BOWMANVILLE, Ontario (May 16, 2014) – Different cars, same rivalry.
Young stars Scott Hargrove and Spencer Pigot continued their hot duel this season during qualifying Friday, May 16 for the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin season opener, with Hargrove prevailing for the pole at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Hargrove, from Surrey, British Columbia, set a track record of 1 minute, 20.609 seconds in the No. 69 OpenRoad Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. He will make his initial start in the series from the pole in the first of two races this weekend on the 10-turn, 2.459-mile (3.957 km) circuit, at 3:10 p.m. (ET) Saturday.
“Going into qualifying, the OpenRoad Racing guys did a great job,” Hargrove said. “The car was phenomenal. First weekend in the car, and we put it on pole. You can’t ask for much more than that. Hopefully it will continue into the race. I’m just excited to be here and about the opportunity.”
Pigot, from Pasadena, California, was second in qualifying at 1:20.654 in the No. 21 Alegra Motorsports entry. Hargrove and Pigot have won all six rounds so far this season in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires open-wheel series, with Pigot capturing four victories and Hargrove two.
Hargrove, 19, is driving Christian Chia’s OpenRoad entry this weekend in a one-time appearance, while Pigot, 20, is a full-time competitor this season in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin for reigning Platinum and Gold Cup Team Champions Alegra Motorsports.
Etienne Borgeat, from Montreal, was third in qualifying at 1:20.835 in the No. 2 GT Racing entry. Chris Green, from Montreal, will round out the second row of the grid after turning a top qualifying lap of 1:20.903 in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports entry.
Marco Cirone, from Toronto, was the top Platinum Cup Masters (45 and older) qualifier, sixth overall at 1:21.508 in the No. 88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
Jerimy Daniel, from Candiac, Quebec, was the top qualifier in the Gold Cup class at 1:23.375 in the No. 75 TRC entry. Daniel’s quickest lap was nullified because he created a red flag period during qualifying with a spin and wall contact, but his second-best lap still was good enough for the top spot.
Chuck Harris, from Tampa, Fla., was the quickest Silver Cup qualifier at 1:29.279 in the No. 50 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
All drivers coped with changing conditions through the day. The 45-minute morning practice took place in temperatures around 10 C (50 F) and in damp-to-drying track conditions, with Green edging Hargrove for the quickest lap by one-thousandth of a second with a time of 1:23.894.
But qualifying unfolded on a dry track, with the sun peeking from behind the clouds during the last 10 minutes of the half-hour session.
“This morning, it was wet, and this is my first weekend in the car,” Hargrove said. “You’re just trying to learn it and learn the boundaries of how quick you can go in the wet. Then it started to dry out in the first practice, and I got a little bit of dry running. My confidence was already pretty good in the wet. As soon as it went to dry, the car was a lot more comfortable to drive.”
Two 45-minute races are scheduled this weekend at CTMP, Rounds 1 and 2 of the 10-round season sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). The first race will start at 3:10 p.m. (ET) Saturday, with the second race at 11:45 a.m. Sunday.
For more information on the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin, visit www.imsa.com and @IMSA on Twitter with the hashtag #GT3CAN. Live commentary for both races will be provided on Twitter at @IMSALive.
Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin: The IMSA Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin produces intense, exciting competition for semi-professional and aspiring professional drivers in one of the world’s most successful and iconic race cars, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. The series is one of Porsche’s global single-make Cup Challenge 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. The 10-round series races in 2014 at four classic Canadian road and street courses, providing thrills for drivers and fans.
IMSA: The International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) is the sanctioning body of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the road-racing series resulting from the merger of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. 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 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 United SportsCar Championship competitors to earn automatic entries into the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.
From: Paul Kelly // Grand Solutions