Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Ultra 94 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama competitors rolled out to the grid at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec on Sunday, June 11, in front of a packed house. As a supporting event for the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada, the series’ second 30-minute sprint race took place at 10:40 a.m. (ET), just a few hours prior to the feature event, and provided the growing crowd with a thrilling show.

Yesterday’s race winner and today's pole winner, Scott Hargrove, took the green flag first and led the field once again in a flag-to-flag sprint to victory in his No. 9 Castrol/Pfaff Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup car. Slowed only by an early caution period on Lap 1, Hargrove and his Pfaff Porsche team once again performed to perfection all weekend, leading all on-track sessions and capturing the top spot in both races in Platinum Cup competition. The 2014 Champion is clearly making his bid for another crown.

Not to be deterred in the hunt for that crown, Ottawa, Ontario’s Zacharie Robichon and his Mark Motors Racing team are doing everything they can in the No. 98 car to stay close to Hargrove in the championship. Today marked Robichon’s fourth consecutive second-place finish in four rounds of competition, keeping him in sight of Hargrove in championship points. Like Hargrove, Robichon and his team have been flawless and quick this season.

OpenRoad Racing driver Remo Ruscitti tried to keep pace with the top two GT3 Cup cars starting a row ahead of him today, but never quite got a run on the duo in his No. 69 Porsche. Ruscitti had a very impressive run yesterday, gaining 14 positions during the race to finish fourth after starting at the back of the grid for a post-inspection technical infraction. Ruscitti earned a couple of extra and very valuable championship points today with a third-place finish. His performance this weekend keeps him in third in the chase for the 2017 championship.

The Platinum Masters championship provided plenty of racing excitement today as the top three points contenders continued their battle for year-end recognition.

Taking the top spot in today’s race was Montreal, Quebec local Etienne Borgeat in the No. 2 GT Racing/Sesame entry. Borgeat claimed his first class win of the season, but not after enduring some early adversity in the race. He and the No. 07 of Tim Sanderson spun on the Lap 4 restart after the first and only caution period, costing Borgeat eight spots on the track, but he never gave up and quickly worked his way back through the field to finish in seventh overall in front of his hometown crowd.

Meanwhile, Marco Cirone battled with Platinum Cup contenders throughout the race to finish second in Masters in his No. 88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche. The series veteran and defending Masters champion maintains his class lead with another strong finish and two class wins this season.

Along with Borgeat, Sanderson had to make up lost ground after the Lap 4 incident dropped him to sixteenth overall. The DFC Motorsport/Speedstar Motorsport driver locked in on Borgeat and the two wily veterans steadily worked their way through Platinum and Gold Cup traffic. Sanderson found himself in a battle with the No. 83 Tullman Walker Racing car of Max Tullman after Borgeat got around Cirone on Lap 10. Sanderson would have to settle for third place in Masters once he passed Tullman on Lap 12 with only a few minutes remaining in the race. His charge toward the front landed him in ninth position overall.

Gold Cup competition among the 2014 to 2016 model year Porsche GT3 Cup cars has its own show of perfection going on this season. Roman De Angelis of Mark Motors Racing has earned every pole position and led every race going into today’s event. Today would prove to be nothing new as he kept the No. 78 on point in class to take the top honors in Gold. Normally, De Angelis gives the faster Platinum cars more than most can handle, but the long front and back sections are where the 2017 911 GT3 Cup cars had the advantage. De Angelis still managed a sixth-place finish overall.

Today’s Yokohama Hard Charger Award was won by the driver of the No. 27 Mark Motors/TOTAL Canada Gold Cup car, Valerie Chiasson of Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. Chiasson won the award for advancing the most overall positions of the class and, in doing so, took the second spot on the Gold podium. She returned to series competition at Montreal after missing the first weekend of racing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park back in May. She has also been competing this year in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux series.

No. 76 GT Racing driver Metod Topolnik found early trouble on Lap 1 in his Porsche GT3 Cup car, but gathered things together enough to find the third spot on today’s Gold Cup podium. It was Tolopnik’s first weekend of competition with the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series.

Next up on the calendar for the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama is a combined event with the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama series at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen, N.Y. on June 29 – July 2 as part of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

For more information about the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, visit www.imsa.com, and follow hashtag #GT3CAN at @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.