Thursday, May 19, 2011


May 19, 2011

It was obvious the six-week layoff between races was time well-used by the CKS Autosport race car preparation team based in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada, as the pit crew and driver Ashley McCalmont gave the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro GS.R a seventh place finish, its best of the season.

The two-hour, 30-minute race, on May 14 at VIRginia International Raceway near Danville, Va., was the second top-10 finish of the season for McCalmont, also of Ancaster, in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series. In a series where co-drivers are required, Ashley shares the driving with Eric Curran of Holyoke, Mass.

“I’m impressed by the mechanical progress our team manager, Kirk Spencer, and his crew have made with the TTL/Goldengate Margarine Camaro,” Ashley said. “Every race, every session on the track, it gets better and better and better. And our results through the first four races show that.

“I was unable to get enough track time at-speed during testing because of all the black flags due to other drivers having mishaps or going off course. I only had five laps on the track before qualifying, and then I was held up by a slower car. I had to start 22nd I in the Grand Sports class and be patient to work my way toward the front.

“In the race itself, I was working my way up but lost a position when a car in front of me put down a lot of oil on the track. That cost a few spots but by being patient and picking low-risk places to pass, I was up to 12th place by the time I pitted on lap 17 and turned the car over to my co-driver, Eric Curran,” Ashley said. “Picking up 10 positions and protecting the car pleased me”

“GRAND-AM is doing a good job manipulating small specifications here and there, closing gaps between very diverse cars. This puts the onus to win in the hands of the independent teams who build them and the drivers who race them,” Spencer added.

“Eric was up to eighth place by lap 35, and we were in a position to move up even further,” Ashley said, but a crash on lap 35 caused eight laps to be run behind the pace car, two green flag laps, then four more laps under yellow because of another crash. It didn’t help our momentum, but it did teach us about the Camaro’s potential – we had the best Camaro finish out of five of us in the field.”

"Ashley did a great job in the Camaro! The racing was close and fierce, but she moved up seven spots from her starting position. She's really starting to get the hang of these big V8 Camaros! I'm real happy that we finished inside the top 10 and were the top Camaro behind the Mustangs and BMWs,” added Curran.
The limited-production 2011 Chevrolet Camaro GS.R is a purpose-built road racing car which starts life as a production Camaro. It is powered by a 376 cubic inch Chevrolet V8 engine producing over 400 horsepower.

The Virginia race was televised by SPEED TV and will air May 22 at 1pm ET.

The season’s 5th of 10 races is May 27-28 at Lime Rock Park, near Lakeville, Conn., followed by Round 6 on June 2-3 at Watkins Glen International, near Watkins Glen, N.Y.

“No mistakes at Lime Rock,” said Spencer. “Not with five days between races.”

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Ashley McCalmont’s promotional partners are: Golden Gate margarine, Mainway, LeClair, Oblender Installations, Legends Landscape, Inc., Prokleen, CRDI, and TTL

About Ashley McCalmont:
Ashley started race at age eight in go karts and progressed to CASCAR Regional races in Canada. This is her third year in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire series. She raced a Chevrolet Cobalt SS for two seasons then took off a year to become a wife and mother.   She is working toward her first pro racing win. Visit Ashley on her website:

Media Contact:
Dave Arnold
arnold communications

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