Nathan BlokNathan Blok, the 18-year old 2011 Formula 1600 Champion, returned to the challenging Circuit Mont-Tremblant track north of Montréal. Blok raced his #1 Van Diemen F-1600 in the Formula Libre class as part of the Spring Classic in the 2012 Formula Tour 1600 Championship.

On Saturday, Blok qualified his car 3rd in a field of 20 competitors, a mere 0.3 seconds off the pole.

With the drop of the green flag the first feature 1600 race of the year began with Blok quickly gaining a position in the first corner. A full-course caution was in effect for the next two laps but Blok was ready when the green was shown again. Blok passed Xavier Coupal for the lead and the two drove hard to control the lead position. Coupal went off the course on the 6th lap and Blok would lead the field until Lap 13 when he too left the pavement. Quickly rejoining the race in 7th place, Blok began his charge back up through the field, crossing the line in 6th place behind veteran racer Didier Scharenen

“It was a great race. The car was slowly loosing grip as the race progressed, but I was able to control the slow decline of rear grip fairly well. I was disappointed to have spun out, especially being so close to the end of the race & in a position to go for the win, but it was still a great race.” On Sunday, Blok qualified his car in the coveted pole position for the feature race.

On the start of the second feature race of the weekend Blok maintained his starting position with Coupal hot on his tail. The two young racers diced each other for the lead through the opening laps. Soon lapped traffic became an issue as the two challenged each other for the lead. With side-by-side racing on Lap 9, Blok and Coupal approached the infamous Namarow corner battling for the lead. Blok emerged in front yet Coupal was not giving up. Two laps later on the final lap, Blok threaded the needle between two back-markers in Corner 8 in a breath-taking move. Coupal would challenge Blok one final time in Namarow but Blok successfully defended his line and took the checkers at the finish line.

“The second race was so intense from start to finish, it really is difficult to sum up in a few sentences. It was hard racing, but it was clean and fair, and that’s what made it so much fun. Its great to see that the action was so intense; the Grand Prix should be another excellent race weekend! I would like thank all my sponsors for their support and the Britian-West Motorsport team for preparing an awesome car for me this weekend. All in all, It was a great race, great weekend, and I’m really excited heading to the Grand Prix.”

Photo by R. Fortin