The SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires heads north for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Hawk Performance

The SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Series Presented by BFGoodrich Tires makes the trek across the border to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the famed circuit just an hour northeast of Toronto, to contest Championship Round Seven and Eight. Last year’s doubleheader event resulted in some extremely close finishes with the winner from both races being decided by less than one second. Like last year’s Championship battle, this season’s point differential is small. Each driver will be making an extra effort to score as many markers toward their season-long total as they can.
Two Canadians are slated to start this weekend’s doubleheader event in their home country. Driving for CJ Wilson Racing, Charles Paquin, of Ottawa, Ont., will be at the controls of his No. 27 Monticello Motor Club MX-5. Currently he makes his home in the United States, but has deep roots tied to the northern neighbor of the States.
James Vance, of Stouffville, Ont., will be making a return to the series in front of a home crowd. Having spent the first half of 2014 behind the wheel of other race cars, Vance should be in prime form to take over the reins of his Sick Sideways/Exposystems Displays and Exhibits MX-5. 
Kenton Koch, of Glendora, California, starts this race weekend as the Championship point leader. Driving the No. 12 ALARA Racing/Mazda Motorsports/BFGoodrich Tires MX-5, Koch swept both rounds in Houston just two weeks ago, vaulting him to the lead.
Koch’s ALARA Racing teammates will try to ride the momentum created by the team’s first doubleheader sweep in Mazda MX-5 Cup competition. Ara Malkhassian, of Houston, the team’s principal, will be in action at the controls of his No. 11 ALARA Racing MX-5. Rookie Timothy Paul (No. 6 ALARA Racing/Cellmark MX-5), of Mahopac, New York, will also be riding high after notching his first top-five finish in the series on the unforgiving streets in Houston.
Completing the ALARA complement of cars will be Tim Probert (No. 26 ALARA Racing MX-5), of Houston, and Brent Mosing (No. 10 ALARA Racing MX-5), of Lafayette, Louisiana.
John Dean, of Sebring, Florida, will head to the only international race on the schedule sitting second in the Championship standings. In the No. 16 Projections Research/PPG MX-5, Dean will lead his three-car Sick Sideways Racing effort at Canadian Tire. Nathanial Sparks (No. 8 OOTSK Performance/Bimmerworld MX-5), of Spanish Fort, Alabama, will drive his customary car alongside Dean and single-race entrant James Vance (Sick Sideways/Exposystems Displays and Exhibits MX-5), of Stouffville, Ont., Canada.
Charles Paquin (No. 27 Monticello Motor Club MX-5), of Ottawa, Ont., Canada, will attempt to lead his C.J. Wilson Racing Team in his home country. Also part of the stable will be Patrick Gallagher, of Thornville, Ohio, in his second trip to the venue in his No. 28 MedBuild/Henry Schein/ModSpace MX-5. Both veterans will help their rookie teammates Devin Jones (No. 35 Veristor MX-5), of Mooresville, North Carolina, and Joey Bickers (No. 29 Mazda Motorsports/BFGoodrich MX-5), of Moorpark, California, figure out the course in their first trip to the track.
Completing the field is a four-car effort from Atlanta Motorsports Group. Sebastian Landy, of Great Falls, Virginia, has enjoyed a solid 2014 behind the wheel of his No. 49 Motorsports Group MX-5, thus far. His brother, Forrest Landy, also of Great Falls, Virginia, will be making his first start this season at the helm of the No. 41 Motorsports Group MX-5.
The father/son duo of Joseph and Lucas Catania, both of Cazenovia, New York, will also be in action this weekend. Joseph, the elder of the two, will drive the No. 18 Atlanta Motorsports Group/NY Spine & Wellness/SOS MX-5, while Lucas will be in the No. 17 Atlanta Motorsports Group/NY Spine & Wellness/SOS MX-5. In his rookie season, Lucas has shown strong pace by notching three top-five finishes in 2014.
The top three positions in the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge Championship got increasingly spread out following the Houston double. Drake Kemper (No. 99 Royal Rugby SBMX-5), of Toluca Lake, California, leads the standings with 347 points. Ben Albano, of Greenwich, Connecticut, sits 18 markers back, in his No. 61 Project Yellow Light SBMX-5. Completing the top three is Bryan Hixon (No. 63 Blackmore Partners/xBorder Foods & Wine SBMX-5), of San Antonio, Texas, with 217 points.
Adam Sinclair