Morad Takes Platinum Points Lead with Dramatic Victory in Toronto
Saturday, July 16, 2016

TORONTO (July 16, 2016) – Daniel Morad earned his third victory of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama season Saturday in Toronto during a Round 7 that dramatically changed the face of the championship race.

Morad, from Toronto, won under caution after starting second in the No. 17 Porsche Centre Oakville/Alegra Motorsports Porsche. He took a 119-114 lead over Scott Hargrove in the race for the Platinum Cup title.

Hargrove, from Tsawwassen, British Columbia, appeared to be headed for victory when his No. 28 OpenRoad Racing Porsche lost drive with 12 minutes left in the 45-minute race. His race ended after holding a 10.274-second lead over Morad on the prior lap.

“This is a big gift for me, one that I need, and it was overdue,” Morad said. “This is a huge turning point in the championship because now I move into the lead.”

Round 8, another 45-minute race, starts at 12:40 p.m. Sunday.

Platinum Masters driver Tim Sanderson, from Pickering, Ontario, placed second Saturday in the No. 07 Porsche Centre Oakville/Alegra Motorsports Porsche to earn his first overall podium finish since June 2015.

Three-time reigning Platinum Masters champion Marco Cirone, from Toronto, finished third overall in the No. 88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche.

Zach Robichon, from Ottawa, placed fourth after starting from the rear of the field in the No. 78 Mark Motors Racing Porsche. Robichon remained third in points with 110.

Martin Harvey, from Berthierville, Quebec, rounded out the top five in the No. 08 Wingho Racing Porsche and won the Gold Cup class.

Andrew Danyliw, from Toronto, won the Silver Cup class in the No. 38 SCB Racing Porsche.

The race on the 11-turn, 1.755-mile (2.824 km) temporary street circuit started with drama before the green flag.

Robichon’s car wouldn’t start on the grid, and the race began under caution. Robichon received a bump start from a safety truck, and his quickly joined the rear of the field as the race went green with 42 minutes left in the race.

Rookie Robichon gained four positions on the first lap under green and three on the second, climbing to fourth place overall just 11 minutes into the race.

Meanwhile, Hargrove steadily pulled away from Morad. He led by 6.832 seconds with 24 minutes remaining. That gap grew to 9.903 seconds with 14 minutes left.

Then heartbreak reached out and grabbed Hargrove in Turn 2. His car slowed and lost drive as the field whizzed past.

The yellow flag flew as safety crews retrieved Hargrove and his car from the circuit. He was credited with ninth place overall and sixth in the Platinum Cup class.

“It honestly took me a lap to realize what happened,” Morad said. “I saw his car but it took a while to process that he was actually out of the race. I feel really bad for Scott because he drove an awesome race and deserved to win that, but I’ve had bad luck in previous races this year. For instance, the last one at Watkins Glen. I was leading and a lapped car compromised my race, and I had to finish second.”

Green-flag racing resumed with five minutes remaining, with Morad leading Chris Green and Robichon, who had run within a second of each other in a tight train for multiple laps before the caution period.

Morad got a strong jump on the restart and pulled away from Green, building and holding a lead of six-tenths of a second for the next three laps.

Then another pivotal moment arrived in the dramatic race when Green and Robichon made contact while dueling for second place with about one minute, 30 seconds remaining. Green’s No. 9 Porsche made contact with the wall in Turn 3, ending his race. Green, from Montreal, was unhurt and credited with sixth place overall and fifth in Platinum Cup.

The race ended under caution due to Green’s accident. Robichon was penalized 19 seconds after the race for incident responsibility, dropping him from second to fourth in the finishing order.

That vaulted Sanderson to second – his first overall podium finish since placing third in Round 3 in June 2015 at Toronto – and Cirone to third.

Platinum Masters

Sanderson started from the class pole and led the entire race for his first Platinum Masters victory since August 2015 at Trois-Rivières, Quebec. He also ended Cirone’s three-round win streak in the class.

“We had a good run,” Sanderson said. “It had a little bit of bumping and grinding going on up front, but we kept our nose clean and stayed out of it. Instead of looking at Marco’s back bumper, I had to worry about his front bumper today, but we had that long double yellow there at the end, and I think there was about seven minutes left on the restart.

“He had two slow cars to get by, and I only had one. I think he could have caught me had we not had (final yellow), but I don’t think he would have gotten by me with much ease.”

Gold Cup

Harvey earned his first Gold Cup victory since sweeping both rounds last June at Toronto, extending his winning streak in Canada’s largest city to three straight rounds.

“It was fabulous,” Harvey said. “My third victory. I love this track now.”

Shaun McKaigue, from Gilford, Ontario, placed second after starting from the class pole in the No. 34 Fiorano Racing Porsche. He and Platinum Cup driver Orey Fidani made contact early in the race, forcing unscheduled pit stops for both.

McKaigue returned to the race and then made contact with the wall in Turn 11 approximately 15 minutes into the race, forcing him to the pits again. This time he was forced to retire.

“I started and was behind Shaun and just pushed on, pushed on, pushed on,” Harvey said. “I feel sorry for Shaun because he dodged the wall in the last corner. After that, I just stayed on the track.”

Silver Cup

Danyliw remained unbeaten this season with his third victory in three starts in the class for the new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport race car. He started from the class pole and finished an impressive seventh overall.

“The car was fantastic today,” Danyliw said. “It was a lot more slippery in the afternoon. I was fighting understeer the entire time, but I was still able to do some fast laps and have a great time.

“It was unfortunate that we had two yellow flags, but it was good racing and a good experience. We have made a lot of progress with the car, and it felt really, really good in qualifying on new tires.”

Gerald Panneton, from Terra Cotta, Ontario, finished second in class and a strong eighth overall in the No. 57 Pfaff Motorsports 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 7 POST-RACE QUOTES

DANIEL MORAD (No. 17 Porsche Centre Oakville/Alegra Motorsports, winner): “It honestly took me a lap to realize what happened. I saw his car, but it took awhile to process that he was actually out of the race. I feel really bad for Scott (Hargrove) because he drove an awesome race and deserved to win that, but I’ve had bad luck in previous races this year. For instance, the last one at Watkins Glen. I was leading and a lapped car compromised my race, and I had to finish second. This is a big gift for me, one that I need, and it was overdue. This is a huge turning point in the championship because now I move into the lead. I’m not sure how much I lead by, but it must be six, seven points now. So that’s huge. As long as we can go back and forth trading wins, I should be in a good spot in the championship.” (About the restart): “I think my car was better on the shorter run, so I was actually pretty pleased with the first three or four laps. I didn’t think I was going to be under threat. But it was in the latter part of the run that I started coming under pressure from Chris (Green) behind me. I just had to try my hardest to keep him behind. It was important because if I hadn’t, the race wouldn’t have played out the way it did. If you look at the race in a whole, keeping Chris behind me in those few moments he was attacking me was a pivotal point for me, ensuring that I stayed in front and got the victory.”

TIM SANDERSON (No. 07 Porsche Centre Oakville/Alegra Motorsports, second; winner, Platinum Masters): “I hung with those guys for a bit. The No. 78 car (Zach Robichon) came out of nowhere on the first lap. I think he got a jump because he couldn’t get the car started on the grid. We had a good run. It had a little bit of bumping and grinding going on up front, but we kept our nose clean and stayed out of it. Instead of looking at Marco’s (Cirone) back bumper, I had to worry about his front bumper today, but we had that long double yellow there at the end, and I think there was about seven minutes left on the restart. He had two slow cars to get by, and I only had one. I think he could have caught me had we not had it, but I don’t think he would have gotten by me with much ease.”

MARTIN HARVEY (No. 08 Wingho Racing, winner, Gold Cup): “I started and was behind Shaun (McKaigue) and just pushed on, pushed on, pushed on. I feel sorry for Shaun because he dodged the wall in the last corner. After that, I just stayed on the track. There were a few Platinum cars that braked too much and spun, but I just stayed in and finished my race. It was fabulous. My third victory. I love this track now.”

ANDREW DANYLIW (No. 38 SCB Racing, first, Silver): “The car was fantastic today. It was a lot more slippery in the afternoon. I was fighting understeer the entire time, but I was still able to do some fast laps and have a great time. It was unfortunate that we had two yellow flags, but it was good racing and a good experience. We have made a lot of progress with the car, and it felt really, really good in qualifying on new tires, for sure. I think the track temperature was just really high this afternoon, and I was just getting a lot of push. You just had to be careful getting back on the throttle.”

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