HPD Blog

Friday, August 14, 2009

Theetge, Compass360 Racing, Top Contender at Grand Prix de Trois Rivières August 15


TROIS-RIVIÈRES, QUEBEC – The streets of Le Circuit de Trois-Rivières are like second nature to Benoit Theetge of Boischitel.

Saturday, Theetge will once again compete in the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, the 1.521-mile temporary circuit playing host its 40th year of racing. He will drive in the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge, teamed with Christian Miller, the point leader in the Street Tuner class.

Theetge began competing at Trois-Rivières in the early 1990s, and has a handful of wins at his home track. However, none have come in the KONI Challenge, which is a successor to the Motorola Cup series that toured Canada during the previous decade.

Theetge and Miller will drive the #74 034Motorsport/Skunk2 Honda Civic Si for Compass360 Racing of Toronto. Last season, Compass360 fielded the winning machine – an Acura TSX – for ST winners Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood, as well as three other cars. This season, the #74 has two victories – both with Miller and Randy Pobst – and overall, Compass360 Racing has three wins in eight races. With Pobst busy racing elsewhere this weekend, Theetge steps in, and hopes his efforts will award him with a share of the victory.

"No doubt, Trois-Rivières is a special track for all of us," said Theetge, who will make his first KONI Challenge start of the season Saturday. "Even though good drivers are competitive there, there are challenges – the braking zones, the walls. The walls can be intimidating – if a driver is scared of them, [he] will lose a second or so. I have been competing at Trois-Rivières since 1992 or 1993, and I skipped a couple of years there, but by the time I started competing in Motorola Cup, I was competitive."
Theetge has four KONI Challenge starts at Trois-Rivières – three in ST and one in the Grand Sport class – with a best finish of third in 2001 while teamed with another Quebec driver, Jocelyn Hebert of Becancour.

"Honestly, I believe I am on the best team out there," said Theetge, who has led laps in each of the last three KONI Challenge ST races at Trois-Rivières. "But racing is racing. The last three years, I led – 20 minutes from the end, 40 minutes, an hour – but never came up winning. Typically, the track is hard on brakes, but this year, I don’t believe it will be because the race is only 90 minutes long. There will be a lot of different strategies. I know the car will be competitive and I will be competitive – it’s my home track.

"I have won there before in other types of cars, but I am not thinking about that right now," Theetge concluded. "I want to drive well and get the maximum amount of points for Christian to keep his championship hopes alive. Those are my goals."

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