Scott Hargrove continued his continental tour of speed Friday by winning the Platinum Cup pole for the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama season opener at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP).
2014 Platinum Cup champion Hargrove, from Surrey, British Columbia, turned a top lap of 1 minute, 19.719 seconds in the No. 28 OpenRoad Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. He edged 2015 Platinum Cup runner-up Daniel Morad, from Toronto, for the pole by .057 of a second. Morad’s best lap was 1:19.776 in the No. 17 Alegra Motorsports Porsche.
Hargrove is competing in Rounds 1 and 2 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, on the 10-turn, 2.459-mile (3.957 km) course in between two Indy Lights races at Indianapolis. He competed in the two Grand Prix of Indianapolis races on May 12-14 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and will race on the famous IMS oval in the Freedom 100 on Friday, May 27.
“If I was driving a completely different sports car to something I’ve never driven before, I’m sure it would take a little getting used to,” Hargrove said of the quick switch from an open-wheel car to a sports car. “But for me, it was almost like riding a bike this morning. I just hopped into the Porsche, and I felt like I was back at home.”
Series rookie Zach Robichon, from Ottawa, was third at 1:20.025 in the No. 78 Mark Motors Porsche. His teammate, three-time reigning Platinum Masters champion Marco Cirone of Toronto, was fourth at 1:20.265 in the No. 88 Mark Motors Porsche.
Michael de Quesada, from Odessa, Florida, rounded out the top five at 1:20.732 in the No. 16 Alegra Motorsports Porsche.
2011 Gold Cup champion Shaun McKaigue won the Gold Cup pole. McKaigue, from Gilford, Ontario, turned a top lap of 1:22.873.
Andrew Danyliw was the inaugural pole winner in the new-look Silver Cup class featuring the debut of Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport cars in the series. Danyliw, from Toronto, led at 1:30.334 in the No. 38 SCB Racing Porsche.
Round 1 starts at 2:45 p.m. (ET) Saturday. Round 2 begins at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Both races are 45 minutes long.
For more information about Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, visit http://www.imsa.com, follow hashtag #GT3CAN @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.
SCOTT HARGROVE (No. 28 OpenRoad Racing, Platinum Cup pole): “It has been since August since I was last in the car, so when I first got in it, I didn’t want to make any mistakes. It’s a bit of a difference from a formula car, and I knew I had two practice sessions to get used to the car again. No rush. I was feeling quite confident going into qualifying that I was where I was last year, so we decided to wait in pit lane to get some clear track, and it ended up working out. We got out there and two laps in the book, and that was enough for pole. It was pretty close. I think it’s going to be a good race between Zach (Robichon), Daniel (Morad) and myself for the win. We’re all right there. The OpenRoad Racing car is hooked up, so we’ll just see what happens in the race.” (About adjustment from open-wheel car to sports car in one week): “If I was driving a completely different sports car to something I’ve never driven before, I’m sure it would take a little getting used to. But for me, it was almost like riding a bike this morning. I just hopped into the Porsche, and I felt like I was back at home. The switch between Indy Lights and Porsche is not too difficult at the moment, but we’ll see what happens when I go back to Indy Lights on Monday. I’ll be on the superspeedway at Indy, and that will be an interesting experience having just raced a Porsche less than 24 hours before I’m on track there.”
MARCO CIRONE (No. 88 Mark Motors Racing, Platinum Masters top qualifier): “Most of my laps were pretty clean. I thought the car was absolutely perfect. I think I could have gone a little bit faster. I made a few mistakes. Perhaps I was just trying a little too much because the team told me I was only a few tenths off third place. Fourth place behind these talented drivers, in my book, that’s OK.” (Did racing in USA series in March at Sebring give you an advantage here?): “I love Sebring, and we got a chance to run the tires again, so I guess you could say we had a little more research and development on the car. Of course, whenever you can get seat time, that’s the most important thing. It definitely helped. I’m feeling it this weekend. I’m feeling really, really good. From a physical standpoint, I’m a lot better than I was last year, so hopefully that will pay off.”
SHAUN McKAIGUE (No. 34 Fiorano Racing, Gold Cup pole): “The first couple of laps were a little disjointed, and then I was able to put it down. I got two consecutive laps, so it was great. Came in, saved my tires. We’re pretty happy. We struggled a little bit with the setup. The last practice, we were still struggling. We’re not sure we’re 100 percent there, but it was pretty good time. I’m pretty happy about it. We made some somewhat significant changes (before qualifying), so we’re not sure how that’s going to work out for us later on. But Gianni from Fiorano always gives me a great car, and the guys from AquaPipe and Pfaff and Fer-Pal, they really deserve this pole. The guys on the crew are fantastic.”
ANDREW DANYLIW (No. 38 SCB Racing, Silver Cup pole): “It is a new car, so it is very much a development weekend for us. We did the best we could today. It’s an interesting, challenging track that presents other challenges for working with the car. The car is a really fantastic car to drive. I tested it in Daytona in the Continental series in January. It has a great deal of potential. It’s the first race weekend for the car, but I’m looking forward to driving it and getting the most out of it. I think it’s got a lot of time left in it, and we have to make sure we find it.”
Round 1 (45 minutes): 2:45-3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 21
Round 2 (45 minutes): 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Sunday, May 22
Driver Autograph Session: 11:15-11:45 a.m. Saturday, May 21, Yokohama Tire Service Center in paddock
Source. LST Marketing