New Zealander Chris Vlok is the Formula Tour 1600 Series rookie of the year driving his BGR Team Grote Van Diemen.
He finished fourth overall in the points narrowly missing 3rd with his 5th podium of the year at the fnal round at the Le Circuit Mont Tremblant. Entering the final weekend the rookie driver was still in contention for a top 3 placing in the Championship but a tough race on Saturday which saw him spin but recover to finish 10th meant it was a long shot to overtake 3rd in the points.
The Sunday race was run under perfect fall conditions with temperatures in the high 70’s, Chris made his best start of the year and vaulted to 3rd from his 5th starting spot. He then was in a fight for third the entire race and held on to once again make the trip to the podium.
“Our weekend didn’t start the way we wanted with a disappointing finish on the Saturday but we rebounded well and it is always nice to finish on a high note, commented team principal Brian Graham. Chris has progressed throughout the season and became a regular podium finisher and threat to win as we closed the season. It has been a great year for us in Quebec and the team really enjoyed it. I would like to thank the Formula Tour Series and all the officials, they were always fair and run a great show. This being our rookie year in the series, we are proud to come away with the Top Rookie award and having put two drivers in victory lane. We hope to be back with a full team next year and go for the Championship. ”
The team has little time to rest as it heads to Mosport for the final Ontario Formula Ford Championship rounds with Trent Hindman and Dalton Kellett. Trent is currently leading the championship with Dalton in 3rd. They hope to lock up the title and also claim the rookie of the year as well to make it two for two in that category.
BGR Team Grote has put more drivers in the winners circle than any other team in OFFC history. With alumni drivers now competing in some of the worlds most elite series including ALMS (Kyle Marcelli), GP3 and Indy Lights (Conor Daly and Josef Newgarden) as well as others who continue their trek to the top. Striving to provide karters as well as seasoned racers a strong platform to develop their skills as they push towards their goals, BGR Team Grote continues to look for up and coming drivers looking to make the jump from karting to open wheel racing.
To learn more about BGR Team Grote please visit www.briangrahamracing.com