Blog

Zachary Vanier saw his touring car aspirations come true on Sunday at Calabogie Motorsports Park, when he crossed the finish line in his Motul Audi RS3 TCR to become the youngest-ever Canadian Touring Car Championship title winner in his rookie season.

In a weekend that saw a heavy mix of wet and dry weather conditions, the 17-year-old Sudbury, Ontario driver continued his blistering pace to close out the season with his fifth-straight pole position and race win in the condensed, six-round 2020 CTCC schedule.

“This was a dream season for myself and us as a team,” Vanier said after the race. “It’s my first season with Pfaff and the CTCC series, and for us to have the success we’ve had, I think it definitely shows the level of professionalism that Pfaff has both on and off the track. We were able to be P1 in almost every session that we were on-track, so a big thank you to the team for providing the equipment and feedback throughout the year to help me develop and capture the title this season.”

Needing a strong final weekend to close out the championship with double points in the final qualifying and race round, Vanier drove clinically to the front of the field in near-torrential rain in on Saturday, before closing out the title in clear weather on Sunday with his fifth-straight pole and race win in a determined display against tight competition.

Vanier worked closely with coach and 2019 IMSA GTD Sprint Cup champion Zach Robichon throughout the season to make a smooth transition from open-wheel to touring car racing, something team manager Steve Bortolotti says was a development match made in heaven.

“Firstly, I have to say how happy I am for Zach [Vanier] and the entire team on their accomplishments this season,” he said. “He’s wise beyond his years and I think he has a really bright future in this sport.  His maturity over the course of the season was clear. Working with Zach (Robichon), Vanier really showed a conscious effort to learn and become a stronger driver. He got his composure very quickly and executed everything asked of him – and a large part of that is the camaraderie that he and Robichon were able to develop over the course of the season.”

Speaking on the team’s move to the CTCC in a revised 2020 racing calendar, Bortolotti also detailed Pfaff’s efforts to transition to a development role with a new platform: the plaid-liveried, Motul Audi RS3 TCR, owned by Canadian automotive learning and promotions company, FEL Drives.

“It was a bit of a departure for us running a front-wheel drive car in competition, but I’m really proud of Andrew [Marangoni] (engineer), Corey [Whiteman] (mechanic), and Kyle Gallant (truck driver & mechanic) – everybody who helped take this FELdrives car and make it into a reliable race winner and championship machine,” he said.

“It’s another testament to this team and the passion each of us has to help continue to develop Canadian racing talent, just as Pfaff has done throughout our motorsports history. Despite being a season of adversity, we couldn’t be happier as a team to have had the opportunity to work with a driver like Zachary and the success we’ve had, and hopefully we can continue to have him as part of our program for many years to come.”

 

To view the final CTCC 2020 TCR standings, please visit www.touringcar.ca.

Stay tuned for further announcements from Pfaff Motorsports regarding the 2020 IMSA and CTCC racing seasons. For more exciting news and behind-the-scenes content, follow @PfaffMotorsports, @HJPfaffAudi, @Pfaff_Audi, and @PfaffAuto on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Image credit: Pfaff Motorsports/Lenssen Photo