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Strachan Sweeps Fall Classic

As the leaves turned to their autumn colours, it marked that time of year when Quebec's annual prestige event, the Fall Classic, draws competitors from Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes and the U.S. Friday's practice showed the Prince Edward County racer, Malcolm Strachan, at the top of the charts with a hot lap of 1:40.8, a tenth of a second quicker than the Quebec favourite, Jacques Villeneuve, in his Porsche 935 (no relation to the ex-F1 driver of the same name). Saturday the wonderful sunny fall weather of Friday was gone. Fog, mist and rain greeted the competitors for qualifying. Strachan immediately laid down the gauntlet and scorched three laps which would be six seconds quicker than Ferrari driver Martin Burrowes, and Villeneuve. The Ferraris, Viper, BMWs and Porsches were left, literally, in the wake of the Mobil-1 Corvette.

As race time approached, fog and rain were even heavier and track conditions nothing short of treacherous. The green flag fell for the first race of the weekend and Strachan simply vanished into the mist. Strachan won by a substantial margin, followed to the checkered flag by Martin Burrowes Ferrari and Villeneuve's Porsche.

Sunday morning the rain had subsided and the colourful hills and mountains of Mont Tremblant showed their true splendor, but not for long. Qualifying began as the circuit was beginning to dry after a night of rain, leaving only a narrow dry strip with slippery wet pavement on either side. Strachan again wowed the spectators and competitors alike cracking off only four laps, but leaving the Ferraris and Porsches five seconds adrift.

The second of the Fall Classic left no doubt of tire choice as it was pouring rain. With the green Strachan again simply drowned the competition pulling out a 30 second lead. With numerous spins and incidents, the race wound down when, with only 4 laps to go, a full course caution was brought out and Strachan's lead was reduced to one car length. The green flag come out for the last lap and Strachan's Corvette stumbled and coughed with water choking the air intake. As the cars disappeared to the far side of the circuit, an eerie silence fell over the pit area as the teams were wondering who would be in the lead for the finish. The unmistakable sound of V8 Corvette power answered the question as Strachan's Corvette had pulled seven seconds on Burrowes' Ferrari in one lap.

The checkered flag fell and 22-year-old Strachan had successfully defended his Quebec GT Championship, won two pole positions and the overall win in the Fall Classic at Mont Tremblant. The final event for Strachan will be Mosport International Raceway September 30/October 1 for the Celebration of Motorsport Weekend.



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