This past weekend at Mosport (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) in Ontario, Quebec driver Valérie Chiasson made her grand debut in the Porsche GT3 Cup Canada series.
As the only female driver entered in the championship, Valerie finished the two races in ninth and seventh places respectively. This is a promising start for the Porsche Prestige driver, just three weeks away from the Grand Prix du Canada in Montréal.
For Valérie Chiasson, she knew it would be a challenge heading into this race weekend at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Not only did she need to familiarize herself with her Porsche GT Cup but she also needed to learn the Ontario course, known as one of the fastest tracks on the continent, where driver knowledge and experience there is key. « I did several laps on Thursday, with old tires, to get used to the car and learn the track. It was beneficial but I knew it was going to be a challenging weekend. When you start the qualifying session with only five hours of experience behind the wheel of the car and on a course that some of the drivers have five years of experience on, it’s not an easy feat » confides Valérie.
Qualifying in eleventh spot, she progressed throughout the forty-five minutes of the first race to cross the finish line in ninth place. « Without being able to try the car prior to this first race weekend, I know errors cost me come time but I have to admit that this Porsche GT3 Cup is the car that I have had the most fun driving during my career to date » summarized the only female driver in the series.
Sunday, Valérie Chiasson completed an even better race, in which qualified ninth, held sixth place for more than half of the race, and eventually finished in seventh spot. « I would’ve really loved keeping sixth spot but I lost about 3 seconds, two laps from the end of the race, while passing one of the GT4 drivers. Ontarian Orey Fidani saw the opportunity and passed me on the second-last lap » confided Valérie. « I don’t blame anybody. I once again made small mistakes that cost me a few seconds. Our team also needs to learn how to better manage our Yokohama tires, which we learned more about this weekend. Despite that, I am happy with this first weekend in the series. It was pretty much as tough as I was expecting it to be ! I had a constant and progressive learning curve, which is very motivating going forward into the next races » concluded the Quebec driver, who is also the Canadian representative for the FIA “Women in Motorsport” commission, encouraging the participation of women in motorsport.
Ontarians Daniel Morad and Zach Robichon won the first two races of the series’ 2016 season on Saturday and Sunday respectively. The next Porsche GT3 Cup outing for Valérie Chiasson will take place in three weeks when the third and fourth rounds will be contested at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montréal, as part of the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada.