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Skeen Takes Dual Wins in Canada Using StopTech BBK
by Frank A. Filipponio | Jun 24, 2012

Mike Skeen, of Charlotte, N.C., closed out a Pirelli World Challenge GT weekend sweep Sunday with a flag-to-flag win at the Motul Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Grand Prix Presented by Optima Batteries. Skeen dominated the doubleheader weekend in his No. 02 Chevrolet Corvette, which runs a StopTech BBK. Skeen started from the pole and took the lead from the standing start while chaos ensued behind on the GTS grid.

Starting third in GTS, Toronto’s Aaron Povoledo tried to shoot the gap between the front row Kias of Wilkins and Michael Galati, but ended up with his No. 26 Total Lubricants/Dell Cherries Ford Mustang Boss 302S across Galati’s nose and hard into the left-side wall. The action was deemed the Kia Turning Point of the Race. Povoledo was treated and released from track medical.

Following six laps of cleanup, Skeen got away cleanly and sped away to a 12.284-second victory over Lawson Aschenbach’s No. 1 TruSpeed/Privacy Star/EnTrust Porsche 911 GT3, averaging 93.231 mph over the 31-lap, 76.229-mile race.

“That was a great race,” Skeen said. “We got that early caution, but other than that, the race went green the whole time. [Alex] Figge gave me a good little run there in Turn One. He got a good start, which we knew he would. Fortunately, we raced nice and clean two-wide through Turn One and we came out on top. From there, we were just biding our time and setting our pace. We had a good pace in the car so we could work at our own pace through traffic, manage the GTS guys. We got through clean without any scratches.”

Skeen set a new Canadian Tire Motorsport Park track record, turning a 1:20.425 (110.070 mph).

O’Connell maintained his point lead in GT, with 1083, 177 ahead of teammate Pilgrim (906). Aschenbach is third, with 873, followed by Figge (742) and Skeen (711), who entered the weekend 10th in points. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, Cadillac holds a six-point lead over Porsche, 65 to 59, followed by Volvo (39) and a resurgent Chevrolet (28).

Meanwhile back in GTS, Jack Baldwin’s No. 68 Team Hot Wheels/Invoice Prep Porsche Cayman S powered through the opening lap melee and steadily moved into a three-way battle for the lead with only a handful of laps remaining.

When Galati’s handling began to fade, Wilkins took the point on lap 25. Galati could not fend off Baldwin, who moved to second. He was unable, however, to run down Wilkins, who sped away to a 2.795-second win.

“Jack [Baldwin] was coming on really strong,” Wilkins said. “Michael [Galati] was real quick. He [Galati] came up quick and then it looked like he had a little bit of damage on one corner, which was tough. I thought I got a little pick up on the tires. At one point, I went a little off line and wasn’t quite sure. I tried to play it safe. I wanted to bring a good strong result home for Kia. Once I figured out it was all good, I went for it. We had a great car. I’ve just got to thank Kia and Kinetic guys for a fantastic job all weekend.”

Baldwin’s run netted his third top-five finish in the last five races.

“I caught them [Wilkins and Galati], but I was not catching them on the straightaway,” Baldwin. “I was catching them in the corners and getting in position. I knew something was developing. Something was happening. They were a little slow coming off the corners. It looked like one was weak, one was strong. I’m not sure what they were doing. I think they were trying to help each other. When I got up on them, I figured out where I could pass them, if I could just get a good run. I got a good run of the last corner and was able to stick it down in Turn One. Once I got by, Michael [Galati] fell back. It was great. I would have never imagined the Team Hot Wheels Cayman would have finished second today. But, I’m real happy about it. I’ve got to thank my crew and all of the guys that work on the car.”

Andy Lee’s No. 20 Best IT Chevrolet Camaro finished fourth allowing him to extend his Championship point lead, with 981 over sixth-finishing Peter Cunningham’s 970. Baldwin moved to within eight of Cunningham, with 962. Galati is fourth, with 806, followed by Justin Bell, who missed the weekend due to television broadcast commitments, with 678.

Ford re-took the Manufacturers’ Point lead, with 49 to Acura’s 45. Chevrolet is just two behind, with 43, followed by Kia, with 34. Points are provisional pending final race results.

In Touring Car, Jeff Altenburg drove his Volkswagen GLI to victory in Saturday's first race, ahead of Michael Cooper in the Mazdaspeed3. Cooper parlayed the second place finish into a Sunday win. Both cars run StopTech BBKs up front. In fact, more than 50 World Challenge competitors run Centric Parts equipment, from StopTech Trophy kits and BBKs, to Power Slot and Centric rotors, as well as a variety of StopTech Racing and Centric pads, lines and fluid.

Both halves of the Mosport double-header will be broadcast July 7 on NBC Sports Network.

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