Bowmanville, Ontario (30 June 2022) – Jr III (“Junior Three”) Racing will make its Canadian Tire Motorsport Park debut on July 3 for the Chevrolet Grand Prix as the team heads to the circuit with both its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (July 3rd, 3:00pm ET, NBC) and IMSA Prototype Challenge (IPC) LMP3 (July 3rd, 11:35am ET, Peacock) entries.
To jumpstart the second half of the season, IMSA returns to Canada for the first time since 2019 with the race having been put on hold due to the pandemic.
The Fourth of July race weekend will see the No. 30 Airbnb Ligier JS P320 return to IMSA WeatherTech competition with Garett Grist and Ari Balogh. The driver duo will drive the No. 30 IPC LMP3 in WeatherTech competition due to the damage that occurred during the pit incident at Watkins Glen on Sunday. The tight turn-around time between events led to the team to make the decision to not initiate repairs to the Ligier until returning to the newly-expanded team shop in Mooresville following the CTMP weekend.
After an intense run at last weekend’s Watkins Glen Six Hour that saw Balogh and Grist’s race come to a premature end, the pair will now be looking to reclaim the IMSA WeatherTech LMP3 championship lead, trailing the leaders by 50-points.
The No. 30 Airbnb machine has collected two podiums this season at the Twelve Hours of Sebring and the Lexus Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio. Although Jr III Racing has yet to race professionally at the 2.459-mile road course, the team had a great showing at its test at the track in May.
Coming into the weekend with a hometown advantage, Grist is looking forward to making his CTMP return having grown up competing at the circuit. Grist last competed at CTMP in 2019 in IPC. Qualifying on the front row, Grist closed out the race seventh in the order.
“This track is even a step up from the Glen,” said Grist. “The track is high speed, high commitment and it’s a track that you always have to be switched on. It’s one of those tracks that’s very exciting, very on edge. It’s probably one of my favorite tracks. In my first year of racing cars, I did Formula 4 in the Ontario Championship racing there for a year, so it’s my home track but I don’t really get to race it much. We tested really well there in May, and it definitely felt on the good side of things. We could tell by the way the car felt even when no one else was there as a benchmark, but we made some great changes. Ari did an amazing job and is getting more comfortable with the high speeds of the P3 car. We’re really positive going into the weekend for sure.”
Kicking off the CTMP weekend, Jr III Racing’s IPC program will be back at it after a six-week hiatus with Crone and Balogh pairing up in the No. 3 Jr III Racing Ligier for the third round of the 2022 season.
The No. 3 Jr III Racing Ligier JS P320 had an impressive showing at Mid-Ohio which saw Crone and Terry Olson race their way to the top five in the IPC championship standings. Olson and Crone raced through the 16 car field to finish 10th.
Balogh, competing in the IPC Bronze Cup, will substitute for Olson, who cannot compete due conflicting commitments.
Crone is looking forward to making her CTMP debut as she and the Jr III Racing team continue to make championship gains.
“Going into CTMP fifth in the points championship has an added motivation for me to stay consistent,” said Crone. “We are hoping to come out of CTMP in either the same or better position in the points standings. Given I have never been to CTMP, I am really looking forward to this experience that everyone has told me about, and finally visit one of the most coveted tracks in North America.”
The third round of the IPC will go green on Sunday, July 3rd at 11:35am ET with live coverage on Peacock. The IMSA WeatherTech Chevrolet Grand Prix is set for 3:00pm start time with the race broadcast on NBC.