Trois Podiums at Trois-Rivières
Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada
5 August 2023
Sports Car Challenge Canada
In racing, on-track rivalries are sacred. At their best, they challenge drivers to perform and deliver nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat finishes that seem to transcend the checkered flag. It’s a spectacle of competition, allowing fans and teammates alike to bask in the glow of high stakes, mano a mano racing. During the Trois-Rivières leg of the Sports Car Challenge Canada, the racing world had the opportunity to watch another installment of a promising rivalry. On a weekend where split seconds meant everything, veteran Racing to End Alzheimer’s/VPX driver Nick Galante and youngster Jack Polito duked it out fiercely for the top spot on the podium.
Into the Night
For a guy who has seen just about everything on track, seasoned driver Nick Galante was forced to dig deep in race one at Trois-Rivières. The 40-minute street race ran almost entirely after dark, adding impaired vision to the list of challenges associated with running a Mercedes AMG GT4 at 200 miles per hour on a narrow, winding track. At the start, Galante’s eyes took some time to adjust, making braking markers and flag stations a strain to pick out. But, as long-time fans know, Nick Galante is endlessly adaptable. After a few laps, the No. 77 AMG and its driver were blistering through the night, seemingly at ease in the dark.
As the 17th lap melted into 18, Jack Polito and his Mustang came knocking. With momentum and a slick move, Polito slid by Galante to take the lead. The change was anything but decisive, as the No. 77 continued to hound the Mustang, getting close enough for multiple bumper taps in the waning minutes. When time slipped away and the checkered flag came waving, however, Polito’s Mustang held onto the lead, leaving Nick Galante to cross in second place.
Moving in the Morning
After a late Friday night, the purple and white Racing to End Alzheimer’s/VPX Mercedes AMG GT4 rolled out to the starting line on Saturday morning. Positioned at the outside of the front row, Nick Galante knew he would need to be fast right at the jump. As soon as the green flag waved, he made a move to the outside. In the meantime, Jack Polito rocketed into first, setting up yet another showdown between youngster and vet.
Despite the early move, Galante found himself in third place part way through the first lap. As he maneuvered through the tight turns, he made a quick passing move on the second-place car and again found himself staring down the bumper of that difficult-to-pass Mustang. For what felt like an eternity, Nick tracked Polito closely, waiting for an opportunity. As the race approached the finish, he took a few passing tries that were turned away. Just as he was getting ready to make a last-minute, all-or-nothing bid for the top spot, two TCR cars crashed and the race ended under caution.
Showing up on Sunday
After Friday and Saturday’s nail-biters, the Racing to End Alzheimer’s/VPX team came into Sunday afternoon’s race focused on the business at hand. Determined to get ahead and stay ahead, Nick Galante wasted no time and blasted to the front of the pack at the start. On a narrow street course like Trois-Rivières, passing opportunities are few and far between. Veteran Nick Galante knew this and took advantage.
Despite increasingly intense challenges from Jack Polito, the No. 77 Mercedes AMG GT4 held its position. As the closing seconds ticked by, Galante parried each attack, allowing space to be closed but keeping the Mustang in his rear view. When the checkered flag waved, Galante had led for the race’s entirety, crossing the line less than half of a second before Polito. Victory at last.
Racing by itself is great. But it’s even better when it involves rivalries, podiums, lots of fans and a great cause. Canada has been good to us. Thanks for tuning in.