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TWO OUT OF THREE AIN'T BAD

CAM WITHELL WINS HIS SECOND CANADIAN AUTOSLALOM CHAMPIONSH­IP IN THREE YEARS

- By Doug Campbell // Photograph­y by Frank Ewald

The 2017 ASN Canada FIA Canadian Autoslalom Championsh­ip event, presented by Toyo Tires, was held in late June in Pitt Meadows, B.C. The even took place at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) facility and was organized by Vancouver Chinese Motorsport Club (VCMC), under the direction of the club's president, Dave Cross.

Entries surpassed 100 again this year, with 110 drivers contesting for the National Championsh­ip. Four courses were run over two days, with a record 1,300 runs to determine the Overall and Class Championsh­ips. In the end, Cam Withell, of Chestermer­e Lake, Alberta won his second national championsh­ip, this time in an A Street 2004 Corvette Z06, adding to the title he won in 2015 in a Mazda Miata. Second place went to Dan Bullis of Vancouver, Washington in his B Street 1999 Corvette, while Ryan Clark of Calgary, Alberta in a B Street Porsche Cayman finished third.

Competitio­n was extremely close at this year's event. After four combined timed events, Withell's margin of victory, with a time of 175.258 seconds, was only 0.346 seconds over Bullis' time of 175.604. Clark was just another 0.409 seconds behind in third with a 176.013.

The JIBC facility welcomed the competitor­s to the national event, and the VCMC organizing club rented out the entire paved surface of over 500,000 square feet, allowing competitor­s to park and grid on the adjacent taxiways of the Pitt Meadows Airport. This layout enabled VCMC to design courses with no overlap, to put cars onto the course at approximat­ely 20 second intervals. Doing so enabled them to put all 110 competitor­s through three runs of the course in the morning and afternoon on both days of competitio­n.

he 2017 ASN Canada FIA Canadian Autoslalom Championsh­ip event, presented by Toyo Tires, was held in late June in Pitt Meadows, B.C. The even took place at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) facility and was organized by Vancouver Chinese Motorsport Club (VCMC), under the direction of the club's president, Dave Cross.

A public-address system was utilized by several club competitor­s between their runs to keep everyone informed of the progress in each class, and overall, which made the event more exciting.

The weather was hot and sunny in Pitt Meadows this year, with temperatur­es in the low-30 celsius range making the competitor­s' tires sticky for maximum grip. A Test & Tune event was held on Friday afternoon, with competitor­s swapping between marshallin­g and driving to fine tune their tire pressures to find the best balance. Afterwards, a pizza party was held on Friday night with beer sponsored by Steam Works Breweries to quench everyone's thirst. Saturday saw a technical morning course followed by a reverse course in the afternoon.

After day one, Withell held a slight lead, but with a margin of only a fraction of a second, results from the two Sunday courses would settle the championsh­ip. Sunday's course was more open with longer straights, forcing lower-powered cars to alter their cornering lines to carry more speed, but it also challenged the high-powered cars to minimize the distance traveled in the search of faster times. In the end, only 3.1 seconds separated first from tenth, with six different vehicle classes represente­d.

As is customary at the nationals, a Saturday BBQ was held at the site under a large festival tent, which was used more for shade than inclement weather, as the weekend was sunny and hot. As well as the catered dinner, free beer was supplied again by event sponsor Steam Works Brewery. The awards ceremony for overall and class winners was held next to the tent promptly after the end of competitio­n on Sunday, allowing competitor­s to hit the road early on Sunday evening.

Overall, it was another exciting and close finish to the Canadian Autoslalom Championsh­ip. The top three competitor­s are all off to compete in the SCCA Autoslalom Nationals in the U.S. to do battle against the best in America. Best of luck to the Canadians, Withell and Clark, who will be looking for Class wins in their respective categories.

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