Hargrove double victory in Platinum, De Angelis extends near-perfect season in Gold Cup; Cirone continues to defend his Platinum Masters season
TROIS-RIVIÈRES, QC, Aug. 14, 2017 /CNW/ - This past weekend the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama returned to the oldest street course in North America for the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières. The series hosted a pair of 45-minute races at the 10-turn, 2.45-kilometre course.
"This weekend's two races in Trois-Rivières highlighted the driver talent pool we have in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama series," said Alexander Pollich, President & CEO, Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. "Although the weather didn't fully cooperate all weekend, the races were extremely close and provided amazing entertainment for the enthusiastic crowd present."
August 12, 2017
The field took the green flag Saturday afternoon based on championship points after an abandoned qualifying session earlier in the day. This gave points leader Scott Hargrove just the opportunity he needed to outpace the field in another flag-to-flag win in his No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports/Castrol 911 GT3 Cup car.
However, it was not as easy as it sounds. Mark Motors Racing's Zacharie Robichon did his best to make Hargrove's drive a difficult one. Robichon took several looks, but never got a run on Hargrove for a pass.
Michael de Quesada settled into third place early and was never challenged. It marks his fifth podium this year in the No. 31 for Alegra Motorsports and keeps him third in Platinum points.
Platinum Masters points leader Marco Cirone put his classmen on notice again that he has every intention of taking home the championship. The driver of the No. 88 for Mark Motors Racing started fifth overall behind Patrick Dussault in the No. 77 of Lauzon Autosport/GT Racing for Porsche Rive-Sud. Cirone got around Dussault on the first lap and immediately embarked on a spirited, consistent drive with lap times that barely grew a second over the course of the 45-minute sprint. Cirone has now posted six class wins and three in a row.
Tim Sanderson started the day seventh overall in his No. 07 DFC Motorsport/Speedstar Motorsport GT3 Cup car for Downtown Porsche and Harry Rosen. The series veteran got off to a fast start, but quickly had his mirrors full of 16-year-old Roman De Angelis in the No. 78 Gold Cup entry for Mark Motors Racing. The pair continued their duel throughout the entire race, however, Sanderson kept his cool and his position to take second in Platinum Masters and fifth overall, while De Angelis captured his seventh win in the Gold Cup and sixth overall.
Perry Bortolotti crossed the line in second place in Gold in the No. 84 for Mark Motors Racing/Cee-Jay Micro LTD. The 2011 inaugural season Platinum Cup Champion rejoined the series for this weekend's contest, having last raced in the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada in 2014. All four entries for Mark Motors grabbed podiums for their Toronto-based team.
August 13, 2017
Pause. Play. Repeat. That was the theme for the second of two Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama 45-minute sprint races at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. While Sunday's overall and class podiums were categorically the same as Saturday, those results were by no means by rote.
As was the case in Race 1 this weekend, Zacharie Robichon applied intense pressure to Scott Hargrove's No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports/Castrol entry in Race 2. From the drop of the green flag, Robichon kept his No. 98 Mark Motors Racing 911 GT3 Cup car glued to Hargrove's rear bumper and began a fierce challenge for the top spot.
Michael de Quesada started third in the No. 31 for Alegra Motorsports, but only held on for two laps, giving up the position to the charging No. 69 of Remo Ruscitti in the OpenRoad Racing Porsche. Ruscitti's pass on de Quesada marked the opening of a heated two-car shootout between the two young guns.
Both Ruscitti and de Quesada ran wide, locked up brakes and pushed their cars as hard as possible on offensive and defensive sides of the racing equation. De Quesada made his move on Ruscitti with a pass on Lap 24 to retake the third spot. De Quesada was then able to break free and hold on until the end, reaching the third and final step on the Platinum Cup podium.
If the next part of this story sounds familiar, it's because the 16-year-old Roman De Angelis was once again harassing the all-new-for-2017 Platinum Cup cars in the No. 78 Gold Cup entry for Mark Motors Racing – a 2014 model in this case. His target in this race turned out to be his teammate and the Platinum Masters points leader, Marco Cirone, in his No. 88 GT3 Cup entry.
De Angelis jumped two spots through Turn 1 at the start of the race to grab the sixth spot overall immediately behind Cirone. But the older, wiser Cirone is never an easy mark. There is a reason he is leading his class in points this season – it's called consistency.
As he has done most of the season, Cirone kept his head down and watched the road ahead while the Gold Cup points leader, De Angelis, squeezed every ounce of performance out of his older 911 GT3 Cup car. De Angelis chipped away at Cirone, even posting faster lap times on occasion, but never quite got a nose under the veteran. For Cirone, the drive earned him his seventh Platinum Masters win this season and a fifth-place overall finish. De Angelis secured his eighth Gold Cup win and a sixth-place result overall.
In other Platinum Masters competition, Tim Sanderson cruised to the second podium spot in his No. 07 DFC Motorsport/Speedstar Motorsport entry for Downtown Porsche and Harry Rosen. His pair of second-place finishes this weekend keeps him second in the class championship. Pieter Baljet seized his second podium of the weekend and the season with his repeat third-place performance in the No. 15 GT3 Cup entry for Porsche Centre Victoria.
And not to be left out of the action was Perry Bortolotti, who returned to series competition this weekend in the No. 84 Gold Cup entry for Mark Motors Racing. The 2011 Platinum Cup Champion quickly returned to form and earned his team second in class and the Yokohama Hard Charger Award for advancing the most positions in Gold Cup competition.
Next on the schedule for the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama series is the season finale and Rounds 5 (rescheduled from Watkins Glen International), 11 and 12 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Sept. 1-3.
The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama season will be highlighted with four televised races on The Sports Networks (TSN), Reseau des sports (RDS) and Motorsport.tv in Europe.
The races from Trois-Rivieres will air on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 2 p.m. on TSN, and Saturday, Sept. 16 at 9 p.m. on RDS2 and Motorsport.tv.
For more information on the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, visit www.imsa.com and follow @IMSA on Twitter with the hashtag #GT3CAN.
SOURCE Porsche Cars Canada
For further information: Daniel Ponzini, Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd., 905-694-9959, [email protected]