The oldest street course in North America will host one of the most competitive series this weekend, when the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama rolls into Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, for a pair of 45-minute races at the 10-turn, 1.52-mile Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres.
If any marque should feel welcome at Trois-Rivieres, it should be Porsche, winner of dozens of races at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, dating back to the beginning: The first race there was held Sept. 8-9, 1967, and was won by a Porsche driven by Jacques Duval, now a member of the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Fast-forward just shy of 50 years, and Porsche is back at Trois-Rivieres, with a brand-new car that debuted in the GT3 Cup Challenge series earlier this season. The Porsches racing in the top Platinum class are all-new 2017 cars, while the Porsches competing in the Gold class are models from 2014-2016.
So far in 2017, Tsawwassen, British Columbia driver Scott Hargrove has been the man to beat, steering his Pfaff Motorsports/Castrol No. 9 to six victories, including a sweep of the two most recent races, on the streets of Toronto July 14-16.
Still, the series’ second-place driver, who beat Hargrove at the Watkins Glen International race in New York that combined the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA fields, remains in striking distance: Zacharie Robichon, the Ottawa, Ontario pilot of the No. 98 Mark Motors Racing car, has had a remarkably consistent season, finishing on the podium in every round.
Were it not for Hargrove, Robichon would be enjoying a comfortable lead in the points, ahead of his closest competitor, Michael de Quesada of Tampa, Florida, in the No. 31 entry for Alegra Motorsports. Shed no tears for de Quesada, though – he started out 2017 the best possible way, as part of the Alegra team that drove their Porsche 911 GT3 R to a GT Daytona victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Still, Hargrove will be tough to beat this weekend. He has won at least one of the two Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada races each year since 2014.
In the Gold class, Roman De Angelis of Bell River, Ontario, driver of the No. 78 Mark Motors entry, appears to have a solid grasp on the 2017 championship. In fact, De Angelis has been making so many trips south of the border that he is only one point from the Gold Championship lead in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA standings.
With three races going on at once – Platinum, Platinum Masters and Gold classes – there’s little doubt Porsche will once again bring to Trois-Rivieres the sort of top-level competition it has since 1967.
The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama will run a pair of 45-minute races on the renowned street circuit – the first Saturday, Aug. 12, at 2:25 p.m. EDT, with the second taking the green flag Sunday, Aug. 13, at 10 a.m.
For more information about Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, visit IMSA.com, and follow hashtag #GT3CAN at @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook. The races will air live on IMSA.tv, and statistics will be available at IMSA.com.
The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama season will be highlighted with four televised races on The Sports Networks (TSN), Réseau des sports (RDS) and Motorsport.tv in Europe.
Schedule (all times ET):
Practice: 1:35-2:10 p.m. and 4:35-5:10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11
Qualifying: 8:30-8:50 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12
Round 1: 2:25 p.m.-3:40 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12
Round 2: 10-10:45 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 13
Source. LST Marketing