Since 2014, Lazare has competed on the iconic tracks on the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama schedule, including his first career victory in 2014 on Canadian turf at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
But now he is finally able to go home to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The scenic, riverside track in Montreal is a 10-minute drive from Lazare’s front door.
The next two rounds of the USA championship, June 10-12 in Montreal during the Canadian Grand Prix, will be the first visit back to the track for Lazare since he raced there in Formula 1600 and only his third race on the circuit despite growing up down the street.
But Lazare still knows the fast, 2.71-mile track located on an island in the St. Lawrence River, which is unlike anything on the U.S. schedule.
“The track really has a mind of its own,” Lazare said. “There’s no elevation, and there are heavy braking zones. There really isn’t a comparison to it.”
The weekend will showcase the first-ever combined races between the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama series, adding increased grid numbers and more competition for Platinum Cup championship hopeful Lazare.
“There are definitely going to be challenges,” Lazare said. “There are a lot of walls, so the hope is for good starts from the field, especially with the huge field we should have. But the heavy braking zones and multiple places to pass should make for a fantastic race.”
The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama series is familiar with the Montreal circuit, having raced there on the F1 weekend in 2013. But Lazare is also familiar with those teams and drivers. He grew up racing on the same karting circuits as series standouts Chris Green and Daniel Morad.
“I’ve known those guys since I was 8 years old,” Lazare said. “They’re both older than me, so I was always looking up to them. I’ve never raced against them, except for Chris at Sebring in March, so it’s going to be cool to be able to do that now.”
The Montreal event will feature two points-paying rounds for the USA and Canada championships, with separate points awarded within each series and class. Lazare will race at Montreal under the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama banner but also will think about a new award – the IMSA North American Cup – that will be in play for teams and drivers that compete in both series.
In addition to a full season in the U.S,. Lazare also plans to compete in two Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama events, May 20-22 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Aug. 10-12 at Trois-Rivières, Quebec, to maximize his fight for the IMSA North American Cup.
“The focus is still the U.S. championship,” Lazare said. “It’s important to me and extremely important to my team, Kelly-Moss Road and Race. But this gives me more track time, a great shot to be in the race for the North American Cup at the end of the season, and it adds additional markets for exposure for my team and sponsors.
“A lot of people are excited for this race. Kelly-Moss has been working extremely hard, and my sponsors Door Doctor, Micanan, Garaga and TNR are all ready for a great weekend. I’m so appreciative of them and can’t wait to put on a good show. It adds some pressure to the weekend, but it’s a nice pressure to have.”
Source. LST Marketing