By John Hopkins
ST-EUSTACHE, Que. – Keene, Ont.’s Jodi Christie took over the points lead in the K&N Performance Filters Pro Sport Bike Championship with a dominant win at Autodrome St-Eustache on Sunday.
The rider of the Jodi Christie Racing / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR600RR grabbed the lead from Frank Trombino near the end of lap two of the 18-lap race and charged clear to a 4.229-sec. victory.
The win moved Christie into the Pro Sport Bike points lead with 104 points to the 98 of opening round winner Trombino, although it is uncertain if the financially strapped Christie team will be able to make the trip east to round three of the series at Atlantic Motorsport Park in two weeks.
“We’ll have to weigh up our options and see,” Christie said.
Opening round winner Trombino was second on the Acme Slate / Big Style Customs Suzuki GSX-R600 and Raphael Archambault completed the podium riding the Team Archambault Racing / Picotte Motorsports / G Suspension Suzuki GSX-R600.
“I didn’t get the best launch,” admitted Christie, who was third off the line. “I wasn’t focused on the lights. I was worried about my feet. Apparently I have them on the ground too long at the start. But I was able to make a quick pass on Raphael into turn two and then I plotted my move on Frank.”
Christie took Trombino in the Dogleg at the end of lap two after some tense side-by-side racing through a few corners. From there the defending class champion stretched his lead, taking it up to 5.5 secs. on lap 10 and setting the fastest lap of the race at 45.987 secs. on lap three. That time wasn’t far off the class record of 45.872 he set last year.
“John [Sharrard of Accelerated Technologies] gave us a great bike and I was able to turn consistent laps,” Christie praised.
Trombino admitted he wasn’t able to match Christie’s pace during the race.
“I tried to hang onto Jodi to see where I might be able to challenge him later, but he was going faster than I expected,” said the 2011 St-Eustache Pro Sport Bike winner. “I didn’t want to risk anything so I just stuck to my own pace.”
For most of the race Archambault stuck close to Trombino in an impressive display, but lapped traffic near the end gave Trombino a bit of breathing room.
Michael Leon took fourth on the Royal Distributing / Elka Suspension Honda CBR600RR after battling with Louie Raffa and rookie Pro Amzy Nawaz in the first half of the race. Raffa faded to fifth on the Couturier Racing / Centre Hamel Honda CBR600RR and Nawaz was sixth riding the Velocity Sportsgear / Blue Streak Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R after missing the Dogleg at the end of the backstraight on no fewer than three occasions.
1.Jodi Christie, Keene, Ont., Honda CBR600RR, 13:13.339
2. Frank Trombino, Kleinburg, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R600, +4.229
3. Raphael Archambault, Terrebonne, Que., Suzuki GSX-R600, +5.374
4. Michael Leon, Beaconsfield, Que., Honda CBR600RR, +29.013
5. Louie Raffa, Ste-Marthe, Que. Honda CBR600RR, +33.138
6. Amzy Nawaz, Thornton, Ont., Kawasaki ZX-6R, +41.599
7. Laurent Feuiltault, Cookstown, Ont., Kawasaki 650R, +1 lap
Fastest Lap: 45.987 by Jodi Christie on lap 3
1.Jodi Christie, 104
2. Frank Trombino, 98
3. Raphael Archambault, 73
4. Michael Leon, 60
5. Louie Raffa, 58
6. Aubrey Bailey, 38
7. Amzy Nawaz, 27
8. Laurent Feuiltault, 25