Four Races and Four Podiums for Thompson in Busy Victoria Day Speedfest Weekend
CANADIAN TIRE MOTORSPORT PARK – TORONTO, ONTARIO
from Parker Thompson Racing:
Parker Thompson boldly kicked off the new race season in Canada this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The 21-year-old competed in four races as part of two different series that joined the annual Victoria Day Speedfest weekend at the Toronto area racetrack. In those four races, Thompson earned four podiums. In the Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC), he dominated the weekend, taking the Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Speedstar Motorsport to two overall victories. In the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, Thompson earned a 2nd and 3rd place finish in two tightly contested races.
The performance puts an exclamation mark on what has been a commanding start to Thompson’s 2019 season. Thompson has been racing south of the border since March when the Indy Pro 2000 season commenced in St. Petersburg, Florida. He joined Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA shortly after. Thompson is in contention for championship titles in those two series. After this weekend, he is set up to challenge for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada and CTCC championship titles as well. In this calendar year, Thompson has already raced 12 times within the four series. In those races, he has 10 podiums and 5 wins.Racing two series in one weekend presented a unique opportunity for Thompson.
“I’m so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with two great teams in SCB Racing and Speedstar Motorsport. Sports GT racing is still very new to me. With some great people behind me though, we’ve managed some great results. We have a great chance to contend for two championships here in Canada. Speedstar Motorsport has proven great results in international series as well. I’m excited about future possibilities that exist with that team and their partners.” – Parker Thompson
Canadian Touring Car Championship
Driven by Thompson, the #1 Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Speedstar Motorsport and New Roads Automotive Group, dominated both CTCC races on the weekend. With future endeavors in other series on the horizon, Thompson and the team had a watchful eye on the SRO GT4 America’s races that also took place as part of the Victoria Day Speedfest weekend. Running cars identically classed to Thompson’s Audi R8, the GT4 America’s series features drivers from around the globe and participation from a variety of manufacturers.
In the Speedstar Motorsport / New Roads Automotive Group Audi R8, Thompson marked a lap time that bested not only all CTCC competitors, but all GT4 America’s entrants as well. In fact, the 1:23.332 that Thompson posted is faster than any GT4 lap on recent record at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
“We’re racing guys over in the SRO GT4 America’s paddock. We’re comparing and making sure we’re faster than all the manufacturers over there. The Speedstar Motorsport / New Road Automotive Group #1 Audi R8 was on rails all weekend long. It’s amazing to drive for this team. Thank you to everyone who came out from New Roads Automotive Group and Audi Uptown.” – Parker Thompson.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada
As expected of the popular one-make series, the opening races of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada were tightly contested. An incident in Saturday morning’s qualifying cut the session short, leaving multiple drivers unhappy with their starting positions for race one. Thompson would start in second position. Over the course of the race he applied good pressure on leader, Jeff Kingsley, but was not able to execute a pass. The two crossed the finish line with a comfortable margin over 3rd place Marco Cirone.
The starting line-up for race two put Thompson in the fifth position. Intense battles with Marco Cirone, Jeff Kingsley, and Patrick Dussault saw Thompson make his way up to second position. Heavy rain would fall, ending the race before he had any chance to challenge for the lead. The excitement of Thompson’s dramatic performance was tempered somewhat post-race when he was penalized one position for making a pass outside of track limits. The final result was third place.
After combining point totals for both races, Thompson holds second place in the overall championship standings, just one point behind race 2 winner Roman DeAngelis. The two drivers are also first in second in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA standings. Having shared the track for six races so far this year, Thompson and DeAngelis are demonstrating the tight competition that the GT3 Cup series is renowned for.
MAY 24 – 26, 2019 – INDY PRO 2000 Race 4 & 5 – Lucas Oil Raceway, Indianapolis, IN
JUN. 02 – 03, 2019 – CTCC Race 3 & 4 – Calabogie Motorsport Park – Ottawa,
JUN. 08 – 09, 2019 – GT3 CUP CANADA & USA – Circuit Gilles Villeneuve – Montreal
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.
‘Even if no one is watching:’ Parade marshal named for cancelled Stampede
CALGARY — Filipe Masetti Leite has spent a lot of alone time in the saddle criss-crossing countries on horseback over the last eight years.
The latest journey for the long rider — from Anchorage, Alaska, to Calgary — will be bittersweet when he completes it in one month.
But he’ll have a new title.
Masetti Leite has been named the 2020 Calgary Stampede’s parade marshal, even though the event has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Masetti Leite was asked to take the job while still on his trek and before the health crisis shut down most of the world.
“To be named the Calgary Stampede parade marshal is the biggest honour of my life. I can’t wait to ride into Calgary on July 3, even if no one is watching,” Masetti Leite said in a news release.
“I’m finishing where I started. It’s a dream.”
Masetti Leite, 33, immigrated to Canada from Brazil when he was a teenager. In 2012, he began his first journey from Calgary and spent two years riding his two horses through 10 countries in North, Central and South America.
He covered about 16,000 kilometres before reaching his final destination: his home in Espirito Santo do Pinhal, Sao Paulo.
Masetti Leite, who has a journalism degree from Ryerson University in Toronto, began a second trip in 2016, which spanned 7,350 kilometres over 15 months and took him from Brazil to Patagonia.
His latest 3,500-kilometre trek from Alaska has him arriving in Calgary next month on the same day the Stampede was scheduled to begin.
Masetti Leite said he’s dedicating the remaining part of his ride to health-care workers around the world, who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic.
Despite the cancellation of this year’s edition of what is called the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” Stampede president Dana Peers said Masetti Leite was selected long before the world changed.
“The choice of Filipe Masetti Leite for the Calgary Stampede parade marshal has been many years in the making,” Peers said.
“He is proof Stampede parade marshals don’t just lead a parade; they exemplify western heritage, values and culture.”
A long rider is someone who has ridden more than 1,600 continuous kilometres on a single equestrian journey.
The inspiration for Masetti Leite came from a similar quest in 1925 by the original long rider, Aime Tschiffely, a Swiss school teacher, who rode 16,000 kilometres alone from Buenos Aires to New York City and wrote about his experiences.
Masetti Leite has documented his travels and written the book “Long Ride Home: Guts and Guns and Grizzlies, 800 Days Through the Americas in a Saddle.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2020
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Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
Calgary couple stranded in India by COVID-19 pandemic killed: family
CALGARY — Family members say a Calgary couple stranded in India because of the COVID-19 pandemic were killed last weekend.
Kirpal Minhas, who was 67, and his wife Davinder, who was 65, were supposed to return the first week of April but their flight was cancelled.
Loved ones say the permanent residents were days from catching another flight to Canada when they were attacked in their home in the Punjab region on Saturday.
The couple’s son-in-law says local authorities told him three people overpowered the husband and stabbed him to death and that the wife was strangled.
Family say police have told them the caretaker of the home was arrested along with two other men, and that the motive was to get the couple’s money.
Global Affairs says it’s aware of the deaths, but cannot disclose any further information for privacy reasons. (CTV Calgary)
This report by The Canadian press was first published June 3, 2020
The Canadian Press
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