Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Toronto Indy Grand Prix Friday Notebook
Friday, July 14, 2017

The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama returned to competition today on one of the favored stops in the 10-Round tour, the streets of Toronto, Ontario, as part of the IndyCar Series weekend.

Competitors enjoyed both an early morning practice session and a late afternoon round, giving them distinctly different looks at a bumpy, ever-changing concrete and asphalt circuit. The 1.755-mile, 11-turn temporary course winds around Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto providing plenty of on- and off-track excitement for drivers and fans alike.

Scott Hargrove entered this weekend leading the Platinum Cup Championship by virtue of his four wins and one second-place finish out of the five previous rounds of competition. His No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports/Castrol entry has been followed closely all season by the No. 98 Mark Motors Racing entry driven by Ottawa’s Zacharie Robichon. Nearly as perfect as Hargrove, Robichon has four second-place finishes and one win to his credit to stay in close contention.

In today’s two practice sessions, however, it was Hargrove giving himself some distance on Robichon, staying nearly a full second ahead with a fastest lap time of one minute, 13.289 seconds in the second practice. Expect Robichon to apply greater pressure tomorrow during qualifications.

In Platinum Masters, the class for drivers 45 years of age and older, Pickering’s Tim Sanderson registered the fastest lap in the combined practice results in the No. 07 DFC Motorsport/Speedstar Motorsport GT3 Cup car. His 1:15.033 time was also good enough for fifth fastest overall, proving that skill abides in all ages of competition.

Toronto’s Marco Cirone will certainly be working with his Mark Motors Racing team tonight to find speed for tomorrow and protect his lead in the Masters Championship. Sanderson is currently second in points behind Cirone.

In Gold Cup, Roman De Angelis of Belle River has been burning up racetracks both here in Canada and in the USA. He is competing in both the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series and its sister championship in the USA. He leads the points in Canada and is second in the USA, having missed two races on their schedule.

Today would come as no surprise as De Angelis piloted the No. 78 Mark Motors entry to the best time in class with a 1:15.139, good enough for sixth overall. He will be checking his mirrors tomorrow though, as newcomer Gianmarco Raimondo of St. Catharines was hot on his heels with a 1:15.289 for GT Racing. Today was Raimondo’s first time in a Porsche GT3 Cup car in this series, on this circuit. Not bad for a rookie.

All drivers improved from practice one to practice two as the streets of Toronto picked up plenty of racing rubber during the day. Tomorrow’s qualifying and Race 1 of the weekend should prove exciting.

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

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.

Schedule (all times ET):

Qualifying: 9:15 – 9:45 a.m. Saturday, July 15

Round 1: 5:20 – 6:05 p.m. Saturday, July 15

Round 2: 1:40 p.m. – 2:25 p.m.  Sunday, July 16 – Will be streamed live on IMSA.tv

Race Coverage

Live timing: All on-track sessions at scoring.imsa.com and on the official IMSA App for iOS

Twitter: Live text commentary from all sessions at @IMSALive

TV/Live Streaming: Race two will streamed live on IMSA.tv. The race weekend will be aired on TSN on Saturday, July 29 at 2 p.m. It will run on RDS2 on Sunday, August 20 at 2 p.m. and finally on Motorsport.com on Saturday, August 12 at 9:00 p.m.