MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/19/13 -- Editor's Note: Photos for this release will be available on the Canadian Press picture wire via Marketwire.
The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin drivers may barbecue together off the track, but on track they are fierce competitors. Tight battles took place within the field at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19, but the participants kept the race clean at the 2013 Castrol Presents Victoria Day Speedfest Weekend.
"It was the perfect start to this season," said Joe Lawrence, President & CEO, Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. "The weather was fantastic, we saw a tight race for the podium, and the new track accommodations enhanced the entire experience."
"We couldn't be happier with the result of the weekend," said IMSA Development Series Director Steven Sewell. "We had good, clean racing and showcased youthful talent at the front mixed with experienced drivers throughout the Masters class."
Pfaff/Alegra Motorsports started the 2013 season on a high note at the Saturday race, producing two Platinum Cup podium finishes in the first of two 45-minute races. Spencer Pigot led the field flag-to-flag and teammate Chris Green finished in second. Pigot maintained speed throughout the 32 laps, posting his fastest time on lap 16 of the circuit.
"It went pretty perfect," Pigot said. "We were able to get a good lead off the start, made a little mistake in the middle that allowed David (Ostella) to catch up and it was pretty close there for a while and I just had to keep pushing to keep him behind me. And eventually with the traffic I was able to get a gap with him. I'm very happy with the weekend so far and can't thank the guys at Alegra and Pfaff enough to be here."
Green's run to a second-place finish started on lap two when he passed rookie David Ostella after making contact at Turn 5B. Ostella wouldn't let Green by easily, however, and seven laps later was back ahead of Green in second position. As Ostella made runs at the leader, Green continued to creep up on the 21-year old and eventually passed Ostella on the 29th lap with five minutes remaining.
Although Ostella was never able to pass Pigot and finished fifth overall, he produced some impressive numbers including setting a race lap record in his first closed-cockpit car, battling the fellow former open-wheel racer. On lap 10, Ostella began the chase to Pigot, posting the fastest lap in the field at that point. He followed it with another fastest time on lap 11 and shortened the gap to just seven-tenths of a second in lap 17, but a minor racing incident with a lapped car ultimately slowed his progress.
With only two laps to go, GT Racing's Jean-Frederic Laberge made a pass into third position after holding onto fourth for the majority of the race. The Montreal native is pleased with making it to the podium.
Tim Sanderson opened up the 2013 season with a first-place finish in the Gold class. Sanderson represents Racing for Joanne's House this season and moved up from 12th starting position to finish 11th overall in Race 1 of the Castrol Presents Victoria Day Speedfest. His time best lap of 1:24.116 is now a track-best time in the Gold Cup category.
While Carlos de Quesada of Pfaff/Alegra Motorsports finished second followed by Martin Barkey with Fiorano/Garage Racing, who finished third, both drivers were experiencing series "firsts". Today's event was Barkey's first green flag in Series competition, and De Quesada was learning his Gold Cup car in his first race in that class.
Race 2 was filled with lead changes in the Platinum Cup as the contest for best tire preservationist unfolded. A small war for the podium took place between rookie driver David Ostella of SpeedMerchants and Pfaff/Alegra Motorsports teammates Spencer Pigot and Chris Green.
"It was an awesome race," Ostella said. "The car is back together probably better than yesterday! The guys did awesome and the team is great - Once I got in the front it was just about being consistent and being smooth and making sure I stayed up front. I had one incident and almost spun it but I kept it under control and Spencer (Pigot) got by me there, but I just worked my way back up and got him back and kept my head down. The GT3 Cup car is awesome and my Michelin tires were amazing-they were consistent the whole way through and it was just a great race today."
Fans saw a mix of familiar faces with new drivers stepping up to bring home the hardware.
Ostella started in third position off the grid and jumped up to first by lap seven. His patience was apparent as he saved his tires for the latter half of the race. While Pigot and Green posted fastest laps on their fifth time around the circuit, Ostella posted his top two fastest times on lap 17 and 19.
The newest addition to the SpeedMerchants team clinched his first victory in the series and tallied 32 total points under the near-perfect weather conditions at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Pigot and Green were back on the podium for Pfaff/Alegra Motorsports for the second time of the weekend, racking up points for the team.
Green started in pole position after posting the second-fastest time in the qualifying session. The Montreal native held onto the lead for a few laps before dropping back to third position. In the Gold Cup, Tim Sanderson with Racing for Joanne's House earned his second title of the weekend. Sanderson was joined on the podium by Carlos de Quesada for the second time this weekend.
SportsCarBoutique's newest entry Andrew Danyliw finished third in the Gold Cup standings, just in front of Fiorano/Garage Racing's Martin Barkey in the third position of Masters Gold Cup.
The Masters Championship competitors were not to be outdone by the youthful leaders at the front of the pack. Anthony Mantella of SpeedMerchants and Marco Cirone of Mark Motors Racing took turns leading the Masters Platinum Cup and were as close as two tenths throughout the race. Cirone started off the grid in fourth position and Mantella began in seventh.
Mantella worked his way up to surpass Cirone and hung on for the duration of the race, but with just five laps remaining Cirone took the lead. With the win, Cirone racks up his second victory of the weekend and leads the points standings in the Masters Platinum Cup.
SpeedMerchants team owner Jim Hoddinott was pleased with Mantella's performance in the 45-minute sprint.
Coming in third for GT Racing was Etienne Borgeat, racking up more points after a second-place finish in Race 1 of the Castrol Presents Victoria Day Speedfest Weekend.
Perry Bortolotti was able to hold off Ilker Starck for eighth position overall. Less than one second separated the two for the duration of the 45-minute sprint.
Round three of the 2013 Ultra 94 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Series takes place June 7-9 in Montreal for the Grand Prix du Canada. For series news and updates, follow us on Twitter at @GT3Canada or on Facebook.
For race results, event information or to download a Spotter's Guide, visit http://imsachallenge.ca.
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin is one of three official Development Series sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). It is also the fastest-growing single-make series in North America. The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin produces intense, exciting competition for semi-professional drivers alongside some of the most promising career-minded GT drivers in one of the world's most successful and iconic race cars, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, and on classic Canadian road courses such as Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
For more information on the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin, visit http://www.facebook.com/gt3canada on Facebook and @GT3Canada on Twitter.
To view the photos associated with this press release, please visit the following links:
Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd.
647 531 2992
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