DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 9, 2016) – Champions of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama were among the elite drivers honored Dec. 3 at the annual Night of Champions in Weissach, Germany.
American series champions Jesse Lazare (Platinum Cup) and Michael de Quesada (Gold Cup) and Canadian series champion Daniel Morad (Platinum Cup) attended the motorsport gala, receiving recognition and honors.
Besides attending the gala, Lazare, Morad and de Quesada were listed on the Wall of Fame, showing all of the championship-winning Porsche drivers in international, domestic and one-make competition around the globe in 2016. The trio also was among the group of championship drivers saluted on stage at the gala, and they toured the Porsche race car factory and museum, which contains many winning Porsche racing machines from various eras.
“Porsche went above and beyond my expectations of how I played this experience out in my head,” Morad said. “A huge thank you goes out to Jens Walther of Porsche Motorsport North America for organizing and facilitating a North America-only museum tour and dinner the day before the Night of Champions. The Night of Champions actually started with a Day of Champions. We had a private factory tour in Weissach where all of their race cars are built and tested.
“Overall, it was everything you would expect from Porsche – and then some! Thank you to IMSA for hosting two incredible championships and allowing us the opportunity to fight for this experience.”
Lazare, Morad and de Quesada also chatted with Mark Webber, who retired as a Porsche LMP 1 factory driver in the World Endurance Championship after the 2016 season. Webber, a Formula One Grand Prix race winner, won the 2015 WEC LMP 1 championship in a Porsche 919 with teammates Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley.
The trio also witnessed announcements of the Porsche Factory, Junior Driver and Young Professional Driver lineups for 2017.
“It was extremely exciting and lit a larger fire of motivation to win and one day become a Porsche factory driver,” de Quesada said.
Lazare, from Montreal, earned his first Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Platinum Cup title in his third season in the series. He dominated by winning a series-record 12 of 16 races in the No. 21 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
Morad, from Toronto, edged rival Scott Hargrove by five points in a taut duel for the Platinum Cup championship in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama. He won four races in the No. 17 Porsche Centre Oakville/Alegra Motorsports Porsche.
De Quesada, from Tampa, Florida, won the Gold Cup championship at age 16 in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama. He won six races in the No. 31 Alegra Motorsports Porsche.