Lazare Hits Mark for Fifth Straight Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA Pole Position

Jesse LazareThe streak stayed alive for the hometown kid.

Jesse Lazare, from Montreal, picked up his fifth straight Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama pole when the stakes were high. Lazare will start from pole for Round 5, this time in his hometown at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

He drove to the third-quickest overall time at 1 minute, 39.868 seconds in the No. 21 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche in the first-ever combined Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama event.

“It feels great to get pole in class in Montreal,” Lazare said. “I would have loved to get the overall pole, but I’m still looking at this race as just one race. I’m lucky to get to race against some great drivers out there, and I’m learning from there. I know I could have put a better lap together, which speaks volumes for what we can do tomorrow.”

Scott Hargrove, from Surrey, British Columbia, was the quickest in the field of 36 Porsches at 1:39.521 in the No. 28 OpenRoad Racing Porsche, leading a contingent of four Canadian-born drivers to the top four overall spots.

“The two front-runners did an excellent job of finding track, and I’ve just got to take that and learn from it,” Lazare said. “I know what I have to do tomorrow. I know everyone knows who they’re racing in front of, and with what we’ve seen today, I’m expecting a good, clean, green race.”

Lazare, who is 11 points back from the U.S. Platinum Driver championship lead, has a one-car gap for the Round 5 start over points leader Lucas Catania, from Cazenovia, New York. Catania qualified second in class and fifth overall with a top time of 1:40.384 in the No. 26 NGT Motorsport Porsche.

Mike Hedlund, from Redwood City, California, was the third-quickest qualifier in the Platinum Cup class at 1:40.915 in the No. 77 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche, his best qualifying effort of the season.

Ricardo Perez, from Mexico City, will start fourth after a top time of 1:41.011 in the No. 02 JDX Racing Porsche. Montreal native Chris Green rounded out the top five in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche, with a best time of 1:41.031.

Fred Poordad, from San Antonio, Texas, earned his first Platinum Cup Masters pole on a flying last lap in the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche to finish the session with a best time of 1:42.143.

“There were a lot of cars on the track, and it was difficult to get a gap, especially early on when the tires still weren’t up to temp and the pressures were low,” Poordad said. “So that was frustrating. With almost 40 cars out there, it’s hard to find a gap to get a clean run. But no excuses. The team put a really good car underneath me, but I didn’t extract what the car had to give early on. I think that bodes well for the race tomorrow.”

Sebastian Landy, from Great Falls, Virginia, was the top Gold Cup qualifier at 1:42.088 in the No. 49 TPC Racing Porsche. His qualifying run created a two-car gap between himself and class leader Michael de Quesada, who was the second-quickest class qualifier in the No. 31 Alegra Motorsports Porsche.

“This is probably one of the most important poles of all the places we’re going to go this year just because of traffic, and you want to take advantage of the track position as much as possible,” Landy said. “I’m really happy for Forto Strong Coffee to start from pole tomorrow at such a prestigious track. It’s a great event, and we’re happy to be a part of it.”

Round 5 starts at 4:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, June 11, with Round 6 starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 12.

For more information about Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, visit http://www.imsa.com, follow hashtag #GT3USA @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.

POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES:

JESSE LAZARE (No. 21 Kelly-Moss Road and Race, Platinum Cup pole): “It feels great to get pole in class in Montreal. I would have loved to get the overall pole, but I’m still looking at this race as just one race. I’m lucky to get to race against some great drivers out there, and I’m learning from there. I know I could have put a better lap together, which speaks volumes for what we can do tomorrow. I had a great car underneath me, and I’m looking forward to a great race and going for the win overall. At the beginning of qualifying, it was hard because we catch the tail end of the field pretty quickly when there are this many cars, but it’s the same for everyone and we can’t use that as an excuse. The two front-runners did an excellent job of finding track, and I’ve just got to take that and learn from it. I know what I have to do tomorrow. I know everyone knows who they’re racing in front of, and with what we’ve seen today, I’m expecting a good, clean, green race. I can’t thank all of my sponsors enough – Door Doctor, Porsche Prestige, Garaga, Micanan, TNR Doors, Olymbec and Smoke Show Sauce.”

FRED POORDAD (No. 20 Wright Motorsports, Platinum Masters pole): “There were a lot of cars on the track, and it was difficult to get a gap, especially early on when the tires still weren’t up to temp and the pressures were low, so that was frustrating. With almost 40 cars out there, it’s hard to find a gap to get a clean run. But no excuses. The team put a really good car underneath me, but I didn’t extract what the car had to give early on. I think that bodes well for the race tomorrow. This track is unforgiving, so I just need to stay clean. I’m thrilled to have the pole for the Masters, and I just need to put together a good race for Wright Motorsports.”

SEBASTIAN LANDY (No. 49 TPC Racing, Gold Cup Pole): “The first couple of laps I had to take it slowly to make sure I was staying off the curbs because I knew the pressures were going to take some time to come up. The classes all mixed together can be tricky. It’s hard to find that gap. But a couple of laps go by, and you can find that space and do something with it. This is probably one of the most important poles of all the places we’re going to go this year just because of traffic, and you want to take advantage of the track position as much as possible. I’m really happy for Forto Strong Coffee to start from pole tomorrow at such a prestigious track. It’s a great event, and we’re happy to be a part of it.”

Schedule

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

Round 6 (30 minutes): 10-10:30 a.m. Sunday, June 12

Driver Autograph Session: 11:15-11:45 a.m. Saturday, June 11, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge combined paddock, near the Olympic Rowing Basin

Race Coverage

Live timing: All on-track sessions at scoring.imsa.com

Twitter: Live text commentary from all sessions at @IMSALive

Source. LST Marketing

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