Hargrove Holds Off Morad In Exciting Montreal Race
Saturday, June 11, 2016

MONTREAL (June 11, 2016) – Scott Hargrove earned his first victory of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama season, holding off rival Daniel Morad in a tight, clean race between the two young Canadian stars at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

2014 Platinum Cup champion Hargrove, from Surrey, British Columbia, drove the No. 28 OpenRoad Racing Porsche to victory by .557 of a second over Morad’s No. 17 Porsche Centre Oakville/Alegra Motorsports Porsche in the 25-minute race.

“Once I got up front, it was pretty clear sailing except for the last lap,” Hargrove said. “I think the Alegra guys did a good job of making their cars work the whole race. But the speed of our OpenRoad Porsche was unbelievable, and I think that means we’re going to be on pole again for race two. I’m super-thrilled with that, and I can’t wait to have another good race tomorrow.”

This event, supporting the Canadian Grand Prix Formula One race, is the first-ever combined race between the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama and the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.

Platinum Cup championship leader Zach Robichon, from Ottawa, finished third in the No. 78 Mark Motors Racing Porsche and fourth overall as Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama drivers took three of the first four finishing spots in the race.

Series veteran Carlos de Quesada, from Tampa, Florida, finished fourth among Canadian series cars and was the first Platinum Masters finisher in the No. 50 Porsche Centre Oakville/Alegra Motorsports Porsche. Fellow Platinum Masters competitor Tim Sanderson, from Pickering, Ontario, finished fifth in the No. 07 Porsche Centre Oakville/Alegra Motorsports Porsche.

Shaun McKaigue, from Gilford, Ontario, won the Gold Cup class in the No. 34 Fiorano Racing Porsche.

Round 4, a 25-minute race, will start at 10 a.m. (ET) Sunday.

Hargrove started from pole, with Morad starting second on the 13-turn, 2.71-mile (4.361 km) circuit. The last time the talented duo shared the front row, in Round 2 on May 22 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), they collided in the second turn of the first lap and were eliminated.

This race was different. Both drivers admitted after the race they knew another incident would damage their championship chances, so they put on a clinic of hard, clean racing.

Morad, from Toronto, passed Hargrove for the lead at the Turn 7 hairpin on the first lap. Hargrove then tucked in behind Morad for the next nine minutes, staying within a second of his rival.

Hargrove then made his move with 15 minutes left in the race, standing on the brakes entering Turn 1 and slipping past Morad for the lead with 15 minutes left in the race.

“Daniel (Morad) put a lot of pressure on at the start, and even though I got the lead, he pressured me and I made a mistake,” Hargrove said. “He got by me. At that point, I had my work cut out for me to regain the lead and to get the win.

“I didn’t think I was close enough, but a couple of times I thought about doing a late-braking move and decided not to. But then I thought, ‘Well, maybe it will work.’ I just decided I was going to do it and went for it. It was probably one of the latest-braking passes I’ve ever made in my career, but I had a ton of fun doing it.”

Said Morad: “I passed him into (Turn) 7 and controlled the race, for the most part, until he made a really late dive bomb. It was a great move, but it was one of those moves where if I didn’t move out of the way, we were crashing. So I kind of took initiative to back out of it. I did the right thing. I tucked in behind him, and I waited for my opportunity.”

Hargrove kept the lead after a restart with eight minutes left. That full-course caution was triggered by an incident between three-time reigning Platinum Masters champion Marco Cirone and USA series competitor Ricardo Perez, which eliminated both drivers from the race.

Morad stayed close over the final laps and nearly had a chance to try to pass for the lead on the last lap, trimming Hargrove’s lead from 1.1 seconds at the white flag to .557 of a second on the final lap.

“It was just a little bit too late after the Safety Car where I finally got the speed,” Morad said. “I think the last couple of laps, I think I was over half a second quicker than him. I was there was one more lap, but that’s racing. We’re going to go for it tomorrow.”

Both young stars were happy to finish the race without another flashpoint like the one that ignited on Victoria Day Weekend at CTMP.

“I think we both raced smart and fair and clean, but I don’t think we backed off at all,” Hargrove said. “We raced hard and clean. So hopefully that’s the trend for the rest of the year.”

Said Morad: “It was a good race. Considering we had such an interesting one at Round 2, where we got tangled up, it was good to see where we were able to go and handle it like men on the track and fight cleanly. It’s always fun to race against Scott.”

Orey Fidani won the Yokohama Hard Charger Award for gaining the most positions in the No. 13 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche.

Platinum Masters

De Quesada made the most of his first start of the season, taking the top step on the podium. He was in the Platinum Cup car because his son Michael decided to drive the team’s Gold Cup car and maintain his championship lead in that class in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama instead of race in the Platinum Cup class in the Canadian series at this combined round.

2013 Gold Cup champion Carlos de Quesada wove through the heavy traffic in the 36-car combined field and finished 2.868 seconds ahead of teammate Sanderson.

“The key thing is just trying to get through the first two laps,” de Quesada said. “Once you were able to get that single-file line, you just hope no one was doing anything dumb out there. Overall it was a great race. It was just very exciting to have all those cars out there and have some good competition.”

Cirone, from Toronto, ended up third in the class in the No. 88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche.

Gold Cup

McKaigue earned his second victory of the season in unlikely circumstances.

He started third in the class and fell to nearly the rear of the field after being tapped by another car early in the race. But the full-course caution period pulled him back close to the field.

McKaigue then passed class pole sitter Martin Harvey for second and set his sights on leader Bruno Chapinotti. McKaigue pulled alongside Chapinotti in Turn 10 after Chapinotti had a brief problem, made the pass and held off Chapinotti for the win by .154 of a second.

“This is one of those racing god things,” McKaigue said. “It was an exciting race. Gianni (Panico) gave me a great car. Fiorano, Pfaff, Aqua Pipe, Fer-Pal gave me a great car today.”

Said Chapinotti: “He (McKaigue) did well. I just pushed to take over, and unfortunately we have a short race. It was great. There was a lot of action out there. I had a great time.”

Martin Harvey, from Berthierville, Quebec, finished third in the No. 08 Wingho Racing Porsche.

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.

ROUND 3 POST-RACE QUOTES:

SCOTT HARGROVE (No. 28 OpenRoad Racing, winner): “Daniel (Morad) put a lot of pressure on at the start, and even though I got the lead, he pressured me and I made a mistake. He got by me. At that point, I had my work cut out for me to regain the lead and to get the win. That’s exactly what happened. I didn’t think I was close enough, but a couple of times I thought about doing a late-braking move and decided not to. But then I thought, ‘Well, maybe it will work.’ I just decided I was going to do it and went for it. It was probably one of the latest-braking passes I’ve ever made in my career, but I had a ton of fun doing it. Once I got up front, it was pretty clear sailing except for the last lap. I think the Alegra guys did a good job of making their cars work the whole race. But the speed of our OpenRoad Porsche was unbelievable, and I think that means we’re going to be on pole again for race two. I’m super-thrilled with that, and I can’t wait to have another good race tomorrow.” (Did you think about how another incident with Morad could ruin both drivers’ championship chances): “Absolutely. We both realized that either one of us could have avoided the incident at Mosport (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park), and neither one of us wanted to. But that was kind of our one freebie for the year. If you have another one, we’re going to be out of the championship. I definitely don’t want to make it impossible to win a championship. I think we both raced smart and fair and clean, but I don’t think we backed off at all. We raced hard and clean. So hopefully that’s the trend for the rest of the year.”

DANIEL MORAD (No. 17 Alegra Motorsports, second): “It was a good race. Considering we had such an interesting one at Round 2, where we got tangled up, it was good to see where we were able to go and handle it like men on the track and fight cleanly. It’s always fun to race against Scott (Hargrove). All last year was great. He was a little quicker last year than I was, but I stepped it up this year, thanks to our hard work. The team, everyone has really put in a huge effort to make the car a lot quicker. I had a good first lap. He had a little bit of oversteer. He went wide in the dirt, and I capitalized on it. I passed him into (Turn) 7 and controlled the race, for the most part, until he made a really late dive bomb. It was a great move, but it was one of those moves where if I didn’t move out of the way, we were crashing. So I kind of took initiative to back out of it. I did the right thing. I tucked in behind him, and I waited for my opportunity. It was just a little bit too late after the Safety Car where I finally got the speed. I think the last couple of laps, I think I was over half a second quicker than him. I was there was one more lap, but that’s racing. We’re going to go for it tomorrow.” (About how another incident with Hargrove could ruin both drivers’ championship chances): “Zach is doing a consistent job. It’s his first year; he hasn’t had much experience in sports cars. He’s doing a solid job as a rookie and doing what he needs to do to stay in the title hunt. If we do have any more incidents, then we’ll be in danger of being overtaken for the lead in a big way. We just need to be careful and race each other hard and clean and collect as many points as we can and not make that same mistake we made in the last race.”

ZACH ROBICHON (No. 78 Mark Motors Racing, third): “I made a couple of mistakes at the beginning, which let those guys get away. That was really too bad because once everything was settled, I think I had the pace. Similar mistakes that I made last time, but I just keep learning. If it wasn’t for those yellow flags at the end, I think I would have had a go at Jesse (Lazare) for third overall. I was right on him. Overall, it was a really good race. The team did a fantastic job with the car. It was tight on the start – a little bit of rubbin’. But rubbin’s racing. I think everybody had a good time.” (After the early mistakes, did you think big picture about the championship lead?): “Yeah. I noticed there was nobody behind me who was an imminent threat. So I just said: ‘Relax. You’re not going to lose your position.’ After the Safety Car, I thought maybe we’d have a shot. But it just didn’t come our way, but I think we have a really good car for tomorrow.”

CARLOS DE QUESADA (No. 50 Porsche Centre Oakville/Alegra Motorsports, winner, Platinum Masters): “It was mayhem out there. The key thing is just trying to get through the first two laps. Once you were able to get that single-file line, you just hope no one was doing anything dumb out there. There was some dumb stuff happening out there. But overall it was a great race. It was just very exciting to have all those cars out there and have some good competition.”

TIM SANDERSON (No. 07 Porsche Centre Oakville/Alegra Motorsports, second, Platinum Masters): “We just tried to keep our nose clean and stay out of it. There was a lot of stuff going on out there, and a little bit of crazy driving, if you ask me. I’m pleased with our result, and we get to race tomorrow with a fresh car and a clean car.”

MARCO CIRONE (No. 88 Mark Motors Racing, third, Platinum Masters): “(Ricardo) Perez was running behind me, and he was running faster than me and got by me. He’s a very clean and great driver and great person. He just didn’t get a good acceleration coming out of the third corner, and I just got up on him. I tried to intimidate him going into the next corner, and I was having an issue with my brake bias. The knob had stripped on me. So I had qualms braking the car, and I didn’t know what percentage I was at. And I accidentally locked up, and I got a little bit on the grass and I spun and I hit him. Completely my fault. I want to publicly apologize to Perez. He’s a great driver and a great contributor to the series. It was completely my fault. I wish I could take it back, but I’m really sorry about that.”

SHAUN McKAIGUE (No. 34 Fiorano Racing, winner, Gold Cup): (About winning pass): “It was after the restart. This is one of those racing god things. We had a horrible qualifying, started at the back. Not a bad start. Got ahead of a Platinum car. He ended up with an ambitious lunge, tapped me, I spun. So I was way back. Then a yellow came out, and we caught up. And we managed to get by a few cars. Got by the McDonald’s car (Martin Harvey) and got by Bruno (Chapinotti) and brought it home. It was an exciting race. Gianni (Panico) gave me a great car. Fiorano, Pfaff, Aqua Pipe, Fer-Pal gave me a great car today.” (About adjusting to heavier traffic in combined race): “For me, it’s not a big adjustment because I race with the American guys in those big venues. I’m used to that. You just have to be a little more aware. You just have to know there’s a lot of cars out there.”

BRUNO CHAPINOTTI (No. 03 DFC Motorsport, second, Gold Cup): (About Shaun McKaigue’s decisive pass): “I saw the green light coming early on the straightaway, and I went and I was able to pass them. Turn 10, I think I had a misfire or something. The RPM was high, and I just missed power. He (McKaigue) pulled up beside me, and he took over. He did well. I just pushed to take over, and unfortunately we have a short race. It was great. There was a lot of action out there. I had a great time.” (About heavier traffic of combined race): “I like it. I like the action. It’s tough. You’ve got to be smart. It’s a different way to race. It’s not like you’re just pushing hard. You’ve got to be smart and overtake at the right time, the right moment.”

OREY FIDANI (No. 13 Pfaff Motorsports, Yokohama Hard Charger Award winner): “A lot of people real close to each other. Tight racing. It was chaos, pretty much.”

Schedule

Round 4 (25 minutes): 10-10:25 a.m. Sunday, June 11

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