Nathan Blok headed to his home track of Calabogie for the 3rd and 4th race of the Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC) June 17/18, 2017 for the Kyle Nash race weekend. The track at Calabogie has been the scene of several of Blok’s accomplishments and he was looking forward to racing infront of the local crowd.
On Saturday the Blok qualified 3rd in his Super Touring (ST) Class and 8th overall on the 2.81 km Stadium track.
The first CTCC feature race of the weekend began well with Blok overtaking #99 (GT) Chris Sahakian at the drop of the green flag. Going into corner 3 Blok moved to the outside of #12 (ST) Jean-Francois Hevey moving Blok up into 2nd place in class and 6th overall.
On Lap 4 the #99 (GT) car caught fire and a full course caution was declared. Under caution #88 (GT) Bob Attrell pulled into the pits moving Blok to P5 overall and still P2 in class.
When the green flag flew on Lap 7 #11 (ST) Eric Hoshgeschurz and #72 (GT) Mario Guerin tangled resulting with Guerin spinning off the track. This moved Blok to P4 overall and maintaining his P2 in class.
By Lap 19 the front runners started catching the lap traffic adding an additional element to the race. On lap 25 Sharpe and a lap car made slight contact. Blok capitalized on the error and moving to the inside of the corner overtaking Sharpe putting hit into P3 overall.
Blok then put his sights on to #11 Eric Hochegeschurz to chalenge for the lead of ST class. Although he was starting to gain on the lead car, without enough time left in the race he had to settle for 2nd place in class and 3rd place overall.
Sunday came again with very humid weather and rain threatening on the horizon. With no new slick tires for Sunday available in Blok's budget, the best he could do was to qualify 7th out of 8th in class and 12th out of 18 overall. As luck would have it, one of Blok's local sponsor's “Woody's Motor Vehicle Repair” was in attendance and wanting Blok to have a fighting chance for the final race purchased him a new set of tires. This put Blok on a level playing field going into the final race on the 5.05 km long track.
From the drop of the green flag Blok was on a mission. Corner 1 he passed #81 (ST) Michael DelleDonne moving him up into P6. Corner 2 he attempted an outside pass on #16 (ST) Jeff Kingsley and on #12 (ST) Jean-Francois Hevey going side by side through the corner, but unfortunately was unable to make the pass stick. On the straight stretch after Corner 4, Blok overtook Kingsley moving him into P5. Continuing his push going into Corner 19 at the quarry he passed #11 (ST) Eric Hochgeschurz on the inside for P4.
Lap 2 his push forward continued as he was all over Hevey's bumper from Corner 7 through 11 when he finally took him on the outside of Corner 12 to secure 3rd place.
On Corner 1 of Lap 3 #66 (GT) Gary Kwok moved ahead, leaving the three Super Touring cars battling for 1st position and #88 (GT) Bob Attrell right on Blok's bumper. On Corner 8 Attrell passed Blok getting between him and #53 (ST) Rocco Marciello who he was fighting for 2nd place with. On corner 10 Attrell gets past Marciello with Nathan attempting to follow on the inside, but he was unable to complete the pass.
Lap 4 saw Attrell pass #77 (ST) Arek Wojceichowski on the straight after Corner 4, again leaving the top Super Touring cars to battle it out. On Corner 11 Blok makes an outside pass on Marciello moving him into 2nd place.
Blok now set his sights on Wojceichowski, and by Corner 11 of Lap 5 makes the pass for the lead. Once Blok had secured a comforable lead he settled in to a rhythm for the rest of the race and brought home the 1st place trophy and the lead in the CTCC series.
“ Racing at Calabogie infront of the home crowd is always very special. Both races were very action packed, especially on Sunday's race. Coming from 7th place on the grid to win is a challenging task especially with the competition level as high as it is this year. Without the tires from Woody's Motor Vehicle Repair the outcome would have been extremely different.
To have yet another good weekend at home and to bring home a debut win and the lead in the championship for the team was a very fulfilling and successful accomplishment. There was a lot of drama in the background and even getting to race this weekend was a special opportunity and to come home with a 1st and 2nd place just makes everything that happened leading up to this event feel worthwhile.
A huge thanks to all my sponsors and everyone who put their support behind me and believed in me. I was honoured to do my job and deliver everyone the results that they wanted. “
Nathan Blok Racing Pembroke, ON 613-582-3867