The 2017 season for the IMSA Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama kicks off its seventh season May 19-21 as part of the Castrol Presents the Victoria Day SpeedFest Weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) in Bowmanville, Ontario.
The race weekend features two races, one Saturday, May 20 and one Sunday, May 21, each 45 minutes long, on the 2.459-mile (3.96 kilometer), 10-turn road course. The races will be preceded by two practice sessions on Friday, May 19 with qualifying taking place Saturday morning.
Series competition is divided into two classes: There’s Platinum Cup, featuring the all-new 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which is based on the current 911 street car; Gold Cup, which is comprised of the previous iteration (model years 2014-2016) of the race car. A Masters championship, for drivers 45 and over, is also contested within the Platinum Cup class.
There are plenty of contenders who will be fighting for the 2017 crown, including 2014 champion and 2016 runner-up Scott Hargrove, who already notched a win this year at the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA season opener at Sebring International Raceway.
Hargrove, who came up just five points shy in the championship chase last year, will be part of a four-car effort from Toronto-based Pfaff Motorsports, a veteran team with a history of success.
“It’s important to align yourself with like-minded people who are goal-oriented, and the group at Pfaff Motorsports is a perfect fit,” said Hargrove. “They want to win as much as I do.”
Hargrove, of Tsawwassen, British Columbia, will be driving the Castrol/Pfaff Porsche No. 9 entry in the Platinum Cup class.
Hargrove will be joined by Shawn McKaigue of Gilford, Ontario, in the FER-Pal No. 34 car of Pfaff Motorsports, as McKaigue moves to the Platinum Cup class from the Gold Cup class, where he was the 2016 champion.
The 2015 champion in the Gold Cup class, Orey Fidani of Woodbridge, Ontario, will be seeking another crown in the Pfaff Motorsports/Orlando Corporation No. 13. The fourth Porsche in the Pfaff stable will be driven by Ed Killeen of Buffalo, N.Y., moving up from the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport ranks. Killeen will be driving the No. 37 Life Storage car.
Like Pfaff Motorsports, Mark Motors Racing has multiple entries for the CTMP weekend. Zacharie Robichon of Ottawa, Ontario seeks to improve on his third-place finish in the Platinum Cup class championship in 2016, and he’s coming off a win in the final race of the season in his No. 98 GT3 Cup car.
Marco Cirone of Toronto is Robichon’s teammate in the Mark stables – he finished fourth in the 2016 Platinum Cup class standings, and will be looking to move up in his No. 88. Roman de Angelis of Belle River, Ontario, driving the Mark Motors No. 78, hopes to challenge Pfaff’s Fidani for Gold Cup class honors.
Alegra Motorsports, which fielded Daniel Morad’s championship-winning Platinum Cup class entry in 2016, is back with the No. 31 Insync entry for teenager Michael de Quesada of Tampa, Fla. Michael raced in several Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada events last year with his father, Carlos. And both were on the Rolex 24 At Daytona championship-winning Porsche team in the GT Daytona class last January, along with Morad.
Returning series veterans Tim Sanderson, from Pickering, Ontario, will be racing the DFC Motorsport-Speedstar Motorsport No. 07, and Martin Harvey of Berthierville, Quebec, will be competing in the Wingho Racing No. 08.
New to the series, and also worth watching in the Platinum Cup class: Pieter Baljet of Duncan, B.C., in the Porsche Center Victoria No. 15; Remo Ruscitti of Vancouver, B.C, in the No. 69 OpenRoad Racing Porsche; Maxwell Tullman of Chester Springs, Penn., in the Tullman Walker Racing No. 83, and Patrick Dussault of Montreal in the Lauzon Autosport-GT Racing No. 77. Also in a GT Racing entry: Etienne Borgeat of Montreal in the No. 2.
Another American racer, Neal Walker of Phoenixville, Pa., will be a teammate to Tullman in the No. 71 Tullman Walker Racing entry. This is the first season of Canadian competition for the Tullman Walker team who have contested several Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA events.
The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama produces 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. 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.
CTMP is the only circuit that hosts two event weekends for the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama. The final two rounds of the 12-round series take place during the Chevrolet Silverado 250 weekend on Sept. 1-3. The series also races in Montreal; Watkins Glen, N.Y.; Toronto and Trois-Rivières, Quebec.
Practice: 8:55 – 9:25 a.m. (EDT) and 2:10 – 2:50 p.m. Friday, May 19
Qualifying: 9:00 – 9:20 a.m. Saturday, May 20
Round 1 (45 minutes): 3:00 – 3:45 p.m. Saturday, May 20
Round 2 (45 minutes): 11:25 – 12:10 p.m. Sunday, May 21
About Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama
The IMSA-sanctioned Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama enters its seventh season in 2017 ready to produce more 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, and the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. The championship is one of 20 Porsche single-make Cup Challenge series in the world.
Racing is divided into three classes – Platinum Cup, featuring the new-for-2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which is based on the current generation of the street car; Gold Cup, which is comprised of the previous iteration (model years 2014-2016) of the race car; and the Silver Cup class consisting of competitors in the Cayman GT4 Clubsport. A Masters Championship also is conducted in the Platinum class. Each class is awarded with its own podium at the end of every race and individual champion at the end of every season. Points are awarded by finish in class.
Source. LST Marketing