Strachan Fast in Toronto
The ATTO Vintage GT Challenge was the final and most exciting race of the Molson Toronto Grand Prix weekend. On his first appearance on the 1.775 mile circuit through the Toronto CNE grounds and Lakeshore Boulevard, Malcolm Strachan drove a production-based 1973 Corvette. With approximately 500 horsepower, it was not considered a threat to the 800 horsepower big-block Corvettes, BMW M1s, and other Trans-Am style cars.
The first of two qualifying sessions had Strachan firmly in 7th spot of the 40 competitors, his run being cut short due to a rear tire puncture at nearly 240 km/h on the narrow Lakeshore Blvd. This caused an interesting moment for Strachan as he tried to slow the heavy Corvette before the hairpin corner at the end of the straight. The crew of Strudwick Motorsports worked on the car and incorporated several suspension and aerodynamic changes. With new tires, Strachan went out for his second qualifying session hoping to improve his 1 minute 24.1 second lap from the first session.
On his fourth flying lap, Strachan had the pits buzzing. He had sliced three full seconds off his time and stood third overall in his production-based Corvette. His exceptional times drew lots of attention, and the youngest driver in the field was suddenly being asked for interviews for both television and newspapers.
The Sunday race had shaped up to be an epic battle between the Glarner Motorsports BMW M1s, the Legendary Motorcars team of 800 horsepower big-block Corvettes and Strudwick Motorsports. Strudwick's fastest car had pole position with Blaise Csida driving, followed by Peter Klutt in the Legendary Motorcars Corvette, Strachan in third, with the Glarner BMWs filling out the top five.
As the green flag dropped, Peter Klutt used his 800 horsepower to his advantage by stealing the lead into the first corner, following closely by Csida. Strachan dropped back to 7th due to a fuel feed problem that caused the car to die momentarily as the green flag fell. Strachan had minor contact with one of the Legendary Motorcars Corvettes exiting corner one despite trying to avoid the weaving Corvette. Strachan continued on, picking off cars, working back up to fifth. However, the car cut out twice more and he parked it in the pits, his race over.
After several laps, Csida made a brilliant pass going into the first corner, reclaiming the lead. He went on to claim victory over Klutt by eight seconds with Marcus Glarner wheeling his BMW M1 home in third.
Strachan's busy schedule continues this weekend with his first foray into stock car racing at Kawartha Downs Speedway on Friday night, and at Shannonville in his Mobil 1 Corvette on Saturday and Sunday in the Ontario Challenge Cup GT series.