Monday, May 8, 2023 by Philippe Brasseur
The Super Production Challenge (SPC) series will begin its 2023 season at Mosport (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) as part of the Victoria Day Weekend, May 19-21. This will be one of two SPC visits to the prestigious Ontario circuit for a season of 5 events of 3 races each, which will also take in Shannonville, the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières before ending at the ICAR Complex in Mirabel. the end of August. The second round at Mosport will take place as part of the IMSA weekend, including the popular GTP models as well as the American Endurance LMP3 and GTD (July 7-9).
In terms of those registered, the organizers sent us this Monday the list of participants of the championship, and also in the first event. Case in point: the series is doing well, very well even with 51 registered competitors for the season, including 47 from Mosport. The variety of cars and driver experience promises an exciting season.
After Oliver Bédard’s two consecutive titles at the controls of one of the Xtreme Motorsports team’s Nissan 370 Z, a new champion will be crowned this year as Bédard will not challenge for his title. With 23 drivers in the Super Production class, reserved for 300 horsepower Cars, naming a favorite is impossible. However, former series champions like Jacques Gravel (BMW 330i) and Kurt Wittmer (Honda Civic Type-R) will be one to watch ahead, as will Ontario’s Nathan Blok, who now drives one of the many Nissan Zs available locally. series, Jimmy Brière (Hyundai Genesis), Marc Héroux (Chevrolet Camaro RS) and many others.
In the Production class (220 horsepower cars), 16 teams are entered. Mini Coopers are no longer in the majority in this class, but for drivers of the type of Yannick Lupien or Sylvain Laporte, it is impossible to put them among the favorites yet, while we will also closely monitor the performance of the majority. Honda Civics or even Subaru BRZs from the Ontario Red Green and Ry-Spec teams, one of which will be driven by young Quebecer Marie-Soleil Labelle.
Finally, the Compact class (100 hp max cars) also looks good with 12 entries, double the number of two years ago. Nissan Micra, Toyota Echo Cup, Chevrolet Sonic and Honda Fit will share the starting grid of the category that will include at least 6 drivers, out of 14 registered in SPC this season. After a successful 2022 season with his Chevrolet Sonic, Éric Coulombe will try to surprise the likes of Frédéric Bernier (Nissan Micra) and Ontario’s Nathan Mutch (Toyota Écho).
Last year, there were a few incidents at the beginning of the season, with some drivers, especially in the Production class, being very angry on some tracks. With around 50 cars at the start, it is very difficult to avoid “zero risk” in terms of communication when the green flag is waved, but in general it can be said that the SPC series can combine spectacle and respect on the track. 2023 should not be an exception to this rule despite all the new drivers expected.
Inspired by North America’s biggest touring car series, SPC looks to have come of age this year and we can only be excited to see the Canadian series have over 50 actual entries with 11 days to go. To discover the full list of 2023 registrants, click here. For a special list of expected competitors in Mosport for the first triple plan, here.