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June 13, 2012
PROgression: Blok Victorious at Canadian Grand Prix

Nathan Blok exited the Formula Tour F1600 doubleheader during the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix with another win on his resume (Photo: Flagworld.com)
Nathan Blok exited the Formula Tour F1600 doubleheader during the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix with another win on his resume
(Photo: Flagworld.com)

PEMBROKE, ONT. (June 12, 2012) – Nathan Blok, the 18 year-old 2011 Formula Tour 1600 champion, raced to victory in both feature 2012 Formula Tour 1600 Championship races at the Canadian Grand Prix, but an infraction under a caution cost him one win.

On Friday, June 9th, Blok looked to have qualified his No. 1 Aurora Tools/Great Slave Helicopter Van Dieman on the pole position, until the father and son team Michel and Olivier Bonnet hooked up in a draft to pass for the top two positions.

The first F1600 feature race (race three of 2012) took place under ideal conditions on Saturday morning. Before the starter dropped the green flag after a warm-up lap, polesitter Michel Bonnet followed the pace car into pit lane with mechanical problems. After a second warm-up lap the race was begun with Mathew Di Leo grabbing the lead spot while Blok followed and took second position away from the Olivier Bonnet. Di Leo crashed into the wall at corner three, and Blok was then in the lead. Blok and Bonnet battled for next seven laps until the penultimate lap, when Blok passed Bonnet for the lead in the hairpin corner, apparently under a yellow caution. The two young racers continued their duel down to the final lap, when Blok passed Bonnet for the final time in the chicane before the finish line, sparking a drag race to the checkered flag. Blok beat Bonnet by a mere 0.02 seconds, but four hours after the podium celebrations, officials penalized Blok, costing him the win.

“It was very close the whole race, and very intense. There was a few laps at around the half way point where there wasn't as much action going on, but after I got back in Olivier's tow, we began going back and forth again. Us racing with each other slowed ourselves down enough to bring a few others to the party at the front. Coming off the final corner, I had no indication to tell me I was really on the final lap, and it came as a real surprise to me when I saw the checkers come out, and I was in a position to take the win!”

On Sunday, the grid was determined by the fastest laps times of the previous day’s race, placing Blok on the second row in the third position once again, this time behind Garret Grist and Olivier Bonnet.

The front three racers maintained their order for nearly one complete lap, when Bonnet got past Grist in the hairpin. And so began another epic battle between Blok and Bonnet for the second time before an international audience seated trackside. Blok was soon by Grist for second position and then past Bonnet for the lead. Grist fought back to regain the lead, however for the duration of the race the battle for the lead was between Blok and Bonnet. By lap eight, Di Leo had caught up with Grist leaving Blok able to concentrate on defeating Bonnet. Heading for the finish line on the final lap, Bonnet moved to the left-side of the track and Blok charged up on his right but unexpectedly Bonnet moved back to the right-side and squeezed Blok on to the grass allowing Bonnet to cross the line just ahead of Blok. Sunday's 13 lap race saw 17 passes for the lead, of which Blok was involved in 16 of them.

“Again, it was another pulse pounding, no holds barred race, except this time without the half time intermission! The whole race was close, and intense but fair. Coming off the last corner, I went to take the lane on the right which was open, but I didn't anticipate the door being shut on me. I was still going to go for the win, so the most logical choice for me was to take to the grass, to prevent a crash, and still go for it.”

Prior to the podium, the race officials penalized Bonnet for blocking, giving the win to Blok and the racer from Pembroke was on the top step of the podium for the second time of weekend.

“All in all, It was a very enjoyable weekend for myself, and the whole team. It had its ups and downs, but that's racing, and I was glad to come out with an excellent finish at the end of it all. I had a great time putting on a show for the fans, and I would be honored to do it again anytime. I would like to thank Britain West Motorsports for preparing an amazing car all weekend. I would also like to thank all my sponsors, including Aurora Tools, Great Slave Helicopters, Discovery Air, and NAPA Auto Parts. Unfortunately, I do not have the financial capabilities to continue racing in the 2012 season, so hopefully my performance this weekend will have a positive outcome in that regards as well.”

For information and sponsorship info, contact Steve Blok at (613) 582-3867

Nathan Blok is a 18 year old racer from Beachburg, Ont., and he is the currently leading the Formula Tour 1600 Series. Blok has been racing for 12 years beginning in karting and earned his first victory in cars in 2010 with a first place finish in the Ontario Formula Ford Challenge race at Calabogie, Ont. He holds the F1600 track record at the Circuit Gilles Villeneauve, and he is the youngest driver to win at the Trois Rivieres GP. He is the reigning 2011 Formula Tour 1600 champion.

Away from the track, Blok holds a 1st Degree Black Belt in Karate, and is an honour student at Fellowes High School in Pembroke, Ont. This fall he will be attending the Mechanical Engineering Technology course at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ont. For more information on Nathan Blok, visit http://www.nathanblok.com

Blok would like to thank his sponsors for their continuing support – Aurora Tools ( http://www.aurora-tools.com ), Discovery Air ( http://www.discoveryair.com ), Great Slave Helicopters ( http://www.greatslaveheli.com ), NAPA Auto Parts ( http://www.napacanada.com ), Sun Sign Graphics ( http://www.sunsigngraphics.com ), Mursatt Chemicals ( http://www.mursattchemicals.com ), Arch Chemicals ( http://www.archchemicals.com ), Donley Pool Service, Beach-West Pharmacy, Lad's Auto Recyclers, Engine Research ( http://www.engineresearchinc.com ), Stream Function ( http://www.streamfunction.ca ), SRB Technologies ( http://www.betalight.com/index_can.htm ), Sandra's Embroidery Works, Woody's Motor Vehicle Repair, TD Products ( http://www.tdproducts.com ), Lions Club, Kings Sports and his many personal sponsors.
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