Spencer Pigot put a heartbreaking result from Round 5 into the vanishing point of his rear-view mirror, winning Round 6 of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Sunday, July 20 on the Streets of Toronto.
It was the first victory of the season in the No. 21 Alegra Motorsports Porsche for Pigot, 20, from Orlando, Florida. He led with seven minutes remaining in Round 5 Saturday when a belt broke in his car, causing him to retire in 15th place and handing the lead and an eventual victory to Scott Hargrove.
Pigot beat both of his fellow championship contenders, Hargrove and Chris Green, for the first time this season Sunday after Hargrove and Green were both forced to drive to the podium from deep in the pack after an incident between them early in the 45-minute race.
"It was really a very straightforward race for me," Pigot said. "I was just out by myself, and I didn't really have to push it that hard, just hit my marks and don't make any mistakes. Just a big thanks to everyone at Alegra for all the hard work this weekend."
Hargrove, from Surrey, British Columbia, finished 16.379 seconds behind Pigot in the No. 69 OpenRoad Racing 911 GT3 Cup car. Platinum Cup (2014 model cars) championship leader Hargrove has finished first or second in all six rounds this season in theInternational Motor Sports Association (IMSA)-sanctioned series. He leads second-place Green, 116-100, in the championship.
Green, from Montreal, placed third in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche for his fifth podium finish this season.
|Platinum Masters podium finishers (from left): Perry Bortolotti, Carlos de Quesada|
Carlos de Quesada, from Odessa, Fla., finished a season-best fourth in the No. 22 Alegra Motorsports entry and was the first finisher in the Platinum Masters (drivers 45 and older) class. Santiago Creel, from Mexico City, rounded out the top five in the No. 60 Wright Motorsports Porsche.
Pigot took the lead when race officials ordered Hargrove to serve a drive-through penalty for contact with Green in Turn 2 after a restart 16 minutes into the race. Green spun and backed into the wall, suffering damage, in the incident.
Hargrove passed Creel for third with an inside move on the backstretch with 15 minutes remaining in the race and then dove under the No. 2 GT Racing Porsche of Etienne Borgeat for second in Turn 3 on the next lap.
Meanwhile, Green climbed from seventh to third in a five-minute span late in the race despite a damaged front splitter. He passed de Quesada for fourth in Turn 1 and then dove under Borgeat for third in Turn 8 on the same lap, with seven minutes remaining.
Pigot maintained his cool and his gap over Hargrove during the closing laps. The charging Hargrove was able to slice only two seconds into Pigot's lead during the final 13 minutes.
"It was going to be a good battle between Scott and I," Pigot said. "We were both really close the first few laps. Unfortunately, him and Chris got together, and he got a penalty."
Perry Bortolotti, from Kanata, Ontario, placed second in Platinum Masters in the No. 84Mark Motors Racing Porsche. His teammate, Marco Cirone of Toronto, was third in Platinum Masters.
|Gold Cup podium finishers (from left): Tim Sanderson, Jerimy Daniel, Ilker Starck|
Jerimy Daniel, from Candiac, Quebec, completed a sweep of the Gold Cup (2010-2013 car models) class this weekend with his fourth victory of the season in the No. 75 TRC Porsche. Daniel took the victory despite a close call during a late-race collision in Turn 3 with fellow Gold competitor Shaun McKaigue in the No. 34 Fiorano Racing Porsche.
Daniel took the Gold Cup championship lead, 104-102, over Tim Sanderson with the victory. They were tied atop the standings after Round 5 Saturday.
Sanderson, from nearby Pickering, Ontario, was second in Gold in the No. 07 Alegra Motorsports/Northwest Atlantic Motorsports GT3 Cup car, 6.572 seconds behind Daniel. Ilker Starck completed the repeat of the Gold podium from Saturday, finishing third in the No. 48 SCB Racing/Downtown Porsche entry.
|Silver Cup podium finishers (from left): Keith Bass, Chuck Harris|
Chuck Harris, from Tampa, Florida, continued his perfect record in Silver Cup (2005 ½-2009 model cars) with his sixth victory in the class this season in the No. 50 Alegra Motorsports 911 GT3 Cup car. Teammate Keith Bass, also from Tampa, Florida, was second in the No. 49 Alegra Motorsports entry.
Rounds 7 and 8 of the 10-round season are scheduled for Aug. 9-10 during theGP3R Grand Prix Trois-Rivières at Trois-Rivières, Quebec, the only event in the series in Quebec.
"You know what, we've got four more races to go, and you are going to see some interesting things," Green said.
For more information on the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin, visit www.imsa.com and @IMSA on Twitter with the hashtag #GT3CAN. Live commentary for both races will be provided on Twitter at @IMSALive.
ROUND 6 POST-RACE QUOTES:
SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Alegra Motorsports, winner): "It was a good race. It was going to be a lot of fun. It was going to be a good battle between Scott (Hargrove) and I. We were both really close the first few laps. Unfortunately, him and Chris (Green) got together, and he got a penalty. So it was really a very straightforward race for me. I was just out by myself, and I didn't really have to push it that hard, just hit my marks and don't make any mistakes. Just a big thanks to everyone at Alegra for all the hard work this weekend."
SCOTT HARGROVE (No. 69 OpenRoad Racing, second): "That was a close race. We were running really close, especially at the start. I got a really good start and got up to second, and then on the restart I tried to pass Chris (Green). I was on the inside of him, and he didn't give me an extra inch and I didn't give him an extra inch, and it resulted in a little bit of contact. Unfortunately, he got the worse end of it, so they gave me a drive-through penalty. I served it and drove right back up to second place. So it was still a great result for the team, a great result for OpenRoad Racing and great for the championship. So we're looking good for the rest of the year."
CHRIS GREEN (No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports, third): "The race started off fantastic. Got to Turn 1 with a clear lap. I saw Scott (Hargrove), he was kind of running off track, out of the track limits. He was coming at me in Turn 1. I was able to clear him, but the moment I started getting a little bit of rotation on my car and I had just positioned myself for Turn 2, he took advantage of that and ran into the rear of my car and spun me around. I did the best I could with the damage on the car. The car was virtually undriveable at that point. But hey, we pulled together a third-place finish today. The team deserves it. I let them down yesterday. You know what, we've got four more races to go, and you are going to see some interesting things."
CARLOS DE QUESADA (No. 22 Alegra Motorsports, first, Platinum Masters): "After yesterday's accident, I just wanted to be careful with the guys that were out there. We were on fresh tires, and I wanted to make sure we got through Turn 1 and Turn 2. Once we got through that, I saw that Marco (Cirone) had hit the wall, and it pushed me back a few places, but I was able to work my way back and get good position. This is an amazing track. I think the fans here are what make this track so enjoyable!"
PERRY BORTOLOTTI (No. 84 Mark Motors Racing, second, Platinum Masters):"We were doing pretty good, and I had Santiago (Creel) and he hit the wall and thought I would get him down at the end of the back straight, but I don't know what happened. He brake-checked me, and I ended up slamming into the back of him and Carlos (de Quesada) took advantage of it and away he went. I got offline and got up into the marbles, and that's all she wrote. It's too bad, but congratulations to Carlos. I know he had a bad day yesterday, so I am glad to see him win."
JERIMY DANIEL (No. 75 TRC, first, Gold Cup): "It was good. I was in the traffic with the Platinum cars, and some of them were a bit slower than me, but they were fighting each other. So I was just between one and the other trying to keep moving up without getting caught up. I just tried to manage the Platinum traffic the whole race. It was a really good race."
TIM SANDERSON (No. 07 Alegra Motorsports/Northwest Atlantic Motorsports, second, Gold Cup): "Different day, but almost a similar story. We had a long yellow at the beginning, which was unfortunate, because you are ready to go and you're pumped up. But we had a good run. We didn't have a great start again, and we didn't have a great restart. But our car ran great, and I am very pleased with the result."
ILKER STARCK (No. 48 SCB Racing/Downtown Porsche, third, Gold Cup): "We had a fantastic car, so I was really happy. We had to make a decision if we were going to start on scrub tires or brand-new tires. So we went with new tires, and it was a really good race. It was a bit slippery at the beginning until everyone got up to speed and realized that the track warms up. It was a good battle with Tim (Sanderson) and I was in his mirrors a lot, but I was happy to take home third."
CHUCK HARRIS (No. 50 Alegra Motorsports, first, Silver Cup): "Really great track, lots of fun and excitement, both on and off the track. The place is great, the city is great,
KEITH BASS (No. 49 Alegra Motorsports, second, Silver Cup): "It was a lot slipperier than yesterday. You had to really ease into the throttle a bit coming out of some of the turns. But overall it was really just a lot of fun!"
Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin
The IMSA Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin produces intense, exciting competition for semi-professional and aspiring professional drivers in one of the world's most successful and iconic race cars, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. The series is one of Porsche's global single-make Cup Challenge series and is the perfect platform for aspiring drivers to ascend to the highest levels of GT competition, such as the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. The 10-round series races in 2014 at four classic Canadian road and street courses, providing thrills for drivers and fans.
The International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) is the sanctioning body of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the road-racing series resulting from the merger of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. IMSA also sanctions the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, as well as four single-make series: Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama; Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin; Ferrari Challenge North America; and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. IMSA is the exclusive strategic partner in North America with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) which operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The partnership enables selected TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competitors to earn automatic entries into the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.