Canada Round 5 World Championship Review. Exciting race featuring many duels, with twists and turns due to pace, strategy and top speed. Maiden 2015 pole for Kostadinov. Brjak wins after ten changes of lead. Final battle on lap 63 to seal the win. Podium not settled until lap 69. This race had it all, and had us on the edge of our seats from qualifying one to the final lap. We'll go a bit longer than usual try to do it and the protagonists justice. Prelude The FSR Circus arrived in Montreal with Petar Brjak and Jim Parisis (two each) having taken all poles in 2015 and only five drivers having stood on the podium thus far in the season. This deceptively simple looking short low down-force circuit would change some of those statistics. Warm-up. De Wit and Kostadinov were both fast in the warm-up. Did that signal anything for the upcoming sessions? Qualifying one As the first qualifying session was about to open a small queue formed at the pit exit at the Ile Notre Dame circuit. It was headed by Muhammed Patel, perhaps a signal that he had an intent here at round 5 of the Formula Sim Racing World Championships. The first sequence of qualifying laps saw a big commitment run from Jonny Simon which saw a 1m 15.724 sec take the initial lead. Jernej Simonic went within 0.016 sec and Kostadinov +.119 sec and the entire top 9 were in a spread of .250 sec. As they returned to garages to prep for run number two Simon was still there with the fastest time. Drivers went again for a second assault at a lap and both Patel and Brjack go quicker. However no sooner had they done so and Simon answered with a 1m15.623 to top the charts again. It appeared the Australian driver was on full attack here at Montreal but could he hold on for his inaugural pole? The final runs of this initial qualifying session commenced as the track all the while rubbered-in. It was Bigazzi that set an electrifying pace and records a 1m15.316 lowering the fastest time by a huge .306 sec. Was the track getting that much faster or had he done a virtuoso lap? The answer is found in the detail that while Bigazzi retained a .250 sec gap to second place Petar Brjak the rest were hundredths apart with seven drivers .111 sec apart and tenth place only +.410. Bigazzi had been huge. Qualifying Two. The fastest ten moved to qualifying two. There is no building up and “getting into the zone”.In this session the drivers have one hot lap only and they do it in reverse order from their qualifying-one finish. Canada can prove hard to overtake so qualifying took on a gladiatorial flavour as the World Championship protagonists sought to show who had the pure speed on this low down-force circuit. Kostadinov was the second driver to put in his hot lap and it was a massive .716 sec faster than Brzezinski. Was the ninth fastest guy in Q1 going to face the press as the pole sitter? Surely that can't happen, can it? Kostadinov must wait now as eight more drivers take their turn and attack his time. Eight top drivers throw their all at him and no one goes close until Brjak has an inch perfect sector one and two, his car looking like it was on rails. Still he falls .106 short. Kostadinov has pole for the first time in 2015 and Bigazzi, the pace setter of Quali one sits in fifth. Eventa Sim-racing have had a good afternoon and broken the strangle-hold that Twister have had on pole for 2015. Ghost Speed have a fourth (Simoncic), sixth (Simon) and seventh (Disley) in what must be their best team qualifying for the season. Final “qualifying two” (top ten) positions. 1. Dian Kostadinov Eventa Simracing 1m15.432 2. Petar Brljak Twister 2Fast4You 1m15.538 +0.106 3. Marco Conti BBR Life4Racing 1m15.617 +0.185 4. Jernej Simoncic Ghost Speed Racing Team 1m15.658 +0.226 5. Francesco Bigazzi Eventa Simracing 1m15.701 +0.269 6. Jonny Simon Ghost Speed Racing Team 1m15.790 +0.358 7. Blair Disley GS Engineering 1m15.853 +0.421 8. Muhammed Patel Twister 2Fast4You 1m15.943 +0.511 9. Kuba Brzezinski Origin Front Row Racing 1m16.148 +0.716 10. Jim Parisis Twister Racing Team No time Start of the race. Kostadinov shared the front row with the current drivers championship leader and two time pole sitter from Sepang and Bahrain Petar Brjak.It's a short sprint to the turn one, two combination. There is no guarantee that he can convert pole to the lead at the end of lap one. He does so, not only keeping his lead but pulling a small gap of half a second in the opening two laps. Brjak however is the WDC leader for a reason. Critically he holds Kostadinov to within the one second needed for a DRS attack. His set-up has the top speed required and he executes a DRS pass at the end of lap 3. Meanwhile the rest of the top ten stay in very close formation. Jim Parisis the sole prime tyre runner has managed to hold onto his tenth place which augurs well for his chances once he can use options. The pit window opens early with many drivers including the leaders pitting at the end of lap 12. Surprisingly Parisis too pits at lap 12 to say goodbye to the un-fancied primes. Seems he decided that the lack of pace on that tyre outweighed any strategic advantage of going deeper into the race before pitting. Jernej Simoncic assumes the lead for what should be just a lap or two as he is also on options. In fact he keeps going deep into the race and surrenders the lead back to Brjak pits at lap 16. Incredible effort on super softs and a starting fuel of 218 litres. It looked like he planned to drop a stop. Another couple of drivers seem to like the idea of going deep to maybe get some advantage later on fresher options and both Brzezinski and FSR veteran Saxen are amongst them. All but Parisis would reap rewards. Brjak holds the lead from lap 17 to lap 25 at which point he pits. Lap 26 is Kostadinov's last taste of the lead. He hands it back to Brjak when pitting at the end of the lap. Brjak's second stop is timed it beautifully and with just enough gap to exit the pits into clear air. The five seconds of clear air that Brjaks opening pace over the two stints on high fuel had given him would open up his opportunity for a great result, whereas Kostadinov finds himself on a similar strategy but on the road behind a late-pitting pair of drivers in Simon and Patel. Kostadinov needed to either stay safe for a podium or clear them quickly for a chance to fight Brjak for the win. He chose option two. Shortly thereafter Kostadinov's race suffered when he had contact with Simon as they both went for the same bit of real estate at the tight and tricky second gear turn seven. A spin resulted and the pace was so hot and the pack so tight it was all over so far as podiums were concerned for the pole sitter. The fight stays intense down the line with P2 to P5 separated by 1.5 seconds at lap 17! Bigazzi attacks Simon in a battle for fifth place that lasted over ten laps. Bigazzi prevails eventually at lap 28. In the meantime Parisis tyre strategy was looking good as he climbed to fifth from his tenth place start. On lap 32 Pole sitter Kostadinov was no doubt pushing hard to try to salvage his race when he over-steered at the exit to the final chicane and hit the pit wall suffering some damage. By lap 38 Brjak had a ten second cushion to second placed Simoncic, but it's now he runs his compulsory prime stint and this gap will fall to eight seconds by lap 42 as Simoncic exploits the extra pace of the options. As we know Simoncic ran deeper earlier in the race, so again assumes the lead when Brjak pits at lap 42. This handing over of the lead would happen again after the last stops setting up a final stint battle for the win. Minor Honors It was still an intensely fought battle for the balance of the points and at lap 41 third to tenth place runners were incredibly occupying only a five second stretch of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The cat and mouse game between Simoncic and Brjak continued, with the two drivers exchanging the lead again as Simoncic pitted for his final stop at lap 50 and then Brjak handing it back with his final stop at lap 56 (of 70). Brjak rejoins with a 4.5 second deficit and 14 laps to win it back. It would take a great drive from Simoncic (on 6 lap older tyres) to withstand the attack. At lap 60 its a .3 sec gap but not over. The pair battle but give each other respect. Its on lap 63 when after several unsuccessful attempts on Simoncic into the final chicane that Brjak has to try something new and again aided by DRS on the pit straight makes a bold attack into the turn one-two combination. Its easy to get it wrong there but Brjak makes what the broadcast announcers called “a flawless pass” for the lead. The two gladiators had made their final exchange of first place for the day. Between them and pole man Kostadinov who had led twice, there were no less than ten changes of lead. Simoncic in sealing second had made his first podium of 2015 and his best ever FSR result. We better watch for him in Monza as it seems he is fast with low down-force. Canada (third in 2013) and Monza (fifth in 2014) are where he has performed best. At lap 66, it was still far from over as mini battles were erupting all over the Montreal GP track. After all the dramas, racing and pit strategy only 17 seconds covers third to tenth places. Bigazzi wanted to use the pace he showed in qualifying and do something with it and he and Patel were in a fight between grip and top speed for the final podium spot. It was Bigazzi that managed to take it on lap 60 with a DRS move again into the final chicane. Patel however was not prepared to give up and hounded him lap after lap. This fight was resolved only (for now) into the final chicane on lap 69! when following an energetic defence from Bigazzi, Patel claimed third place back using a lot of space (possibly all that was left to him!) in the final chicane. We will leave the stewards to sort that one out. Next battle was Blair Disley on Kuba Brzezinski for fifth. Brzezinski is no slouch with race craft and can drive a wide car. Disley, a skilled and patient attacker. It was lap 65 where Disley's ultra high top speed proved un-answerable even for Brzezinski. The veteran Australian had set his car for great attacking speed and sealed fifth place improving two spots from qualifying. A seasons best and in fact best since 2011 where he scored a podium and fourth on two occasions. Brzezinski by taking sixth had actually improved three places from qualifying. The final on track battle was Kostadinov on Conti. Both on a bit of a salvage job from first and third on the grid. Seemingly determined to attack so long as he had fuel, tyres and laps left the pole sitter fought for points and pride and on lap 68 got Conti for ninth leaving Conti the last points in tenth. In the meantime John Eric Saxen was using race pace and craft to overcome his qualifying of eighteenth. With his tyre management, pit strategy and some cunning moves, he had climbed to seventh. Having gained an amazing eleven positions on a track where it's not easy to pass, Saxen is once again the biggest improver of the day. Jim Parisis promising afternoon where he both had a good tyre strategy and set fastest lap had been marred by contact and had to settle for eighth Michi Hoyer, full time Ace driver finished just outside the points in eleventh. Conclusion. An incredibly exciting race was over. Thrills and spills, varying strategies and battles all afternoon that saw the win undecided as the final stint began at lap 56 and not resolved until lap 63. Then podium places still being fought over on lap 69 of 70! Brjak claimed the win, using his pace to allow an extra stop over Simoncic who had played himself from fourth into second with a great combination of speed and tyre management. It all combined to create a totally unpredictable and awesome race for the spectators. Full Race Results HERE Championship StandingsIt leaves the drivers standings looking like this. 1. Petar Brljak Croatia 101 (2 wins, two poles five podiums) 2. Jim Parisis Greece 72 (2 wins, two poles, three podiums) 3. Kuba Brzezinski Poland 59 4. Muhammed Patel England 54 5. Francesco Bigazzi Italy 32 6. John-Eric Saxén Finland 27 7. Daniel Kiss Hungary 25 8. Jernej Simoncic Slovenia 18 . David Greco Italy 18 . Marco Conti Italy 18 11. Blair Disley Australia 17 12. Carlos Martín Spain 10 . Morgan Morand France France 10 . Dian Kostadinov Bulgaria 10 15. Daniel Brewer England 8 . Enrico Di Loreto Italy 8 . Patrick De Wit Netherlands 8 18. Eros Masciulli Italy 4 . Marek Godek Slovakia 4 20. Danny van der Niet Netherlands 1 . Jonny Simon Australia 1 We mustn't forget that with 9 rounds to go there are still 225 points on the table. With some clean runs some emergent talent might upset the current order. Amongst others, Patel, Bigazzi, Simoncic and Simon might feel that they have the pace to move up the tables. The guys at the top have the skills to pay the bills and wont be making it easy. Full Seasons Standings HERE Photo Credits @Pashalis Gergis Thanks to media team Sam Jones, Jeroen Kweekel, Chris De Jong. Note to drivers and teams: We don't see it all from every drivers view. If your race provided some action that you would like to have reported in this publication please use the comments section of GPCOS results. We will check and use your race reports and comments therein.