Although he may have not hoisted the championship at season’s end, Tim Norris continued to put together the impressive numbers behind the wheel in Ontario Pro Challenge Racing competition.
“This year was a lot of fun,” he told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “We had our ups and downs on and off the track. Looking back, it seems like the season flew by.”
The year would consist of eight trips to victory lane, as well as 16 top-five’s and 18 top-five’s with no finishes worse than sixth in 18 events between Flamboro Speedway and Full Throttle Motor Speedway.
“My favourite moment came right after our worst moment,” he recalled. “Super proud to say that my kids and I swept the podium at Flamboro (Speedway). That was awesome and exactly what we needed to help us get over the passing of my dad. My whole family coming together to support each other during that tough time was special to me.”
As noted, it became a family affair this past season with Tim competing against both son Mike and daughter Emma through the year. Mike ended up getting the upper hand, scoring the championship with 10 wins.
“It was cool to see Mike win the championship,” Tim commented. “We split feature wins all year and he just kept getting faster and more consistent. Mike puts a lot of effort into his racing program and the results show it. He will be tough to beat next year.
“Emma was getting a bit frustrated with her finishes. She didn’t get to practice at all this year, work kept her busy. She had to get better during race day and that’s hard to do. Somewhere around race three her confidence was up and she started driving much better. I think Emma had the biggest improvement in driving skills this year. She is way faster than last year. It’s a pretty cool feeling when you are chasing your kids down for the top positions on the race track. It would be even cooler if I could catch them easier.”
Battling against the children, both have noted it is great to have their father’s experience to lean on in learning the ropes of motorsports.
“The best advice for them was to race for themselves and have fun, never worry about results, just go and enjoy it,” Norris said. “Take things one race at a time and try to improve every race. Both kids set up their own cars and they like different things, so they learned to work on the car and their driving skills.”
Getting back to working on the car will be key for Norris as well, as he says the key to improvement is practice.
“Now that Mike and Emma are running better, I can get back to burning off some laps during the week,” he added. “If I can stay on my bike and out of the fracture clinic, I will be much better off.”
Seeing him back in the series for 2023 and beyond is no surprise, as he has become of the main fixtures there, despite venturing out to Late Models a couple years ago. For Norris, it goes back to a couple core reasons.
“The cars are fast, look great, handle amazing and we do not have any rule changes that cost money every year,” he shared. “The drivers are respectful of each other; we race hard but clean. Everyone has the same equipment, so it’s up to the driver to go faster. When something bad happens, everyone jumps in to help out. The drivers in this series are a great bunch of men and women.
“As the kids say, it may not be the fastest Miles Per Hour, but it has the most Smiles Per Hour.”