Bowmanville, Ontario, (May 19, 2013) – New asphalt and new facilities welcomed the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin participants for opening weekend at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. With fresh car wraps, new rivalries and new sponsors, the entire field presented a new attitude at the 2013 Castrol Presents Victoria Day Speedfest Weekend.
“We couldn’t be happier with the result of the weekend,” said IMSA Development Series Director Steven Sewell. “We had good, clean racing and showcased youthful talent at the front mixed with experienced drivers throughout the Masters class.”
Race 2 was filled with lead changes in the Platinum Cup as the contest for best tire preservationist unfolded. A small war for the podium took place between rookie driver David Ostella of SpeedMerchants and Pfaff/Alegra Motorsports teammates Spencer Pigot and Chris Green.
“It was an awesome race,” Ostella said. “The car is back together probably better than yesterday! The guys did awesome and the team is great. Once I got in the front it was just about being consistent and being smooth and making sure I stayed up front. I had one incident and almost spun it (laughing) but I kept it under control and Spencer (Pigot) got by me there, but I just worked my way back up and got him back and kept my head down. The GT3 Car is awesome and my Michelin tires were amazing-they were consistent the whole way through and it was just a great race today.”
Fans saw a mix of familiar faces with new drivers stepping up to bring home the hardware.
The rookie Ostella started in third position off the grid and jumped up to first by lap seven. His patience was apparent as he saved his tires for the latter half of the race. While Pigot and Green posted fastest laps on their fifth time around the circuit, Ostella posted his top two fastest times on lap 17 and 19.
“Our young star pulled it together and showed where his potential is and where he’s going to be the rest of the season,” said SpeedMerchants team owner Jim Hoddinott. “It’s not just his driving ability. Mentally he is so sharp and so focused.”
The newest addition to the SpeedMerchants team clinched his first victory in the series and tallied 32 total points under the near-perfect weather conditions at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Pigot and Green were back on the podium for Pfaff/Alegra Motorsports for the second time of the weekend, racking up points for the team.
“It was a good race!,” Pigot said. “Very close between David (Ostella) and I and I think we were a little quicker in the end, but got caught up in a bit of traffic. But I am very happy with the results and I cannot thank Alegra and Pfaff enough and I am looking forward to the next weekend.”
Green started in pole position after posting the second-fastest time in the qualifying session. The Montreal native held onto the lead for a few laps before dropping back to third position.
“We definitely made an improvement in the right direction, but we are still lacking,” Green said. “The car in the beginning was very difficult to drive, and then it came in on me and it was really good and then it fell apart again. I ran really wide in one corner and that kind of hurt as well and it was hard to gain on the gap again, but we are definitely headed in the right direction and I am looking forward to my home track at Montreal.”
In the Gold Cup, Tim Sanderson with Racing for Joanne’s House earned his second title of the weekend. Sanderson was joined on the podium by Carlos de Quesada for the second time this weekend.
“I was having a good time, but we are still trying to figure out this car,” Quesada of Pfaff/Alegra Motorsports said. It’s going to come to us and I think by Montreal we will be a good challenge. Second is good and I want to thank my crew for staying up late and working hard all weekend.”
SportsCarBoutique’s newest entry Andrew Danyliw finished third in the Gold Cup standings, just in front of Fiorano/Garage Racing’s Martin Barkey in the third position of Masters Gold Cup.
“There was some great racing out there,” Barkey said. “I’m now in my second race in the Cup and learning so much every day from lots of great guys, from coaching and just being out there with the great guys running. I had a blast today and a great race with Andrew (Danyliw). I got a five second lead on him and somehow he reeled me in but we battled for the last eight or ten laps so it was good experience that’s for sure.”
Round three of the 2013 Ultra 94 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Series takes place June 7-9 in Montreal for the Grand Prix du Canada. For series news and updates, follow us on Twitter at @GT3Canada or on Facebook.
For race results, event information or to download a Spotter’s Guide, visit http://imsachallenge.ca.
The Masters Championship: The Masters Championship competitors were not to be outdone by the youthful leaders at the front of the pack. Anthony Mantella of SpeedMerchants and Marco Cirone of Mark Motors Racing took turns leading the Masters Platinum Cup and were as close as two tenths throughout the race. Cirone started off the grid in fourth position and Mantella began in seventh.
Mantella worked his way up to surpass Cirone and hung on for the duration of the race, but with just five laps remaining Cirone took the lead. With the win, Cirone racks up his second victory of the weekend and leads the points standings in the Masters Platinum Cup.
SpeedMerchants team owner Jim Hoddinott was pleased with Mantella’s performance in the 45-minute sprint.
“Anthony (Mantella) broke out,” Hoddinott said. “His progression in 16 months is phenomenal. He’s definitely going to be showing up on the overall podium this season.”
Coming in third for GT Racing was Etienne Borgeat, racking up more points after a second-place finish in Race 1 of the Castrol Presents Victoria Day Speedfest Weekend.
Perry Bortolotti was able to hold off Ilker Starck for eighth position overall. Less than one second separated the two for the duration of the 45-minute sprint.
Marco Cirone: First Place Masters Platinum
“Oh wow, I don’t think I ever worked so hard in a car! I had a terrible start and a couple guys got by me and I couldn’t believe it, so I was kind of flustered in the beginning but then I got by Mantella and man did he up his game! It was beautiful! I said ‘who is this guy’ and I managed to get close and then I noticed his tires started to go off before mine and I noticed some twitching so I got behind him and lined up and waited and I thought I was going to run out of time, and then finally I got him in Turn 8. And it was a risky move but I have to congratulate Anthony (Mantella) because he gave me the room to make the pass. That was a very gentlemanly move and I will remember that. I definitely want to thank Mark Motors for giving me the opportunity. The car was amazing!”
Anthony Mantella: Second Place Masters Platinum
“I have to thank the team. The team gave me a better car and JF (Dumlouin) and the crew made a change to the car and it really helped out until the end of the race when I started overdriving and started to overheat the tires. Marco (Cirone) is a seasoned veteran and I held him off for a long time, but as soon as the tires started to heat up, he had me. I didn’t have the confidence to go into the corners like he did. He obviously saved his tires longer than I did, but that’s what a rookie does. That’s how you learn and rather than wipe out the car I settled for second place in Masters and look forward to racing another day.”
ABOUT IMSA DEVELOPMENT SERIES
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin: The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin is one of three official Development Series sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). It is also the fastest-growing single-make series in North America. The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin produces intense, exciting competition for semi-professional drivers alongside some of the most promising career-minded GT drivers in one of the world’s most successful and iconic race cars, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, and on classic Canadian road courses such as Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
For more information on the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin, visit http://www.facebook.com/gt3canada on Facebook and @GT3Canada on Twitter.
From: IMSA News