@GT3CAN • @IMSA • @hondaindy • TORONTO (June 13, 2015) – Scott Hargrove ended up Saturday in the same place he left the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin at the end of last season – victory lane.
2014 Platinum Cup champion Hargrove, from Surrey, British Columbia, led Round 3 from start to finish on the streets of Toronto to win his first start of the season in the No. 25 OpenRoad Racing Porsche.
Hargrove, 20, capped his championship season last year with two victories in the season-ending event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP). He missed the first two rounds of this season last month at CTMP but put together a deal for Rounds 3 and 4 in Canada’s largest city with OpenRoad Racing team owner Christian Chia.
“I’m thrilled with the result,” Hargrove said. “The OpenRoad Racing Porsche was phenomenal. I’m just super-excited to be back here racing Porsches again. It’s fun, and in front of the home crowd. You can’t ask for much more than that.”
Points leader Chris Green, from Montreal, finished second in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in a 45-minute race that ended under caution. Tim Sanderson, from nearby Pickering, Ontario, earned his first career Platinum Cup podium result by finishing third in the No. 07 Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports entry. Sanderson also was the top finisher in the Platinum Masters class.
Martin Harvey, from Berthierville, Quebec, earned his first Gold Cup victory since 2011 by finishing fourth overall in the No. 08 Wingho Motorsport Porsche. Rookie Harry Steenbakkers, from Ottawa, rounded out the top five in the No. 78 Mark Motors Racing Porsche.
Hargrove slowly pulled away from the field from the start of the race. Behind him, Daniel Morad and Green engaged in a spirited duel for second. Green used an over-under move between Turns 5 and 6 to pass Morad’s No. 22 Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports entry with 29 minutes remaining.
It appeared there was no stopping Hargrove, as he led Green by nearly 12 seconds. Then Shaun McKaigue hit the front straightaway wall while leading the Gold Cup class in the No. 34 Fiorano Racing entry with 22 seconds remaining, triggering the first full-course caution of the race.
The race restarted with 14 minutes remaining, with Hargrove easing away from Green through the early section of the 11-turn, 1.75-mile street circuit. But Platinum Cup driver Antony Validzic slid sideways in Turn 2 on the first lap after the restart in the No. 06 RS Motorsport Porsche, collecting the No. 24 Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports entry of rookie Michael de Quesada.
That incident triggered another full-course caution, and the race never resumed due to accident cleanup.
Green padded his Platinum points lead to 58-48 over Marco Cirone with his runner-up finish.
“Unfortunately, yellow flags never gave me an opportunity to go for the front,” Green said. “Scott had a huge lead. It was his race to lose. He did a really, really great job today. So that’s definitely raising the bar for tomorrow, but I think we’re going to be in a good place tomorrow. It’s all about points.”
Sanderson earned his first career Platinum Masters victory in just his third career start in the class. He won the Gold Cup championship by two points last season with Alegra/Porsche Centre of Oakville Motorsports and decided to climb to the Platinum Cup with the team.
He closed the gap to leader Cirone to just two points in the Platinum Masters standings. Two-time defending Platinum Masters champion Cirone, from Toronto, finished second in the class today.
“I was just trying to keep my nose clean,” Sanderson said. “I didn’t have a lot for Harry (Steenbakkers) and Marco (Cirone) today, but I tried to keep them in my view as much as I could. And on a track like this, you’ve got to figure something is going to happen sooner or later. So you get a couple of yellows, and it’s a fresh start.”
Chuck Harris, from Tampa, Florida, placed third to earn a podium finish in his first career Platinum Masters start in the No. 50 Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports entry. Harris won the 2014 Silver Cup championship before climbing to the Platinum Cup class this season.
He missed the season opener last month at CTMP due to his son’s college graduation.
“It was great to get back into the car, but I’m still getting up to speed this year,” Harris said. “It’s a great car. It’s fun to be in the Platinum this year. It’s a big jump in car in terms of capability. The paddle shifting, it’s a different driving concept, but it makes it so much easier to drive.”
Harvey deftly steered clear of numerous incidents involving his rivals to earn his first victory in Gold Cup since sweeping the class in the inaugural two rounds of the series in May 2011 at Calabogie Motorsports Park. Harvey also won a race overall, in a Platinum Cup car, later that season at Circuit ICAR near Montreal.
McKaigue, from Gilford, Ontario, appeared to have the class in control today until he hit the wall after exiting a turn halfway through the race to trigger the first full-course caution.
Bruno Chapinotti, from Toronto, inherited the Gold Cup lead after McKaigue’s accident. But Chapinotti was involved in an incident on the final restart. That same fate befell de Quesada, who was running second in Gold Cup when he was collected in the race-ending incident with Platinum Cup driver Validzic.
Harvey slipped past the No. 13 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche of Gold Cup points leader Orey Fidani before the final caution to earn the victory. Harvey climbed to second in the standings, eight points behind Fidani, from Etobicoke, Ontario.
Chapinotti, winner of Round 2 at CTMP, ended up third in the No. 12 C&C Motorsports Porsche.
Up Next: Round 4, a 45-minute race, is scheduled to start at 1:10 p.m. (ET) Sunday. For live updates on all the action, follow @IMSALive on Twitter. For live timing, visit scoring.imsa.com.
For more information about Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin, visit www.imsa.com, follow hashtag #GT3CAN @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.
ROUND 3 POST-RACE QUOTES:
SCOTT HARGROVE (No. 25 OpenRoad Racing, winner): “Coming into this weekend, I knew we were strong here last year but didn’t quite optimize everything. This year, going back on what we learned, we came right out of the gate and were quick. So I’m thrilled with the result. The OpenRoad Racing Porsche was phenomenal. I’m just super-excited to be back here racing Porsches again. It’s fun, and in front of the home crowd. You can’t ask for much more than that.”
CHRIS GREEN (No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports, second): “The Pfaff Castrol car was everything and then more I could ask for. Once I got behind Daniel (Morad), it was a very, very hairy scenario in which he was brake-checking me on the front straight, brake-checking me in the corners, and I just figured I’m going to sit back a bit and let him make a mistake. I had a great opportunity to get by him in Turn 6 and never looked back from there. Unfortunately from there, yellow flags never gave me an opportunity to go for the front. Scott (Hargrove) had a huge lead. It was his race to lose. He did a really, really great job today. So that’s definitely raising the bar for tomorrow, but I think we’re going to be in a good place tomorrow. It’s all about points.”
TIM SANDERSON (No. 07 Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports, third, first Platinum Masters): “I was just trying to keep my nose clean. I didn’t have a lot for Harry (Steenbakkers) and Marco (Cirone) today, but I tried to keep them in my view as much as I could. And on a track like this, you’ve got to figure something is going to happen sooner or later. So you get a couple of yellows, and it’s a fresh start.”
CHUCK HARRIS (No. 50 Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports, third Platinum Masters): “I missed the race at Mosport (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park). My older son graduated from college. So it was great to get back into the car, but I’m still getting up to speed this year. It’s a great car. It’s fun to be in the Platinum this year. It was just mostly staying out of trouble.” (Biggest difference between Silver Cup and Platinum Cup car): “It’s a big jump in car in terms of capability. The paddle shifting, it’s a different driving concept, but it makes it so much easier to drive. That’s probably the biggest single thing.”
MARTIN HARVEY (No. 08 Wingho Motorsport, winner Gold Cup): “We stayed out of trouble. When the accidents happened, I just went on the sides of the accidents. The race before the accidents was perfect, with (Michael) de Quesada and me and the guys. Wow. Last time, at Mosport (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park), we finished second, but we didn’t have the gurney on the car. So for us, this is the best.”
OREY FIDANI (No. 13 Pfaff Motorsports, second Gold Cup): “Race was pretty good. I could have done better if I had a little more time yesterday. I had a few issues with the car yesterday, so I only got three or four laps. For my first time out here, I’m pretty proud of how I did for not having too much time here. We’ll go from there. Hopefully tomorrow is better.”
BRUNO CHAPINOTTI (No. 12 C&C Motorsports, third Gold Cup): “We restarted pretty good, and the guy – I’m not sure who it was – he lost it in Turn 3, and he spun in a straight line. There was nowhere to go. I looked left and right, and that’s it. The car looks OK, but we’ve got to work hard for tomorrow. So I hope everything comes together.”
Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin: The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin enters its fifth season in 2015 ready to produce more intense, exciting competition for semi-professional and aspiring professional drivers in the world’s most produced and iconic race car, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)-sanctioned championship is one of 20 global Porsche single-make Cup Racing series and is the perfect platform for aspiring drivers to ascend to the highest levels of GT competition, such as the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Racing is divided into two classes – Platinum Cup, featuring the 2014 and 2015 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which is based on the seventh, and current, generation of the street car; and Gold Cup, which is comprised of the previous iteration (model years 2010-2013) of the race car. A Masters Championship also is conducted in the Platinum class. Each class is awarded with its own podium at the end of every race and individual champion at the end of every season. Points are awarded by finish in class.
ABOUT IMSA: The International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) was originally founded in 1969 with a long and rich history in sports car racing. Today, IMSA is the sanctioning body of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the premier sports car racing series in North America. IMSA also sanctions the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, as well as four single-make series: Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama; Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin; Ferrari Challenge North America; and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. IMSA – a company within the NASCAR Holdings group – is the exclusive strategic partner in North America with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), which operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The partnership enables selected TUDOR Championship competitors to earn automatic entries into the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.
From: Paul Kelly/ Grand-Solutions