TORONTO, ON – Since its launch in 2011, the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin has grown into one of this country’s most competitive and entertaining, single-marque racing divisions.
Determined to build on the series’ momentum, Porsche Cars Canada is bringing the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series to the Canadian Motorsports Expo – for the first time ever – with an eye to enticing and educating drivers, teams and spectators about this fast growing Canadian series.
“We’re looking forward to showcasing what we believe is a great racing program,” said Patrick Saint-Pierre, Public Relations Director for Porsche Cars Canada Ltd. “But the point we’d like to get across about the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge is that we’re not talking about pro drivers in this series, it’s more about driver development. This series is all about learning and being an ideal place for young drivers to race once they’ve graduated from karting.”
Based on the production, 450 horsepower 911 GT3 RS road car, the Porsche Cup car has become a standard-bearer in worldwide competition, and has enjoyed similar status in Canada.
“I think that there are several things that have contributed to the success of this series,” continues Saint-Pierre. “Not only are the drivers familiar with the Porsche brand and its rich racing heritage, but they also have the benefit of being able to rely on the support of Porsche Motorsport North America at every race. And the appeal goes beyond the race track; many people are surprised at the camaraderie that exists in this series. It’s a family-friendly atmosphere that we are very proud to be a part of.”
In 2013, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series raced ten times over five race weekends on four of the country’s most storied circuits. From May to September, the series made appearances at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, and the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières before concluding the campaign at Calabogie Motorsports Park.
“We have yet to finalize our schedule for 2014, but of course we’d like to return to those venues,” says Saint-Pierre. “We’re very open to suggestions from the drivers about where they’d like to run. We will try to accommodate them and find an event that will work for everyone, from the drivers and teams to the fans.”
Running a ‘race within a race’ at every event, victories are determined in two distinct divisions (Platinum and Gold), with both classes also declaring a ‘Masters’ race victor.
In the 2013 championship, Maple, Ontario’s David Ostella edged Quebec’s Chris Green by six points to claim the Platinum crown. The Gold class championship chase was even tighter, as just four points separated runner-up Tim Sanderson from champion Carlos de Quesada.
“That is a true demonstration of the competitiveness of this series,” said Saint-Pierre. “And I expect that we will see more of the same in 2014.”
“We don’t have a confirmed entry list yet, but our appearance at the Canadian Motorsports Expo will bring further exposure and may draw more interest,” he adds. “We have a new vehicle – the 991 – coming to the market, and I know the demand has been high for that car. The 991 is in limited supply for this year, but I think we will see more than a few of them make it onto the track for the 2014 season.”
Visitors to the 8th Annual Canadian Motorsports Expo will have the opportunity to see a 2014 Gold Class car courtesy of Woodbridge, Ontario’s Pfaff Motors. Showgoers will also be able to meet and chat with several of the Porsche series’ competitors.
Concludes Saint-Pierre, “We’ve enjoyed a lot of local support from the Toronto-based teams and drivers. Their response, as well as the one from the dedicated fans has been tremendous… We are eager to see what the new season has in store as it promises to be the best yet.”
Speaking on behalf of the CME, show co-promoter David Weber said, “We are honoured that Porsche Cars Canada will be coming to the show to promote the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Challenge Canada series. The CME attracts a diverse mix of racers and fans – from across the motorsports spectrum – the vast majority of whom will be very interested in learning about what this growing Canadian series has to offer.”
ABOUT THE ULTRA 94 PORSCHE GT3 CUP CHALLENGE CANADA BY MICHELIN: This single marque series is a partnership between the International Motor Sport Association (IMSA), Porsche Motorsports North America (PMNA) and Porsche Cars Canada Ltd. The partnership was formed to further the relationship between race car drivers and the IMSA series in Canada.
With fields regularly exceeding 20 cars, the series continues to grow with the addition of young drivers looking to compete at a professional level. With sponsorship support from Ultra 94 fuels and Michelin tires, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada is the ideal training ground for up-and-comers, as a competitive venue for established Canadian racers.
ABOUT THE CME: The 8th Annual Canadian Motorsports Expo Powered by Inside Track Motorsport News takes place February 7, 8 & 9, 2014 at Toronto’s International Centre, adjacent to Pearson International Airport. The show features motorsport content geared to racers, fans and automotive enthusiasts. NASCAR Sprint Cup racer Ryan Newman will be at the CME on Saturday, February 8. For information about the show, including news, exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities, call (416) 962-7223, or email info@CanadianMotorsportsExpo.com. The CME’s website is located at www.CanadianMotorsportsExpo.com