Chris VlokBGR Team Grote was back in action at the Beautiful Le Circuit Mont Tremblant last weekend, contesting round 3 of the Quebec Formula Tour 1600 Series in Canada. New Zealand driver Chris Vlok was eager to get back in the car from the huge 5 week break after round 2 at the Canadian F1 GP in Montreal. The Friday test day went well and Vlok posted some impressive times putting him in the top 5 by the end of the day. Qualifying for Race 1 on Saturday also went well and with a wrong turn in setup the 18 year old rookie managed to line up 9th for the first race. Making some adjustments to the setup for Race 1 made for a great first few laps which saw Chris move up to 6th and then another pass putting him into the top 5. A full course caution halted his progress and unfortunately the race ended under caution but a solid top 5 was a nice result.

Sunday was filled with excitement as the cars took to the track for qualifying 2 and improving on his Saturday starting spot by 3 grid positions had him line up 6th. The race was a high speed pursuit with the top 10 cars staying in close contact as positions constantly changed every corner but all the while Vlok made steady progress and ran in 4th as the last lap board was displayed. The lead duo just meters ahead of Vlok and the 3rd place car of veteran Didier Schraenen came together only 4 corners from the finish and they both retired with damage promoting Didier to the lead and Chris to 2nd, they remained that way to the flag as Chris earned his first podium of the season. The two top 5 results also promoted Vlok to the lead of the rookie points championship. “It’s nice to finally get some good finishes in the bag after all the hard work that were putting in”, commented the young New Zealander Vlok. “We’ve had good speed since the start of the season and it was unfortunate that we incurred all the bad luck that we did, so this is a real confidence boost for me and the team that couldn’t have come at a better time”, “It puts us in a good position for our next meeting at the Trois Rivieres GP3R street circuit, which is going to be tough considering the limited amount of track time that we get and with me having no experience there, so its a good position to enter that event in”.

“What a great weekend for BGR Team Grote and our rookie driver Chris Vlok, commented team principle Brian Graham. We were close here in the spring and this shows that Chris is a real contender and as he learns the new tracks and gains knowledge he will continue to fight for podiums for the remainder of the series. The rookie of the year is something we are really trying hard to come away with as we have won that crown in Ontario for six straight years and hope to start that tradition here in Quebec. They guys did a great job this weekend in the heat and had the car perfect for the Sunday feature. We are very excited about the GP3R and know Chris will love that venue.” BGR Team Grote has put more drivers in the winner’s circle than any other team in OFFC history and continues to strive to provide the perfect environment for karters to make the transition to the open wheel ranks. The winners of the past 6 consecutive years of Rookie of the Year will be looking to continue that tradition this season.