Saturday, Jun 10

Rough racing at Mosport leads to tough times at home for James Vance

Thursday, Jul 17 1641
"I knew what I had to do and got on with it," James Vance said about working through the neck injury he received early last weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. 

That was the start of a rough weekend for Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge driver Vance, who also competed in the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires event last weekend at the track commonly known as Mosport.  

Vance was placed 12th on the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires grid after his third-place qualifying efforts were disqualified for drafting. But when the green flag dropped, his No. 40 Mazda did not go. A component failure led to Vance being stalled on the grid. All Vance could do was hope the rest of field went around him. That didn't happen - his car was struck from behind.The car was heavily damaged by the hit. Vance was unable to continue in the 45-minute sprint race. The contact and a team strategy decision also ended Vance's weekend in Mazda MX-5 Cup.

 "MX-5 race was frustrating," Vance said. "After the race, the car was fixable. But as a team we decided it would be best to take my motor out of my car, as it was stronger than my teammate, who is going for a championship, and switch motors. Then he has a better shot at winning the next race."

 In Round 7 of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, the Compass360 Racing team enjoyed its best qualifying effort this season, with Vance's teammate, Jon Miller, landing the No. 74 ExpoSystems Honda Civic Si in 11th on the Street Tuner starting grid. But Vance and Miller finished the race 13th after mechanical problems.

 From the beginning of Vance's stint, the transmission in the No. 74 car was misbehaving.

 "I had to nurse a transmission my whole stint, which meant I could not push as hard and run the pace that the car was being capable of," Vance said. "The other thing I had to be mindful of was everyone around me was driving as if it were a sprint race from the beginning of the stint. The second stint is always a bit more aggressive, but these guys were being a bit ridiculous, to be honest.

Vance has faced a string of bad luck at the track lately but has focused on the accomplishment of making it to the SportsCar Challenge level to propel him forward.

"The biggest thing for me to remember is this is my first year in this super-competitive series, and I am pretty proud of how we are doing," Vance said. "We seem to grow as a team and, no matter what, leave the track with our heads held high. This series is so tough, and the drivers are all of such a high caliber, so being able to hold my own against these more experienced guys in a front-wheel-drive car, which I only jumped into the third race of this year, is pretty cool." 

Vance's next race weekend will be at the storied Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Super Weekend at the Brickyard. Practice starts at 9 a.m. (ET) Thursday, July 24 with qualifying at 3 p.m. the same day. The race will take place at 2:35 p.m. Friday, July 25.

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for, where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

Contact Adam: Email  




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