Zacharie Robichon, driver of the No. 98 Mark Motors Racing Porsche, entered the final weekend of the 2018 Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama season leading the championship standings by 38 points. Seeking his 10th win of the season, only a disaster could keep the Ottawa native from his first championship.
Disaster didn’t strike, as Robichon led every lap to win the 45-minute race and clinch the 2018 Porsche GT3 Cup Canada Platinum class championship.
“The team has believed in me the whole time,” said Robichon, who delivered the first overall championship for Mark Motors since 2014. “I think I’m happier for them than I am anything because they deserve it more than anybody. They’ve been working so hard the last few years.
“For me, it was a matter of delivering that championship for them and I’m really happy I was able to do it. I’m happy for myself too, it’s fun to win races but everybody wants to win championships. I’m also more happy with the way that we did it this year. We had a great year and there’s still one more race to go and it’s another race we’re going to try to win.”
Yet he did have to overcome challenges to get his 10th victory of the season – including constant pressure from teammate Roman De Angelis in the No. 78 Porsche and rainy skies that opened up just before the halfway point of the 45-minute race. The race ultimately finished under red flag, which flew with just under 10 minutes remaining.
“The race today was weird because of the weather,” said Robichon. “I think we had a good car, we had the pace. As soon as I saw raindrops, I was very cautious. I saw that (De Angelis) was catching me, so I knew there was a little more grip. It was just a matter of, was I willing to take the chances with the grip – which turns out was there – but when I saw the rain, I was a little bit conservative.”
De Angelis finished second and Remo Ruscitti in the No. 96 OpenRoad Racing Porsche finished third.
The Platinum Masters championship was also clinched during Saturday’s race, with Martin Harvey in the No. 08 Wingho Racing / Porsche Prestige racecar taking the honors. Harvey finished second in the Platinum Masters class on Saturday – his seventh race of the season –and will go for his first class win during Race 2.
“I wasn’t at all the races this season because I’m not near Sebring and then Trois-Rivières was my daughter’s wedding,” said Harvey. “But we finished today second and won the championship. It wasn’t a big race today, but it was just okay. The car is perfect, it was a great season and this is my first Masters championship.”
Taking the Gold class victory in his first race of the season was Ilker Starck in the No. 48 Policaro Motorsport / SportsCarBoutique Porsche.
Lastly, the Yokohama Hard Charger Award, given to the driver who gained the most positions during the race, was handed to Max Tullman in the No. 83 Porsche Centre North Toronto / Tullman Walker Racing Porsche. Tullman is pulling double duty this weekend between Porsche GT3 Cup Canada and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
“The schedule is definitely really busy hopping between the two series,” said Tullman. “It’s usually busy when I go from the Trucks to ARCA or Xfinity too, but it’s definitely extra busy going between two different cars. It’s a lot heavier car in Trucks, but they’re both definitely a lot of fun. The Porsches are more torque and more nimble than sliding around in the Trucks. It’s a lot of fun in both series but it definitely takes time getting used to both, just going in and out within minutes of each other.”
The final race of the 2018 Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama season is scheduled for Sunday at 9:45 a.m. ET and will be streamed live on IMSA.tv.