Last year’s Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama Platinum Cup championship runner-up got his efforts to improve one more position this season off to a successful start on Thursday afternoon at Sebring International Raceway, with a last-lap victory in the 45-minute race.
Driving the No. 98 Mark Motors Racing Porsche, Robichon passed his Mark Motors teammate, Roman De Angelis in Turn 16 on the final lap and went on to win by 0.305 seconds. De Angelis, who was representing the No. 78 Mark Motors team in GT3 Cup Challenge Canada but was driving the No. 1 Kelly-Moss Road and Race entry in GT3 Cup Challenge USA, led all but the final lap of the Canadian race.
It was Robichon’s fifth career victory in GT3 Cup Challenge Canada competition.
“It was a really fun race,” Robichon said. “At the beginning of the race, we really struggled. The car wasn’t quite there. I actually didn’t want the caution to come out, because we really started catching them once I got into a rhythm. At the end, after the restart, the same thing, a couple laps we struggled a little bit, but Roman was starting to fall off a little bit.
“He’s my teammate, so we’re good friends, and it’s tough to battle with those kinds of people, but we went for it. He left the door open just a little bit in 16, so I went to the inside, got up alongside him. It was an aggressive move, but I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. It was fun racing with the guys up front.”
De Angelis admitted after the race that Robichon’s move caught him somewhat by surprise on the final lap. Nevertheless, he came home with two runner-up results in the same race – also taking second in the GT3 Cup Challenge USA race.
“Honestly, I don’t really know (what happened),” De Angelis said. “I looked in the mirror when I turned in and I saw the front bumper of his car, so I didn’t think he was going to lunge, but he went for the pass. I have to see the video to see if it was a decent pass or not, but he made the move stick and he got the win, so I guess he’s a better driver today.”
Finishing third in GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Platinum Cup was Remo Ruscitti in the No. 96 OpenRoad Racing entry. In Platinum Cup Masters, Marco Cirone took the victory in the No. 88 Mark Motors Porsche.
The second half of this week’s Sebring doubleheader takes the green flag 11:20 a.m. ET Friday. The race will be streamed live on IMSA.com.