Morad Stays Aggressive, Leads Practice At CTMP
Friday, September 2, 2016

CLARINGTON, Ontario (Sept. 2, 2016) – Daniel Morad channeled former NBA great Allen Iverson after leading both practice sessions for the last two rounds of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama on Friday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP).

Morad, from Toronto, leads rival Scott Hargrove by 13 points, 175-162, entering Rounds 11 and 12 of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)-sanctioned Single-Make Series.

The two drivers have finished in the top three positions in some combination in seven of the 10 rounds this season. The scoring system awards 20 points for a win, 18 points for second and 16 points for third, so Morad could finish on the podium in both races behind Hargrove and still claim the title.

2015 Platinum Cup runner-up Morad turned the quickest time of the day in the morning session, 1 minute, 19.744 seconds in the No. 17 Porsche Centre Oakville/Alegra Motorsports Porsche. He also led the afternoon session at 1:19.959.

Despite the quick practice times, Morad expects to shift mental gears into more of a safe mode for Round 11 at 2:50 p.m. (ET) Saturday and Round 12 at 9:45 a.m. Sunday. He understands a conservative strategy should secure the title Sunday, deadpanning the famous press conference quote from Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Iverson.

“We’re talkin’ about practice, not the race,” Morad said, laughing. “Practice.

“It’s just practice. You can’t read too much into it. The team – Porsche Centre Oakville and Alegra Motorsports – dialed the car in perfectly. You can see over the past couple of events that the performance, the time has been there.

“I’m not going to hold back in practice. We’re just out there doing our work. We just need to do a solid job in the races and really assess the situation as it comes toward us. I’m not going to be taking any unnecessary risks.”

2014 Platinum Cup champion Hargrove, from Tsawwassen, British Columbia, was second overall at 1:20.067 in the No. 28 OpenRoad Racing Porsche. Zach Robichon, from Ottawa, was third at 1:20.140 in the No. 78 Mark Motors Racing Porsche.

Marco Cirone and Tim Sanderson – locked into a fierce fight for the Platinum Masters championship this weekend – rounded out the top five.

Three-time reigining Platinum Masters champion Cirone, from Toronto, was fourth at 1:21.185 in the No. 88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche. Sanderson, from Pickering, Ontario, was right behind in fifth at 1:21.205 in the No. 07 Porsche Centre Oakville/Alegra Motorsports Porsche.

Sanderson has won four consecutive races to pull to within four points of Cirone, 188-184. If Sanderson sweeps the final two rounds at CTMP and Cirone is second, they will finish tied with 224 points each. Sanderson would win the championship on a tie-breaker, as he would have six victories for the season compared to Cirone’s five.

History favors Cirone. He has won the last eight Platinum Masters races on the 10-turn, 2.459-mile (3.957 km) course at CTMP, a streak dating back to August 2014.

“I’m feeling good,” Cirone said. “We seem to have had some issues with the car ever since we had that rollover in Toronto, and we’ve been chasing the setup ever since. I think with the testing on Wednesday we finally got it where it needs to be. The car is feeling really really good and I got a little bit of my confidence back.

“I know Tim, my closest competitor, has been driving amazing. I don’t know what he’s eating or drinking, but whatever it is, it’s working. This is my track here, and I’m going to do everything I possibly can to protect my lead.”

Shaun McKaigue, from Gilford, Ontario, led the Gold Cup class at 1:22.799 in the No. 34 Fiorano Racing Porsche. McKaigue has clinched his second Gold Cup championship and his first since the inaugural season of the series in 2011.

McKaigue leads Martin Harvey, 190-182, but Harvey is not competing this weekend. Still, McKaigue is not lifting his gas pedal any earlier.

“I think you’re prone then to making mistakes that you wouldn’t have made before if you’re just trying to play it safe,” McKaigue said. “So we’re just trying to keep the car underneath us. We’ve got a good car. I think we made some nice changes during practice. Our pace is good.”

Silver Cup championship leader Andrew Danyliw, from Toronto, led the class today at 1:28.581 in the No. 38 SCB Racing Porsche.

“The car is considerably better than back in May, and I noticed back at the Toronto Indy race that the car is a lot more easy to drive over the bumps there,” Danyliw said. “Here it was fantastic. The car is good; I’m very happy with it.”

For more information about Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, visit www.imsa.com, follow hashtag #GT3CAN @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.

POST-PRACTICE QUOTES

DANIEL MORAD (No. 17 Porsche Centre Oakville/Alegra Motorsports, leader, Platinum Cup): (About leading both sessions despite only needing a conservative strategy to win Platinum Cup championship): “We’re talkin’ about practice, not the race. Practice. I’d like to give a shout out to Allen Iverson there.” (laughter) “It’s just practice. You can’t read too much into it. The team – Porsche Centre Oakville and Alegra Motorsports – dialed the car in perfectly. You can see over the past couple of events that the performance, the time has been there. I’m not going to hold back in practice. We’re just out there doing our work. We’re not focusing on anything in practice, just ourselves, just our own performance. Fortunately we showed a good time in both sessions, and it’s a good way to close out the championship. We just need to do a solid job in the races and really assess the situation as it comes toward us. I’m not going to be taking any unnecessary risks. I know there’s going to be some desperation out there to make up some points, and I’m just not going to get in the middle of any of the antics and drive my own race and bring it home safely for the team. I know the guys are really nervous, but they have nothing to be nervous about.”

MARCO CIRONE (No. 88 Mark Motors Racing, leader, Platinum Masters): “I’m feeling good. We seem to have had some issues with the car ever since we had that rollover in Toronto, and we’ve been chasing the setup ever since. I think with the testing on Wednesday we finally got it where it needs to be. The car is feeling really, really good, and I got a little bit of my confidence back. I’m certainly happy to be at my home track because I have a lot of confidence here. It’s looking good so far. I know Tim (Sanderson), my closest competitor, has been driving amazing. I don’t know what he’s eating or drinking, but whatever it is, it’s working. This is my track here, and I’m going to do everything I possibly can to protect my lead.”

SHAUN McKAIGUE (No. 34 Fiorano Racing, leader, Gold Cup): “We were thinking about it that way (being conservative), but I don’t want to think about it that way because then you’re not actually racing. I think you’re prone then to making mistakes that you wouldn’t have made before if you’re just trying to play it safe. So we’re just trying to keep the car underneath us. We’ve got a good car. I think we made some nice changes during practice. Our pace is good. And I think we’ve just got to go out and race and let the chips fall.”

ANDREW DANYLIW (No. 38 SCB Racing, leader, Silver Cup): “The car is considerably better than back in May, and I noticed back at the Toronto Indy race that the car is a lot more easy to drive over the bumps there. Here it was fantastic. I was running on old scrubs from the Toronto race, and we still did a 1:28.5. The back end was all over the place, but it was fun. The car is good; I’m very happy with it.”

Schedule

Qualifying: 8:55-9:15 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3

Round 11 (45 minutes): 2:50-3:35 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3

Round 12 (45 minutes): 9:45-10:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 4

Driver Autograph Session: 11:30 a.m.-noon Saturday, Sept. 3, Yokohama Tire Service Centre in Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama paddock

Race Coverage

Live streaming: Round 12 (Sunday) on www.imsa.tv

TV: Delayed television coverage will be provided on TSN, with the schedule announced soon.

Live timing: All on-track sessions at scoring.imsa.com and on the official IMSA App for iOS, Android and Windows

Twitter: Live text commentary from all sessions at @IMSALive

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