DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 1, 2015) – One year ago, Pfaff Motorsports began its solo operation in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin with one car.
Fast forward to 2015, and the Ontario-based team is set to have two drivers with a goal of taking home the championship.
After partnering with Fiorano Racing and Alegra Motorsports in 2012 and 2013, Pfaff Motorsports, a division of Pfaff Automotive Partners, decided to start an independent racing operation in 2014 with veteran Chris Green behind the wheel.
Green, who will begin his third season with Pfaff Motorsports, finished second in the Platinum Cup Driver’s Championship last season. This year, rookie Orey Fidani will join Green in a second Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
“It was a little bit of a leap of faith,” Pfaff Motorsports owner Chris Pfaff said of the team going solo in 2014. “We’ve been around motorsports for years and years. We had the right people in place that wanted to take full ownership internally, so that’s why we did it. We sort of looked at it as a learning year, but we thought going in we were in a pretty good situation to be competitive right off the start.
“We have Chris, who’s so experienced, and it’s just a matter of giving him the best equipment possible so he can perform at his highest level. We have the great experience factor and also the young rookie who we want to see develop. We’ve been bridesmaids the past few years, so we’re really looking to win the championship this year.”
Team manager Steve Bortolotti said the biggest challenges the team faced in its first stand-alone year involved personnel and finding comfort in new roles. This season the team has expanded staff in support roles, including tire and fuel technicians.
Bortolotti is looking forward to watching Fidani’s improvement, a process he thinks two-time Platinum Cup championship runner-up Green could accelerate.
“Orey has taken this very seriously,” Bortolotti said. “It’s something he’s invested a lot of his time into. He’s probably going to lean more on Chris than Chris will on him in terms of data. But that’s part of the reason we have a veteran like Chris back in the car this season, to help make our program more attractive to newer people in the series, to help grow our series.
“Our expansion shows that we really believe in what Porsche Canada and IMSA are trying to do with having the Canadian series run on its own, separate from the U.S. series. Being part of the highest-volume Porsche dealer in the country, we want to see a one-make series in Canada be as successful as possible.”
Pfaff also thinks expansion of the motorsports division will help Pfaff Automotive Partners, which represents seven automotive brands – including Porsche — at 13 locations across Canada.
“We’ve been around it for years and years, and it’s helped us build our brand and distinguish ourselves as an auto retailer,” Pfaff said. “There’s a certain segment of clients who are very much into motorsports, so they appreciate that we’re in it, and it really gets them to focus on Pfaff and what we do.
“There’s also a segment of consumers that aren’t so directly interested in motorsports, but still when they see our activities, see the race car and see some of the events we do around it, it helps them to see us as a bunch of enthusiasts who really enjoy being around cars. Porsche, especially, is such a passionate performance brand, and it’s a natural that you would race those cars, and I think there’s a huge benefit for us being involved.”
The 2015 Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin series starts on Victoria Day Weekend, May 15-17, at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.
For updates on the series, follow @IMSA on Twitter with the hashtag #GT3CAN and on Facebook. The latest news can be found by visiting IMSA.com.
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 series is one of Porsche’s 20 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.
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/ firstname.lastname@example.org