Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Toronto Indy Grand Prix Saturday Notebook
Saturday, July 15, 2017

The downtown streets of Toronto surrounding Exhibition Place provided a unique backdrop for the drivers and teams of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama as they took to the circuit Saturday for the first of two weekend races.

Scott Hargrove’s execution has been nearly flawless this season, thusly his pole position was seemingly mechanical. Following his usual pattern, he checked out from the rest of the field early in the race in his No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports/Castrol Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. He was never challenged during the majority of the event and survived a one-lap shootout with Zacharie Robichon for the checkered flag, after a brief late-race caution period. It marks Hargrove’s third series win at Toronto and fifth of the season. Robichon recorded his fifth second-place finish in the No. 98 Mark Motors Racing entry this year with one win to his credit as well.

Fifth-place starter Patrick Dussault gained two spots to finish third in Platinum in the No. 77 for Lauzon Autosport/GT Racing. It was his first podium of the season, also earning the Yokohama Hard Charger Award for advancing the most positions in Platinum Cup competition.

Platinum Masters action was engaging from the drop of the green flag as class pole winner Tim Sanderson found trouble on Lap 1, dropping his No. 07 DFC Motorsport/Speedstar Motorsport car four positions on track. This started an immediate battle with fellow classman Shaun McKaigue, who was one spot behind him in the Pfaff Motorsports/FER-PAL Infrastructure No. 34.

The pair put on a bumper-to-bumper duel for the next 15 laps in front of the Ontario crowd, until McKaigue had enough and made the pass for position on Lap 16.

Sanderson wasn’t finished, however. Keeping tight with McKaigue for the next six laps, Sanderson setup a pass on Lap 22. That pass held until the end of the race, even through the last-lap dash to the finish.

As exciting as that was, points leader Marco Cirone took advantage of Sanderson’s misfortune and never looked back. Cirone drove a quick and consistent race to take his fourth class win of the season in the No. 88 for Mark Motors. Sanderson and McKaigue had to settle for second and third, respectively.

Hargrove hasn’t been the only dominant force this year. Roman De Angelis hadn’t missed a beat leading into this weekend, taking every pole and win thus far for Mark Motors in the No. 78. But that all changed today at the hands of newcomer Gianmarco Raimondo in the No. 76 of GT Racing.

Raimondo grabbed the lead on the very first lap, but wasn’t exactly clear of De Angelis who kept stalking for the better part of the race. Slowly reeling Raimondo back in, De Angelis went for a pass on Lap 23 as the pair approached Turn 3. Slight side-to-side contact resulted in the pair briefly spinning off course into the runoff, but immediately returning to the fray.

Demonstrating the acuity of a veteran, rookie De Angelis continued valiantly, but never got a shot at another pass, giving up the win to Raimondo. It was the end of De Angelis’ perfect season as the rookie took the second spot on the podium alongside the newcomer.

QUALIFYING

Qualifying results Saturday on the streets of Toronto for the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama were of no surprise to fans of the single-make series. Friday’s fastest drivers in the two practice sessions repeated their performance in each of the three classes of competition.

Scott Hargrove topped the time sheet in Platinum Cup and overall with a time of one minute, 12.434 seconds – a qualifying record for the circuit’s latest, slightly longer, configuration. His No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports/Castrol entry was followed closely by Zacharie Robichon in the No. 98 Mark Motors Racing Porsche GT3 Cup car. Robichon made up some ground on Hargrove from practice results, cutting the gap by half a second with a fastest lap of 1:12.791.

In Platinum Masters, Tim Sanderson continued his charge in the No. 07 DFC Motorsport/Speedstar Motorsport machine by posting a fastest lap of 1:13.687, an improvement of 1.346 seconds from his fastest practice time and quick enough for fourth overall. It was Sanderson’s first pole in Masters this season, starting him ahead of Masters points leader, Marco Cirone.

Roman De Angelis continued his impressive season in the No. 78 Mark Motors entry, posting another pole in the Gold Cup class. His fast time of 1:14.576 was seventh fastest overall, but a scant .163 ahead of newcomer Gianmarco Raimondo in the No. 76 GT Racing entry.

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):

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.

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