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For Immediate Release




BOWMANVILLE, ON (June 20, 2015) – Mikhail Goikhberg led Brian Graham Racing to a 1-2 finish in the first Toyo Tires F1600 Championship race of the Canadian Historic Grand Prix weekend today at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.


Early on, the victory appeared to belong to Goikhberg’s teammate, polesitter Zacharie Robichon, who pulled out an early lead and was holding a gap of 1.5 seconds when a full-course caution came out at the race’s halfway point.


The field restarted with just one lap to go and with Robichon in the lead and Goikhberg hotly in pursuit. Seeing his chance, Goikhberg made a clean pass on his teammate in corner 8. Robichon considered making a move in return at the final corner but backed off, handing Goikhberg the victory.


“It was a calculated risk,” Goikhberg said of his decision to make the move on Robichon. “It was very hard to pull off considering I was racing my teammate. Luckily for us, it worked out.”


Robichon took a big picture view in deciding not to push the issue in the final corner.


“I knew Mikhail was going to try something, and that’s fair to him because I would have done the same thing,” he said. “He’s my teammate, and he’s in the (points) championship and I’m not. So, when I saw him go to the inside of 8 I kind of conceded the place. I thought about it in 10 and backed out of it. It is what it is. Tomorrow is another day.”


Third place finisher Andre Du Preez scored his first podium in F1600 competition despite not expecting to race this weekend at all.


“I just finished exams yesterday,” he said. “We weren’t planning to be here. My dad called me at noon yesterday and said to pack the trailer, so we weren’t expecting too much. But it worked out for us.”


Team owner Brian Graham was very pleased with the 1-2 finish that Goikhberg and Robichon brought home.


“Zach and Mikhail did a great job,” Graham said. “I read them the riot act before they went (on the final restart). Great day for BGR and Piper Race Cars.

“I thought we could have had a 1-2-3 there for a while, but we had a bit of misfortune for Reid (Arnold), which is a shame. We were looking to capitalize on championship points there.”


Arnold, who pilots a third entry for BGR, was involved in a mid-race incident in which he and Caitlin Johnston tangled in corner 10, bringing out the event’s sole full-course caution.


Arnold and Johnston took strongly opposing views on the cause of the incident.


“I was racing with Mikhail and trying to make up some time on Zach, and I thought Caitlin wasn’t too close going through turn 9,” Arnold said. “I guess she thought differently.


“I entered the corner and I was already part way through it, and the next thing I knew I was hit from behind and went flying off into the wall. It’s a shame because the team built a great car and it was really fast. These things happen.”


“I saw a hole and I went for it,” Johnston countered. “I came up when the guys were going through 8 and 9, and by my vantage point it looked like they had gotten slowed up together. So, I saw an opportunity because I was coming through a little bit faster than they were. I was in the corner and he turned into me.”


The ruling of the officials was that Johnston caused the incident. She has been penalized five grid positions for tomorrow’s second race of the weekend. However, Johnston’s team is not expecting to have the car repaired in time to compete, which ultimately negates the penalty.


In B Class, Connor Wagland not only claimed his third race win of 2015 – sharing the podium with polesitter Graham Lobban in 2nd and Amy Castell in 3rd – but also scored a 3rd place finish overall, a remarkable result for a B Class competitor.


“It’s probably the best race I’ve ever driven,” Wagland enthused. “I was just following Graham Lobban trying to see where I was going to (pass). I came out of turn 10 and decided there was going to be a full course caution, so I passed him and we took the win.”


A second qualifying session will run on Sunday morning to set the grid for race 2 of the CHGP weekend, scheduled for early Sunday afternoon. Live timing is available for all sessions this weekend at




SERIES CONTACT: Jason Sharpe, (416) 557-5451 or, Twitter: @jasonsharpe


If photographs are required please contact Jason Sharpe (416) 557-5451 or


Photos by Michael Haley


The Toyo Tires F1600 Championship Series is the premiere open wheel series in Ontario, sanctioned by CASC Ontario Region and proudly supported by Toyo Tires, Honda HPD, Heather’s Heros, Cove Dentistry, Stäubli, Lincoln Electric and MK Technologies. The series is comprised of a six event, double-header format and competes at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Shannonville Motorsport Park and Calabogie Motorsports Park.


The Formula 1600 Super Series is the combined premiere events of the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship Series from Ontario and the Toyo Tires Formula Tour 1600 Series from Quebec.  The series is comprised of a four event, double-header format and competes at CTMP’s Victoria Day SpeedFest, Formula One Grand Prix of Montreal, the Bay of Quinte Grand Prix at Shannonville Motorsport Park and the Grand Prix of Trois Rivières

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