise a joyous celebration,” he said in a statement.

Toronto’s transit commission closed down three nearby subway stations due to overcrowding as fans congregated downtown for the festivities. It also cut power to the overhead streetcar lines nearby at one point “due to unsafe behaviour and people climbing TTC infrastructure.”

Toronto EMS spokeswoman Kim McKinnon said besides two people taken to a trauma centre with gunshot wounds, paramedics transported about 10 people to hospital, most with minor heat-related illnesses.

“This is a very, very large crowd, so this is not out of the ordinary for us,” McKinnon said.

Toronto Fire district chief Stephan Powell said firefighters dealt with about a dozen calls for dehydration in the square.

Liam Casey, The Canadian Press

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