Pfaff Motorsports announced its intentions to compete in the full season of the 2020 Canadian Touring Car Championship, fielding a Motul-sponsored plaid Audi RS3 LMS TCR, representing the Pfaff Audi (Vaughan) and H.J. Pfaff Audi (Newmarket)
dealerships. The car will be driven by 17-year-old Canadian driver Zachary Vanier for the revised, six-race CTCC calendar.
The announcement comes following Canada/U.S. border complications as a result of COVID-19, which has rendered the Canadian-based team unable to participate in the ongoing IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the U.S., for the time being.
Pfaff Motorsports team manager Steve Bortolotti says that while the team was hoping to fight for the overall IMSA GTD championship this season, it’s looking forward to another challenge and a new platform in its home market.
“Unfortunately crossing the border isn’t an easy thing for us to do,” Bortolotti said. “A large number of our team members also work at our dealerships, and because of our quarantine measures in Canada, it would make it nearly impossible to travel back and forth right now. I think we’re really making the most out of a difficult situation. Racing in CTCC is a great opportunity to give a young driver – who showed extremely well in karting and F1600 – a chance to work with a pro team and get experience with a great driver coach and engineer, and all of the team that works on our GTD
Driver development has become synonymous with Pfaff over its racing history, and continuing that trend, Pfaff IMSA GTD driver and 2019 IMSA GTD Sprint Cup Champion Zach Robichon (CAN) has shifted to coaching responsibilities with Vanier, working closely with engineer Andrew Marangoni to create a program to give his young countryman an edge.
“It’s exciting that we’re all back together,” Robichon said. “As much as it’s a different kind of racing, it feels like we’re back home, and Zach Vanier has already shown some great promise and very strong pace. This is a great way to pass along experiences and knowledge, and it’s been really rewarding to see him get better and better. Combined with a new car for us to learn, it’s re-ignited the strong work ethic with all of us.”
Vanier’s successes have followed him throughout his young career (most recently collecting 17 podiums in 18 races during the 2019 F1600 Canadian championship season), and the Canadian hopes to make the most of his opportunity with Pfaff.