DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 26, 2014) – Season championships are up for grabs in all four classes of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin on Aug. 29-31 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, with title paths of varying difficulty adding even more spice to the season-ending event.
Rounds 9 and 10 of the single-make series featuring Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Challenge cars will take place on the fast, fearsome CTMP circuit that includes 10 turns over its 2.459-mile (3.957 km) layout. Round 9 is scheduled for 3 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Aug. 30, with Round 10 at 4:15 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31. Both races are 45 minutes each.
It’s only fitting the season finishes at CTMP. The circuit is the only track this year where the series races twice, as the season opened on Victoria Day Weekend in May with two rounds. The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin is one of 19 global Porsche single-make series worldwide.
Championships will be decided in all four Drivers’ Championship classes – Platinum Cup (2014 car models), Platinum Masters (drivers age 45 and older), Gold Cup (2010-2013 car models) and Silver (2005½ to 2009 car models). Team Championships also will be settled in the Platinum Cup and Gold Cup classes.
Series rookie Scott Hargrove, from Surrey, British Columbia, leads the Platinum Cup by 16 points, 152-136, over veteran Chris Green entering the final two rounds.
Hargrove, 19, needs to score 24 points combined over the last two rounds – two fifth-place finishes or better – to secure the season title in the No. 69 OpenRoad Racing Porsche.
The odds certainly favor Hargrove. He has finished first or second in all eight Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin rounds this season, with four victories.
Two of Hargrove’s wins came in a sweep of the season-opening races on Victoria Day Weekend at CTMP. That event was supposed to be just a guest appearance for Hargrove, but team owner Christian Chia decided before each event this summer to keep his young star in the car as Hargrove powered closer and closer to the championship.
Green, from Montreal, and Florida-based Spencer Pigot remain the only other drivers eligible for the Platinum Cup title. Green has two victories this season in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche, while Pigot also has won twice in the No. 21 Alegra Motorsports entry.
The chase for the Platinum Masters title is much closer, as the four regular drivers in the class all have mathematical chances for the championship.
Reigning Platinum Masters champion Marco Cirone, from Toronto, leads the class with 148 points in the No. 88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche. But he has a close eye on the looming presence of 2013 Gold Cup champion Carlos de Quesada in his rear-view mirrors.
De Quesada, from Odessa, Florida, has won the Platinum Masters class at the last three rounds in the No. 22 Alegra Motorsports Porsche to pull to within eight points of Cirone with 140 points.
Cirone’s teammate, 2011 Platinum Cup champion Perry Bortolotti, also is a title threat. Bortolotti, from Kanata, Ontario, is third in the standings with 130 points in the No. 84 Mark Motors Racing Porsche. Andre Belzile, from Drummondville, Quebec, remains a long shot for the championship with 120 points in the No. 93 GT Racing entry.
The Gold Cup title race amounts to almost a winner-take-all scenario between series veteran Tim Sanderson and rookie Jerimy Daniel.
Sanderson, from Pickering, Ontario, leads Daniel, 140-138, entering the season finale at CTMP. The tiebreaker of most victories during the season could come into play between this pair that has battled all season at CTMP, Calabogie Motorsports Park, Toronto and Trois-Rivières. Daniel, from Candiac, Quebec, has the upper hand in any tiebreaker scenario because he has five victories in the No. 75 TRC Porsche. Sanderson has won twice in the No. 07 Alegra Motorsports/Northwest Atlantic Motorsports entry.
The other three regular Gold Cup competitors – Shaun McKaigue, Martin Harvey and Ilker Starck – also are eligible for the title.
2011 Gold Cup champion McKaigue, from Gilford, Ontario, is third with 128 points in the No. 34 Fiorano Racing Porsche. Harvey, from Berthierville, Quebec, is fourth at 118 points in the No. 08 Wingho Racing Inc. entry. Starck, from Toronto, is fifth with 116 in the No. 48 SCB Racing/Downtown Porsche car.
The Silver Cup title road is clear and smooth for Chuck Harris at CTMP: He only needs to start both rounds to be assured of his first championship. Harris, from Tampa, Florida, has won seven of the eight races in Silver Cup this season in the No. 50 Alegra Motorsports entry. Keith Bass, from Tampa, Florida, won Round 7 earlier this month at Trois-Rivières in the No. 49 Alegra Motorsports entry to end Harris’ winning streak.
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 at CTMP 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