Teaming up with Speedstar Motorsports at the fast and challenging Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, 25-year old Nathan Blok returned to the track again for his one and only time this year. Wheeling a 2018 Audi R8 LMS GT4 in the GT Sport Class in the Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC), Blok brought home a pole position, a 1st and a 2nd place finish at the Chevrolet Silverado 250 on August 23 & 24, 2019.
Despite not sitting in a race car since last September due to funding concerns, and this being the first time racing an Audi R8 LMS GT4 race car Blok was looking forward to getting back behind the wheel. Blok is no stranger to driving competitively in both closed and open-wheel cars having experience in a number of disciplines from Formula 1600 to Formula 2000, Touring cars and IMSA Prototype Lites. He is the 2015 Formula 2000 Canadian Champion and a two-time Formula Tour 1600 Series Champion.
After only 14 laps of practice, qualifying for the 15 entrants took place just before lunch on Friday, in cool and sunny conditions. Blok took pole in class by 0.097 seconds beating out #6 George Staikos in his 2019 Mercedes AMG GT4 car. but would start the race in 3rd place overall.
RACE 1: The 40 minute Race 1 started late afternoon and ran under sunny conditions. At the drop of the green Blok #33 had an excellent start positioning his car on the inside of corner one. Holding the inside and going 3 abreast through corner one, Blok persevered and took over the 1st place position.
Lap 2 saw veteran driver Tom Kwok #55 take the inside line going into turn 2 and successfully pushed Blok down to 2nd place. This was short lived, when Blok re-took the top position down the Andretti straight.
Blok started to pull away from the pack until on Lap 5 when #18 Lindsay Rice went off the track causing a full course caution. Lap 7 the race re-started and Blok maintained the lead and continued to pull away from the pack, crossing the finish line in 1st place in class and overall with a 7.894 second lead over 2nd place George Staikos.
RACE 2: Mid afternoon on Saturday, the CTCC cars returned to the track for the second 40 minute of the weekend. The race saw Blok starting in 2nd, just missing the pole position by .038 seconds, based on the fastest lap from Race 1 . Similar to Race 1, at the start Blok passed Staikos #6 for the lead through corner 1, with Tom Kwok #55 pushing forward into 1st place in corner 3. As if it was deja vu, Blok again took back the lead going down the Andretti straight and then started to pull away.
Unfortunately on Lap 15 on the exit of corner 2 Blok experienced a moment of severe over steer, with the car going sideways. Blok was able to maintain control of his car, however the skid overheated the tires and being unable to maintain pace this allowed #6 George Staikos to take over the lead. With his tires starting to cool down near the end of the race, Blok started to gain on Staikos, but it was to little to late and Blok crossed the finish line in 2nd place.
This made for a near perfect weekend: 1 pole position, a first place and second place finish.
“It was a great experience to race one of my favourite cars, the Audi R8. Speedstar Motorsports is a very professional team and they gave me the tools I needed to make them and my partners proud. Winning on my debut in this car, shows that the teams faith in my abilities as a driver was not misplaced, and I look forward to achieving great things with Speedstar. I owe a big thank you to my partners who stepped up at the last moment to ensure a successful weekend: Woodys MVR, Plastiglas, SunSign Graphics, H&H Construction, Assante Financial, Belder Tool, McMillans Transmission, TD Products and Donley Pools.”
Nathan Blok Racing Pembroke, ON 613-582-3867