14 Aug A Hat-trick for Chris Sahakian at Trois-Rivières
For motorsport enthusiasts across Canada, the first two weekends of August are sacred. More than 300,000 people travel to Trois-Rivières from August 4th to the 13th in order to attend one of the largest events in Canadian motorsport history, the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières (GP3R).
Christopher and Ashley’s triple race weekend started with the iconic Friday night race. Starting at sunset, and fading into the night, the brother-sister team faced a motorsport giant; Alex Tagliani. Chris was able to qualify 4th in Grand Touring Sport, while Ashley qualified 11th. Anxious about her first night race, Ashley demonstrated true grit, while keeping close battles with her fellow competitors. She ended the race in 6th position in GT Sport. Determined to make it onto the podium, Chris displayed his impeccable driving skills as he battled it out with Tom Kwok and Philippe Gélinas. He was victorious and won the second- place trophy.
Waking up to grey skies, the second race required rain tires. Not bothered by the slippery conditions, Chris was able to secure second place. He passed his competitor, Tom Kwok, on the front straight, just moments before the chequered flag. When asked about the strategy he used for the race, Chris said, “my coach taught me that a race is never won in the first corner, so I stayed close behind my fellow drivers and waited for the right opportunity”. In the lateral part of the race, Ashley experienced brake failure, which resulted in her striking the wall in the dreaded corner three. She was unable to finish the race but was unharmed in the incident.
The weather in Trois-Rivières finally cleared up for the third race, leaving a dry concrete jungle for the drivers. As the temperature rose throughout the day, the young driver needed to manage brakes in order to avoid overheating. Chris displayed stupendous driving and was able to create a signature from the other drivers in GT Sport. Three-quarters into the race, the pace car was brought out due to an accident, thus closing the gap between Chris and his competitors. Accident cleared, the green flag was waived with two minutes left, requiring Chris to display flawless driving as Bob Attrell was only one car away. Chris was able to make it on the second step of the podium once again, leaving Trois-Rivières with three-second place trophies.
Despite his second-place podiums, Chris was awarded first place points due to the fact that Mario Guérin, who finished first in all three races, could only compete for trophies because he entered CTCC with a Ferrari 458 GT3 Challenge car.
Christopher Sahakian is now leading the Grand Touring Sport Championship and defending his 2016 Grand Touring Sport Champion title with 992 points. Ashley was also able to make her way from fifth to fourth place in the championship with 499 points.
A special mention to Vick Decker, Peter Cohen, the team, and Auto Bugatti for working hard to fix the #7 Mustang and getting it race-ready for GP3R. Your hard work was greatly appreciated.
United Auto Racing would like to thank their sponsors, Formule Ford, Vinpac Lines, National Car Rental Valleyfield, BTB Reit, Luxy Media, MS-Sim, Transport BMA-MPR, Doctor Pocket, Spotted Cars Québec, and their partnership with Drive 4 Smiles in collaboration with the Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada.
The Sahakian family would also like to thank all of their friends and family who came out to support the team at the GP3R. It was a nice turnout and they hope to see all there for the next one.
Photo credits: Ryan Dupont Photography