When the 2016 CTCC presented by Continental Tire season concluded at Calabogie Motorsports Park, the joy on Sallenbach’s face had never been more authentic, as the pilot of the No. 46 MINI Coupe had just secured his second Touring Class title in three years.
“I think this championship was harder for me and the team,” admitted Sallenbach. “In 2014, our first championship, we didn’t see coming, it was a surprise. This year, the championship was the goal. We knew our car was good, but still, you are under a lot of pressure to do well in every race.”
The early part of Sallenbach’s 2016 campaign had its ups and downs, as a victory in the season opener at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park was followed by a non-finish in round two. Unable to find a steady rhythm until the mid-point of the schedule, Sallenbach’s fortunes turned around at Shannonville and he was then able to run off a streak of seven straight victories, eventually ending the year with 12 wins and 15 podium finishes and his second Touring Class crown.
Heading to Calabogie for the season-ending tripleheader weekend, Sallenbach was admittedly, “points racing”. “I wanted to win, but I’ve lost championships at Calabogie by trying too hard. I was happy with a second place behind Jonathan (Young) in the first race, I was in no rush to get past him. When he spun in the second race, the win came easier. And in the last race of the season, I could relax and have a bit of fun, the win was just a bonus.”
In his 16 CTCC appearances in 2016, only once did Sallenbach finish off the podium, his consistent results contributed to his second championship, the fifth title for Team Octane.
“The CTCC scoring rewards consistency even more than race wins; you need to finish every lap. I won a lot of races, but Jonathan was just as consistent as me. He kept it close right to the end.”
A quick review of Sallenbach’s CTCC career numbers reveal that he has entered 102 races, all in the Touring Class, and has claimed 31 race victories and stood on the podium 65 times. To date, Sallenbach’s career in CTCC has enabled him to win two championships, in 2014 and 2016.
Name: Michel Sallenbach
Hometown: Roxton Pond, QC
Car: MINI Coupe JCW 2012 #46
Team: Team Octane
Facebook: Team Octane / Equipe Octane
Sponsors: Carrosserie Touchette, Sherwin Williams, Clinique du Pneu, Acc. Soudure Granby, Lettrage Raoul, PERRY Auto Performance, LDS Dyno