MX5 at Canadian Tire Mosport Park - Photos and Story by Kristen Daisy Cleland
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photo (C) Kristen Daisy Cleland
Koch takes both races at CTMP, Kemper still leading Skip Barber

The sun shining and the track prepped ready for a big weekend, Race 1 (Round 7) of the SCCA Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires was on track at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park bright and early, at 8am Saturday July 12th - with Race 2 (Round 8) on at 4:20pm.
Kenton Koch (Glendora, CA) in the No. 12 ALARA Racing/Mazda Motorsports/BFGoodrich Tires MX-5, managed to take the top spot on the podium for both Rounds seven and eight during the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix weekend.
In Race 1, a five lap delay came after an incident involving James Vance (Stouffville, ON) on the starting grid.
During the restart, Koch and competitor Nathaniel Sparks (Spanish Fort, AL) in the No. 8 OOTSK Performance/Bimmelworld/Sick Sideways MX-5, put some distance between them and the rest of the field before fighting it out in the final few laps. Fortunately for Koch, a full yellow flag was brought out close to the end, allowing for him to get the win at the 10-turn 2.459-mile road course. Having finished ahead of Koch in practice, Sparks knew he was in with a chance and got unlucky with the race effectively being cut short by the yellow. Although not leading the race at any point, Sparks was on Koch's tail for the entire race - earning him his third consecutive podium.
During the podium presentations, Koch stated "We were able to work together to gap the rest of the pack. I was content with either first or second, since John was a little further back. I'm just focussing on staying clean and getting the most points I can."
Patrick Gallagher (Thornville, OH) came in a tight third in the No. 28 MedBuild/Henry Schein/ModSpace MX-5, after a gruelling competition with Sebastian Landy (No. 49 Excitation.com/Atlanta Motorsports Group MX-5), Lucas Catania (No. 17 Atlanta Motorsports Group/NY Spine & Wellness/SOS MX-5) and John Dean (No. 16 Projections Research/PPG/Sick Sideways MX-5). After the lap five restart, Gallagher put his car in third position but with many changes in the group leaders, found himself in fifth by the end of the lap 10. From Lap 19 to the final stages of the race, Landy and Gallagher swapped places between third and fourth many times, with Gallagher finding himself back on the third step of the podium when the yellow finished the race.
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