Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama CTMP Friday Notebook
Friday, May 19, 2017

The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama kicked off the seventh season of series competition with two practice sessions at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park as part of the Castrol presents the Victoria Day SpeedFest Weekend May 19-21.

The first practice session of the 2017 season on the 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course began in less than desirable conditions, with a strong wind combined with light rain and cooler temperatures that ultimately sent most teams out for the 30-minute session on Yokohama rain tires.

Fortunately, as the session neared the mid-point, the rain swept out of the area, and teams began to switch back to slicks and pick up the pace.

Sixteen-year-old Roman De Angelis in the No. 78 of Mark Motors set a quick lap of one minute, 22.880 seconds to put his Gold Cup car (model years 2014 – 2016) to the top of the charts before his teammate Marco Cirone in his No. 88 Platinum Cup entry (2017 model) set the fastest time on the final lap of the session with 1:22.162 and edged De Angelis into second position. Cirone also represents the Platinum Master classmen, competing against drivers 45 years of age and older.

As the day progressed, the weather and racing conditions improved to create a more advantageous setting and build more speed for the second afternoon practice session.

Under sunny skies and warmer track temperatures, Zacharie Robichon in the No. 98 Mark Motors entry outpaced the 16-car field with a lap of 1:19.737 in Platinum Cup to take the combined practice lead. He edged out 2014 series champion Scott Hargrove in the No. 9 in the Castrol-Pfaff Motorsports entry to take the top position overall for the day, and in class. Rounding out the top 3 in Platinum was 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona winner, 18-year-old Michael de Quesada of Alegra Motorsports.

Cirone continued to build on his momentum from the morning session landing in fifth place overall in the combined session timing with a lap of 1:20.409 and captured the the lead for the Platinum Masters championship. His teammate De Angelis capped off the day with the fastest time in Gold Cup at 1:20.879.

A 20-minute qualifying session will take place Saturday, May 18 at 9:00 a.m. EDT, followed by Race 1, a 45-minute sprint, at 3:00 pm.

The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama season will be highlighted with four televised races on The Sports Networks (TSN), Réseau des sports (RDS) and Motorsport.tv in Europe.

Round 1 from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park will air on TSN on Saturday, June 3 at 3:30 p.m. EDT and Motorsport.tv on Saturday, June 21 at 9:00 p.m.

Follow IMSA on Facebook and @IMSA on Twitter with the hashtag #GT3CAN for updates on the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama. Live timing for every race is available at IMSA.com.