A return to the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal is a leading highlight of the 2017 schedule for the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, announced today by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).
The series, one of 20 global Porsche GT3 Cup one-make championships, will compete at five venues, including Canada's two largest cities in support of the two most prestigious motorsports events in the country - the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal and the Honda Indy Toronto. The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama will also return to the United States with two rounds at iconic Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Those three events are an integral part of the 12 rounds for the series, which provides thrilling action and grooms drivers for future IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition or professional GT racing worldwide.
Another key addition for 2017 is the introduction of the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car, which will be featured in the Platinum Cup class. The class will compete alongside the Gold Cup and Silver Cup classes, the latter featuring the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport race car in all events held at Canadian venues.
The 2017 season starts May 19-21 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) and ends September 1-3 at the same historic venue in Bowmanville, Ontario. High-profile events also will take place at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, Watkins Glen International, the streets of Toronto and the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, with two rounds at every series event.
The traditional Victoria Day season-opening weekend will feature the debut of the new 911 GT3 Cup car in the Platinum class. The Gold class will now consist of the previous-generation 911 GT3 Cup car and the Cayman GT4 Clubsport race car will remain in the Silver Cup class.
The Silver Cup class will compete alongside the Platinum and Gold Cup GT3 classes at five of the series' six events, with separate standings and awards presented in a 10-round championship. As such, Silver Cup competitors will be racing at all weekends held in Canada.
After the season opener at CTMP, teams and drivers then will head to Montreal for Rounds 3 and 4 on June 9-11.
The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama then will cross the Canada-United States border to compete in Rounds 5 and 6 June 29-July 2 at historic Watkins Glen International during the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, one of the marquee events in the WeatherTech Championship. The sole joint event weekend of the season between the Canadian and USA series will take place at The Glen.
Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama teams and drivers then will move to Canada's largest city for Rounds 7 and 8 on July 14-16, supporting the Verizon IndyCar Series for the third consecutive year before large, enthusiastic crowds at Honda Indy Toronto.
Teams and drivers then will return to Quebec for Rounds 9 and 10 on Aug. 11-13 during the popular Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières (GP3R) street race. The season-ending Rounds 11 and 12 will take place Sept. 1-3 at CTMP.
"We are awaiting the start of this season's racing with anticipation," said Alexander Pollich, president & CEO, Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. "With the arrival of the new 911 GT3 Cup car, the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama promises to be the most exciting yet."
The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama is divided into three classes - Platinum Cup, featuring the 2017 model Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which is based on the current 911 street car; Gold Cup, which is comprised of the previous iteration (model years 2013-2016) of the race car; and Silver Cup, for the Cayman GT4 Clubsport 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.
For updates on the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, follow @IMSA on Twitter with the hashtag #GT3CAN and on Facebook. The latest news can be found by visiting IMSA.com.
2017 Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama Schedule
May 19-21 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, ON*
June 9-11 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, QC*
June 29-July 2 Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, New York^
July 14-16 Honda Indy Toronto, Toronto, ON*
Aug. 11-13 Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, QC*
Sept. 1-3 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, ON*
* -- Includes Silver Cup class for Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport cars
^ -- Joint event with Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama