The IMSA-sanctioned Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama series was at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park just two months ago for Victoria Day SpeedFest, and it returns for another equally big weekend with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
While CTMP hosted the opening rounds of the 2019 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada season, this weekend’s Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix marks the fifth and sixth races in the series’ 12-round championship. The two most recent races were held at the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix in June at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
All eyes will be on Roman De Angelis, the 18-year-old who is riding a three-race win streak that started when he won Round 2 at CTMP. De Angelis then proceeded to sweep the doubleheader weekend in Montreal in his No. 79 Mark Motors Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which will be one of 14 on the grid this weekend.
“I’d just like to start by saying what a performance by the team in Montreal,” said De Angelis. “It was a really important weekend for me, and for it to come off perfect is what I could have hoped for. I cannot wait for the upcoming back-to-back weekends with Mark Motors. I really hope we can keep the momentum pushing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.”
De Angelis has built a 15-point lead in the championship standings over Parker Thompson in the No. 3 Porsche for SCB Racing. One point separates the drivers in third and fourth place, with Patrick Dussault in the No. 77 Lauzon Autosport racecar having 112 points and Jeff Kingsley at 111 in the No. 16 Policaro Motorsport Porsche. Kingsley was the winner of Round 1 at CTMP.
Seven drivers in the field are also competing for the Platinum Masters championship for drivers 45 and older. Again, a narrow one-point margin separates the top two contenders in that title hunt. Alan Metni in the No. 99 Kelly-Moss/AM Motorsport Porsche has 120 points and Marco Cirone with 119 in the No. 88 Porsche with Mark Motors.
It’s Cirone, though, that has claimed two of the four Platinum Masters wins so far this season and two overall podiums, making some competitors view him as one to beat.
One of those competitors is Michael Levitas in the No. 37 TPC Racing Porsche. Levitas joined the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada field at Montreal and scored a Platinum Masters victory of his own in Round 4.
“I’ve raced quite a few times at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and I’m really excited to come up there and race,” said Levitas. “I just can’t say enough about being able to join the Canadian series and I feel really fortunate to be able to race with everybody. I’m looking forward to some great racing and maybe I’ll have something for that Marco Cirone.”
Two practice sessions are on deck for GT3 Cup Canada on Friday, along with qualifying for Race 1 at 5:30 p.m. ET. The first of two, 45-minute races this weekend goes green on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. The second race is scheduled for Sunday also at 10:30 a.m.
Both races will be streamed live on the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama Facebook page.