MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 08/12/13 -- The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Series matched the illustrious reputation of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car with a distinguished, caution-free Race 1 at Circuit de Trois-Rivieres. The IMSA Development Series made its debut at the track in the 44th edition of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres.
The 1.5-mile, 10-turn circuit is the first temporary street course that any Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge series has raced on in North America. In its opening competition, the drivers lit up the record books with historic performances and the veteran drivers' expertise was on full display.
Jean-Frederic Laberge of GT Racing took the checkered for the second consecutive time this season, regaining his brilliance from the 2012 season. Laberge got a jump on polesitter Chris Green in Lap 1, and held onto the lead for 40 total laps.
"I am happy to be back on the podium again," Laberge said. "I am now reclaiming my luster from last season. Everything is turning well. I am happy that Etienne (Borgeat) was on the podium with me."
GT Racing teammate Etienne Borgeat also shined in Round 7 of the 2013 season with a third-place finish to give the team significant Platinum Cup points. He charged from a ninth-place starting position to seize a third-place finish in the Platinum Cup.
In between the French Canadians was SpeedMerchants' David Ostella with his sixth podium finish of the season.
With nonstop action from start to finish, the battles in the middle of the pack were just as intense. Gold Cup competitors Carlos de Quesada of Pfaff/Alegra, Tim Sanderson and Martin Barkey exchanged positions in the many braking zones throughout the track that allow for clean passes. Barkey referred to his run in his Garage Racing entry as "wrestling" with the track as he adjusted to the tight turns and narrow stretches of the street circuit.
Ultimately, de Quesada won the top position for the Gold Cup, followed by Sanderson and Barkey.
GT Racing's Etienne Borgeat claimed his first Masters Championship win of the season with a 45-minute sprint performance in which he patiently picked off opponents to climb his way to the top. Borgeat's expertise was evident as he mastered the tricky and unique Circuit de Trois-Rivieres.
Marco Cirone battled against the odds on the temporary street circuit, starting from the last position on the grid to end up fourth in the Platinum Cup and second in the Masters Championship. The Mark Motors Racing driver had gained four positions by the fourth lap and pressured fellow drivers religiously until the checkered flag waved.
SpeedMerchants' Anthony Mantella battled with Mark Motors' Perry Bortolotti for several laps and moved onto another fight with Borgeat later in the race. Mantella kept it clean, just as the rest of the field, displaying the smooth passes the course allows for. He secures his sixth podium of the season with the third place finish.
Sunny skies and warm weather greeted the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin participants as they started their engines on the grid Sunday morning. Drivers and teams took the Circuit de Trois-Rivieres for the second round of the double header as fans filled the stands along the front straight.
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