Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Title Fights Take Big, Unique Spotlight in Historic Race at Montreal

Etienne BorgeatThe races for victory and championships will take a new and higher-profile dimension for the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama during its next two rounds.

Rounds 3 and 4 will take place June 10-12 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, as the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)-sanctioned Single-Make Series will step under a huge spotlight as a support race for the annual Canadian Grand Prix Formula One race. It’s the first time the series has competed on the Montreal F1 weekend schedule since 2013.

The event weekend also will make history because it’s the first time the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama will race simultaneously with its counterpart to the south, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.

Drivers will compete in two 30-minute races at Montreal. Round 3 is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, June 11. Round 4 is scheduled for 10 a.m. (ET) Sunday, June 12. Practice and qualifying are set for Friday, June 10.

The stakes will be high for every driver in Montreal.

There is little margin for error on the 13-turn, 2.71-mile (4.361 km) street circuit, which features a combination of long, fast straightaways, chicanes and a tight hairpin corner.

A strong qualifying performance and the ability to navigate race traffic will be even more important than usual, as there will be 36 cars competing on track in the combined USA-Canada field.

Both rounds also will be 30 minutes long, 15 minutes shorter than usual. So the all-out action will be even more intense as drivers claw their way up the running order and try to earn podium positions and points toward Platinum Cup and Gold Cup championships.

The opening two rounds of the championship May 20-22 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) set the stage at Montreal for a fascinating championship fight among three of Canada’s most promising young drivers and the three-time reigning Platinum Masters champion in the series.

Series rookie Zach Robichon, from Ottawa, took the Platinum Cup championship lead with 36 points by finishing third in Round 1 and earning his first career series victory in Round 2 in the No. 78 Mark Motors Racing Porsche. Robichon, 24, moved to sports car racing this season after competing in Canadian junior open-wheel formulas.

Robichon’s teammate, three-time reigning Platinum Masters champion Marco Cirone of Toronto, is second in points with 30 after finishing fourth and third, respectively, at CTMP in the No. 88 Mark Motors Porsche.

Daniel Morad, from Toronto, is third with 27 points in the No. 17 Porsche Centre Oakville/Alegra Motorsports entry. 2015 Platinum Cup championship runner-up Morad, 26, won Round 1 in a thrilling four-way duel with 2014 Platinum Cup champion Scott Hargrove, Robichon and Cirone.

But an early flashpoint in the season ignited in Round 2 when Morad and Hargrove were eliminated in an accident while dueling for the lead on the first lap. Hargrove, 21, from Surrey, British Columbia, fell to fifth in the Platinum Cup championship with 26 points in the No. 28 OpenRoad Racing Porsche.

Michael de Quesada, from Tampa, Florida, capitalized by finishing a career-best second in Round 2. De Quesada, 16, climbed to fourth in points with 27 in his first Platinum Cup season in the No. 16 Porsche Centre Oakville/Alegra Motorsports Porsche. He won six races and finished runner-up last season in the Gold Cup class as a rookie.

But de Quesada also leads the Gold Cup class this season in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and will compete in that class at Montreal as he aims to win the new IMSA North American Cup awarded to the driver who scores the most points between the two series this season.

Two other Platinum Cup competitors will race on home turf at Montreal.

Etienne Borgeat, from Montreal, will drive the No. 2 Porsche Lauzon/GT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car after finishing fourth in Round 2 at CTMP.

Series rookie Valerie Chiasson, from Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, is the first full-time female competitor in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama. Chiasson, 25, will drive the No. 27 Porsche Prestige/GT Racing entry at Montreal after earning a historic podium finish at the event last season in another Canadian series.

Quebec driver Martin Harvey also will look for a strong performance in the Gold Cup class. Harvey, from nearby Berthierville, Quebec, excels on street circuits as he swept both rounds last season in Toronto in the No. 08 Wingho Racing entry.

Shaun McKaigue, from Gilford, Ontario, leads the Gold Cup standings with 38 points after winning Round 1 at CTMP in the No. 34 Fiorano Racing/Pfaff Porsche entry. Bruno Chapinotti, from Bowmanville, Ontario, is second with 38 points after winning Round 2 in the No. 03 DFC Motorsport/Downtown Porsche entry.

The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama will produce intense, exciting competition for semi-professional and aspiring professional drivers in the world’s most produced and iconic race car, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, at Montreal. The championship is one of 20 global Porsche single-make Cup Racing series and is the perfect platform for aspiring drivers to ascend to the highest levels of GT competition, such as the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The series also races twice at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario; at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York; on the Streets of Toronto and at Trois-Rivières, Quebec.

Schedule

Practice: 8:35-9:15 a.m. (ET) Friday, June 10

Qualifying: 5:35-6:05 p.m. Friday, June 10

Round 1 (30 minutes): 4:30-5 p.m. Saturday, June 11

Round 2 (30 minutes): 10-10:30 a.m. Sunday, June 12

Driver Autograph Session: 11:15-11:45 a.m. Saturday, June 11, Yokohama Tire Service Centre in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge combined paddock

Source. LST Marketing

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