On an overcast Sunday morning at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park – and one day after he clinched the Platinum class title – Robichon started from the pole position and led flag-to-flag to capture his 11th Porsche GT3 Cup Canada victory of the season’s 12 races.
“This weekend has been good, and stressful to be honest,” said Robichon. “When I got here, I knew yesterday all I needed to do was finish second to clinch the championship. But because of that I don’t think I drove my best yesterday and I was looking in the rearview mirror a little too much. Today, I didn’t want to do that.
“And I didn’t feel like yesterday was the proper way to end the championship with the way the race ended with the red flag. So today I wanted to do it properly and give a proper send off for what the team deserved just because they’ve been fantastic this year and this is all about them.”
The only race Robichon didn’t finish atop the podium this season was Round 5 at Circuit Villes Gillenueve in Montreal back in June, which saw the victory go to his teammate Roman De Angelis in the No. 78 Porsche. On Sunday, De Angelis took his second runner-up finish of the weekend after starting from the fourth position. The 17-year-old finished 44 points and runner-up to Robichon in the championship standings.
While Sunday’s race lead was never in question, there were several other battles throughout the running order that provided for some thrilling on-track action for the fans.
Policaro Motorsport / SportsCarBoutique teammates Michael Di Meo in the No. 35 Porsche and Jeff Kingsley in the No. 16 Porsche were within a second of each other for the entirety of the 45-minute race, as Kingsley was eager for Di Meo’s third-place position. The latter, however, was able to hold on to third to score his second podium of the year.
“I just had to keep my cool, not overdrive the car,” said Di Meo. “I knew I had more outright pace than (Jeff) did but in these cars, a little mistake is all it takes for the guy behind you to capitalize and pass. The key thing was to minimize mistakes, because I did make a few, and keep it clean.
“After missing the last race, to come back and get another podium is really special. All the people that support me and the team really deserve it.”
Another impressive performance throughout the race was shown by Remo Ruscitti in the No. 96 OpenRoad Racing Porsche. While a first-lap spin took Ruscitti out of contention for the victory, the Vancouver native rebounded from the back of the pack to finish sixth, which he stole from Stefan Rzadzinski in the No. 8 DFC Motorsport / Speedstar Motorsport Porsche on the last lap.
“I guess you could say it’s been a challenging year, a lot of lows and highs,” said Ruscitti. “Today again, I thought we had a really strong race pace. I think we maybe could’ve given Zach a shot today, but I didn’t get any room on the inside of Turn 1 and had contact with Roman which was frustrating.
“But the drive back was good. We had a pretty big deficit at one point and we finished sixth and had a pass on the last lap for the last spot. That was good, but it’s been a challenging year. But we finished third in the championship, and it was nice to solidify that. Hopefully will get a chance to make another run for it next year.”
Taking the Platinum Masters class victory was Perry Bortolotti in the No. 84 Mark Motors Racing Porsche. Bortolotti scored each of the six Platinum Masters victories he contested this season and finished second in the class’ championship standings behind Martin Harvey in the No. 08 Wingho Racing / Porsche Prestige race car, who clinched the title during Saturday’s race at CTMP.
Both the Gold class victory and the Yokohama Hard Charger Award for gaining the most positions during the race went to driver Marco Cirone in the No. 18 Porsche, also for Mark Motors Racing. Cirone swept the weekend’s Gold class races, bringing his total number of Gold class victories of the year up to four.
Cirone tied Michel Bonnet for the Gold class championship with four wins apiece, yet the tiebreaker was determined by the driver who achieved the highest result first during the season, which was Bonnet at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve back in June. Cirone’s first victory came the next race weekend at Honda Indy Toronto.
Drivers and teams will celebrate the season, receive championship trophies and other awards during the Porsche GT3 Cup Canada banquet on Sunday afternoon. A recap will follow later in the week.