SEBRING, Fla. – After a hard-fought weekend of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA action that saw competitors descend on Sebring International Raceway from across North America, Marco Cirone has captured a pair of class wins for Ottawa-based team Mark Motors Racing.
“We came down here with big expectations,” Cirone says. “We wanted to podium for sure because we’ve done that before and we expected nothing less.”
For the first race of the weekend, held late in the day on Thursday, Cirone qualified 7th and made an early charge through the field to settle into 4th place overall, where he ultimately finished.
In Friday morning’s second race at Sebring, Cirone fought back through a tough start from 5th position on the grid and endured through multiple incidents and yellow flag laps to bring the car home in 4th overall once again.
The results equate to a pair of victories in the Platinum Masters class, which set the team up early for a strong run at the newly announced IMSA North American Cup in which teams from the United States and Canadian Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge series will compete cross-border for the prestigious title.
“That’s something that we’re going to go after,” Cirone says. “The North American Cup will be a very prestigious award. It would be great for Mark Motors to have that.”
Competing at Sebring also helps Mark Motors Racing spend some time on Yokohama tires, which are currently used in the United States-based series and will be equipped by teams for the first time in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada this year.
“We’re already running on Yokohamas here in the United States, so when we get to Canada we’ll know exactly how they react,” Cirone says. “I think we have an advantage because we’re doing it before anyone else.
“It’s great practice and a lot of seat time, and I get to run against some very fast Americans. It builds up momentum for the Canadian series and puts me back in the car.”
Mark Motors Racing now goes into preparation mode for the start of the 2016 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada season, which gets under way as part of Victoria Day SpeedFest at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on May 20 to 22, 2016.