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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.
Eli Tomac Dominates at Spring Creek to Claim First Career 450 Class Victory in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship21 Jul 2014
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, made its annual visit to the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" on Saturday with the La Crescent Wine & Spirit Spring Creek National from Spring Creek MX Park in Minnesota's Mississippi River Valley. While hometown riders were focal points on the afternoon, it was a rookie who stole the show in the 450 Class as GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac dominated en route to his first career win, sweeping each of the day's motos to become the fourth different winner in the division this season. In the 250 Class, Millville native Jeremy Martin put his Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha atop the podium for the fourth time this season, extending his points lead with a triumphant effort at the track owned and operated by his parents.
After taking his second overall win of the season one week ago, Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey looked for more of the same at his hometown track by capturing the Motosport.com Holeshot Award in the first 450 Class moto. Dungey was closely followed by his Red Bull KTM teammate and main championship rival Ken Roczen, who soon put the pressure on Dungey and took over the top spot on the opening lap. The duo continued to race within mere bike lengths of one another before Roczen slowly started to pull away.
Tomac lurked in third behind the KTM duo and was on a mission to the front. Following a crash by Dungey on Lap 3, Tomac assumed control of second and set his sights on Roczen. Tomac methodically closed down the gap to the German out front and before long it became a head-to-head showdown between the pair of 450 Class rookies, who also were championship rivals one year ago in the 250 Class. The duo went bar-to-bar for multiple laps, trading positions and using every inch of the Millville track before Tomac made the pass stick on Lap 12. Once in control of the moto, the Honda rider checked out and took his first checkered flag in the premier division by over 16 seconds. Roczen finished second, with Dungey third. Team Honda Muscle Milk's Trey Canard followed in fourth, with Toyota/Yamaha/N-FAB/JGRMX's Josh Grant rounding out the top five.
Tomac, who missed the first four rounds and eight motos of the season with an injury, carried the momentum into the second moto by securing the Motosport.com Holeshot Award ahead of Dungey while Roczen battled from a start deep inside the top 10. However, a malfunction with the starting gate was deemed to have resulted in a disadvantage for some riders and brought out the red flag to signify a restart.
As the gate dropped for the second time, Tomac once again emerged at the front, claiming the Motosport.com Holeshot Award again but losing the lead briefly to Toyota/Yamaha/N-FAB/JGRMX's Justin Brayton. The Yamaha rider's time out front was short lived, as Tomac reclaimed the position with Dungey soon following suit to take over second. Behind this trio, Canard and Roczen were also making their respective charges to the front and both riders also made their way around Brayton to establish a four-rider breakaway out front.
"Today was a tough one the way the track was," said Tomac, who has finished on the overall podium in each of his four career starts. "Going into the second moto I knew I had to get out there and get a good start. We ended up getting the holeshot then the red flag came out and I thought to myself 'is this really happening?' Luckily enough I got another one. Brayton was right there, but after that I was just hitting my marks and I felt really comfortable."
Dungey's runner-up effort (3-2) was his 50th podium finish in 56 starts during an illustrious 450 Class career, moving him into fourth all time. Roczen finished third (2-4), but gave up two points to Dungey in the championship standings and failed to earn a moto podium for the first time this season. Canard was fourth (4-3), with Grant fifth (5-5). Team Yoshimura's James Stewart, who won earlier this season at High Point, did not start the final moto with team officials citing an apparent illness.
"I put in a solid run in the first half [of the second moto], but then bogged down a bit," said Roczen. "We'll go back, figure it out and come back better for the next race."
In the 250 Class, Valli Motorsports Yamaha's Christophe Pourcel took advantage of posting the fastest lap of practice by translating his first starting selection into the Motosport.com Holeshot Award over GEICO Honda's Justin Bogle and Martin. It didn't take long for Martin to begin his pursuit of the lead, passing Bogle on the opening lap and instantly putting pressure on Pourcel for the lead. Martin took advantage of a slight bobble to slip past Pourcel and consistently opened up his advantage from there on out.
With the moto well within Martin's control, the focus turned to the battles behind him as Pourcel was forced to deal with his hard-charging fellow Frenchman Marvin Musquin aboard his Red Bull KTM. Musquin had already engaged in a lengthy battle with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Dean Wilson for third, but saved enough energy to make the late pass on Pourcel for second. Martin took his first moto win at his hometown track over 10 seconds ahead of Musquin, while Pourcel held on for third. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett overcame an 18th-place start to finish fourth, with his teammate Wilson following in fifth.
Pourcel put his Yamaha at the front of the field to start the final moto, once again securing the Motosport.com Holeshot Award, with Cycle Trader/Rock River Yamaha's Alex Martin looking for hometown success of his own in second and Baggett in third, just ahead of Bogle. Pourcel controlled the early stages of the moto while Baggett passed Martin for second and began his pursuit of the Frenchman out front. On Lap 3, Baggett made an easy pass on Pourcel for first. He quickly pulled away and appeared to have the moto in hand. However, on Lap 4 Baggett crashed out of the lead a fell outside the top 10, handing the battle for the lead to Bogle and Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Cooper Webb. This pair went fender-to-fender for multiple laps before Webb was able to make the pass stick and seize control of the moto.
Behind the leaders, Jeremy Martin overcame a sixth-place start to move into third and was able to make the pass on Bogle for second just a few laps later. Despite his best efforts, Martin couldn't close the gap on his teammate out front and Webb went on to earn his third career moto win by over three seconds. Martin's runner-up result was enough to secure his class-leading fourth overall victory of the season and a breakthrough win at his home track. Rockstar Energy Racing's Jason Anderson rounded out the moto podium in third.
"I just made a few mistakes there off the start [in the second moto]," explained Martin. "Cooper [Webb] was behind me [initially] but I got stuck behind a rider and kept hearing him behind me. He got around me and rode really well. I tried to put on a charge for the hometown crowd and make things exciting, but I just came up short [of the moto sweep]. I'm having fun and I'm looking forward to next weekend."
Martin jumped to a 43-point lead in the 250 Class standings over Webb, who moved into second. Baggett fell to third, 56 points behind Martin.
Mother Nature may not have cooperated for Saturday's on-track action of the Buckeye SuperBike Weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, but it makes for an action-packed Sunday schedule.
With the first day's qualifying sessions and races washed out by rain, AMA Pro Racing will move all of the weekend's green-to-checkered action to Sunday.
Early morning rainfall resulted in a delayed start Saturday, and the most experienced riders, those in the AMA Pro SuperBike class, tested the track and reported back on the circuit's conditions. When the skies cleared and the track dried sufficiently, the SuperBike, GoPro Daytona GoPro SportBike, and SuperSport classes worked in afternoon practice sessions. Monster Energy Graves Yamaha's Josh Hayes (1:31.889), RoadRace Factory/Red Bull's Jake Gagne (1:30.944) and TOBC Racing Suzuki's Hayden Gillim (1:37.700) led the way in their respective classes.
An abbreviated schedule then called for the races to be grid by points. Unfortunately, returning and recurring showers spoiled multiple attempts to stage Saturday's contests as the day progressed.
In an attempt to hold races in the afternoon, the SuperBike riders had a 10-minute evaluation period, but between the completion of that session and the call to grid, conditions worsened and no bikes went on-track the rest of the day.
Sunday's schedule has been pushed forward forty minutes and will now get underway at 8 a.m. local time (5 a.m. PT) with the opening AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series session. The remainder of the day's slate is still being determined.
How to Watch
FansChoice.tv is the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Road Racing and AMA Pro Flat Track events in 2014. The site also provides coverage of IMSA's development and single-make series, and NASCAR's touring and weekly series.
In a race in which it seemed no one wanted to keep the lead, Scott Hargrove was the last man standing and expanded his championship lead in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin. Hargrove, 19, from Surrey, British Columbia, won Round 5 of the season Saturday, July 19 in the No. 69 OpenRoad Racing Porsche GT3 Cup car on the Streets of Toronto. The victory was his fourth in five starts this season for Vancouver-based OpenRoad Racing.
"Four wins in five rounds now, so it's been a phenomenal year, and we are going to try and keep this going," championship leader Hargrove said. Hargrove leads Chris Green, 98-84, in the championship after five rounds.
Marco Cirone, from Toronto, finished second Saturday on his hometown track in the No. 88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche, 6.702 seconds behind Hargrove. It was the first overall podium finish of the season for Cirone, who expanded his Platinum Masters (drivers 45 and older) championship lead.
"I didn't have a very good qualifying," stated Cirone. "We were in sixth place when the race started, and it seemed like the five guys in front of me were just battling, and I just managed to stay behind them and be as cautious as I could because I saw everyone was being aggressive up there. But I got luck and managed to get by a couple of guys, and then it kind of spaced out a little bit, and I was able to keep up a pretty good pace. I was really lucky to get that second place because a couple of my other competitors had some misfortunes out there. Sorry for them, but I will take the second place, and I am very happy. My thanks to Mark Motors for giving me the opportunity to be here, and Porsche and IMSA. And the tires ... the Michelins were wonderful, and I hardly noticed any change." (What does it mean to you to be on the overall podium at your home race?): "It means a lot! I am really, really happy to have done well in front of my family and friends, and I love Toronto and have lived here most of my life. It was a great pleasure to be up here with Scott (Hargrove) and Santiago (Creel)."
Santiago Creel, from Mexico City, placed third overall in the No. 60 Wright Motorsports entry. It was the first Canadian series start for Creel, a regular in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.
"This is my first time here in Canada racing, and my first time with Michelin tires and my first time on a street circuit," added Creel. "We did well in the race and being behind and trying not to commit errors, which was the key factor." (How tough was it to adjust to a circuit you have never been to, and a street circuit for the first time?): "Well, my first practice I was in 14th place, but then I saw ways I could go faster. And by the race I was in third."
Platinum Masters competitor Perry Bortolotti, from Kanata, Ontario, placed fourth overall in the No. 84 Mark Motors Racing Porsche.
"It was a lot of fun," commented Bortolotti. "Unfortunately Turn 1 was a little hectic with Carlos (de Quesada). I don't know what happened there, but we ended up touching wheels and I shot him into the wall, which is unfortunate for him. It knocked my toe out, so I struggled the rest of the race. I just tried to stay in touch with the top runners there, but it was a struggle. Good day overall, though. I can't complain. The car is in one piece, so it was a good day. I've raced all over the world, and this is one crazy racecourse, I'll tell you that. It's really bizarre. There is very little room for error. It's a big balls track. There's no doubt about it."
Jerimy Daniel, from Candiac, Quebec, placed fifth overall in the No. 75 TRC Porsche that competes in the Gold Cup (2010-2013 car models) championship. The result tied the best overall finish this season by a Gold Cup driver, as Daniel also was fifth in Round 2 in May at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.
"I had a little advantage maybe due to my experience here with Star Mazda, but I know some of the other drivers have done this, too, so it's fairly equal," Daniel added. "It was a really good track, even with the rain. We had really good strategy, and I only ran two laps in qualifying that gave me the second position, and I had really good tires for the race. Even at the last lap, my tires were really good. So I had fun, and that's the important thing!"
Daniel and Tim Sanderson are tied, 84-84, atop the Gold Cup standings after this event.
"Great day, but we didn't quite have enough for Jerimy (Daniel) today," Sanderson stated. "He drove a great race and got me at the start. Our car ran really well. The Racing for Joanne's House GT3 Cup car was awesome. The guys had it prepared beautifully. Tomorrow's another day, and we will get back out there and try it again. The track is a little slippery. He (Jerimy Daniel) ran four laps in qualifying and I ran 15, so I think he had a bit more rubber than I did at the end. But we will see what happens tomorrow when we are all on fresh tires."
Hargrove and championship rivals Green and Spencer Pigot each led and then lost the front spot during the 36-minute race, shorted from the scheduled 45 minutes due to track repair after a previous race in another series. Green led the first five laps in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche after earning his second pole position of the season earlier this morning. But Green slid sideways into the wall in Turn 8 on the sixth lap, shortly after light rain started to fall around the 11-turn, 1.75-mile temporary street circuit. Hargrove zoomed past into the top spot while Green dropped in the running order.
Montreal resident Green continued but finished 12th, his first result outside of the top two this season. Hargrove then led the next seven laps before spinning in Turn 8, handing the lead to Pigot. Hargrove recovered quickly from the spin to take second.
Championship leader Hargrove trimmed Pigot's lead from 1.714 seconds to .833 of a second during the next six minutes. Then Pigot, from Orlando, Florida, suffered a tough break as he sought his first victory of the season in the No. 21 Alegra Motorsports Porsche.
A belt broke on Pigot's car, causing his engine to overheat and fluid to trail from his car. Pigot slowed, handing the lead back to Hargrove, also his rival in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires junior open-wheel series.
Pigot was forced to the pits, out of the race in 15th place.
Hargrove admitted he nearly spun in the fluid from Pigot's car, but he kept control over the final five laps to earn the wild victory.
Daniel earned his third Gold Cup victory of the season after starting from the class pole. But the win didn't come without strong resistance from Sanderson.
Sanderson, from Pickering, Ontario, pulled to within .768 of a second of Daniel with 15 minutes left in the race in the No. 07 Alegra Motorsports/Northwest Atlantic Motorsports Porsche. But Daniel gradually eased away over the closing laps, leading Sanderson to the finish by 2.720 seconds.
"It was a great race being at the home track in Toronto," added Starck. "It was fantastic being at home and at least placing third. Of course, we tried to make it further up the podium, but we had a good car and everything worked pretty well for us after having a rough start Friday in practice."
Chuck Harris, from Tampa, Florida, continued his perfect record in Silver Cup (2005 ½-2009 model cars) with his fifth victory in the class this season in the No. 50 Alegra Motorsports 911 GT3 Cup car.
"It was awesome! It was my first time on a street course, and it was really, really fun," stated an elated Harris. "The car ran great, and the tires held up really well. I was very glad the rain held off. It kept trying to rain, but we got lucky. It got a bit slippery in places but not enough to slow us down too much. It was a good day. I am very happy to have the car in here without meeting the walls up close!"
Teammate Keith Bass, also from Tampa, Florida, was second in the No. 49 Alegra Motorsports entry.
"I love the track; I love Toronto. It's a beautiful track, and it's a lot of fun. Once you get used to the track, it's really a ton of fun," Bass concluded.
Round 6 is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. (ET) Sunday, July 20 on the Streets of Toronto. Live commentary for both races will be provided on Twitter at @IMSALive.
After winning last season at Toronto, Sheldon Creed of Alpine, Calif. picked up where he left off in the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS series by winning again on the picturesque downtown street circuit in Canada.
Creed’s TRAXXAS-sponsored truck fought alongside fellow 16-year-old Scotty Steele’s machine for most of the race until Steele made a late mistake on the final lap, which relegated him to a third-place finish, allowing Robby Gordon to inherit second.
Creed started last in the field given that he missed the pre-race driver’s meeting, but drove a steady smart race in the rain to pass every truck in the field en route to victory.
“The difference in driving on asphalt and concrete was incredible,” Creed said referring to the wet, slick conditions. “Scotty was great on the concrete, and when we came off the asphalt his truck just took off. I’ve made a couple of late mistakes in these races and thrown a few away, and I wasn’t going to do it again. I just took my time and didn’t over drive the truck.”
Michigan’s Aaron Bambach came home fourth in his 3deminsional.com truck, with Mexico’s Apdaly Lopez finishing fifth after not getting any practice during Friday’s session where he crashed in turn one of lap one of the session. Toronto’s Paul Tracy fell victim to the wet conditions early in the race and came in sixth, as did Bill Hynes from Nazareth, Pa. in the Freaks for LIVE truck who finished seventh.
NBCSN will broadcast the race at 10 p.m. PDT on July 31 (1 a.m. EDT Aug. 1). Following its trip to Toronto, the series will shift to the west coast for its final three races of the 2014 season at the Sand Sport Super Show in Orange County, Calif. Sept. 19-20; the Coronado Speed Festival Sept. 21 and in Las Vegas in conjunction with the SEMA Show in early November.
At 15h00 this afternoon, the 33 cars entered in the ELMS came took to the track for the second free practice session of the day. The 90 minutes of testing gave all the drivers and their teams the chance to round out their knowledge of the track and to set up their cars ready for qualifying tomorrow morning (09h30).
In the NewBlood by Morand Racing camp, the team was delighted to have set the fastest time of the day with a lap of 1:24.145, just 0.008s better than that of Race Performance which put its No.34 ORECA03 in second place this afternoon with a lap of 1:24.153. Christian Klien, Gary Hirsch and Pierre Ragues were determined to make their mark on the Austrian event and set about doing so admirably this afternoon.
The new Ligier JS P2 of Thiriet by TDS Racing has begun to find its feet on its debut in the ELMS (the set-up of the car being very different compared to that used in the 24 Hours of Le Mans). Tristan Gommendy, Pierre Thiriet and Ludovic Badey put their new beauty in third spot this afternoon, albeit only 0.056s from the only ORECA 03 on track this weekend. At JOTA Sport (No.38 Zytek Z11SN Nissan), Filipe Albuquerque, Simon Dolan and Harry Tincknell took 4th place ahead of the No.36 Signatech Alpine A450b (Nelson Panciatici, Paul-Loup Chatin Oliver Webb).
The Nos.41 and 28 Zytek Nissan Z11SNs of Greaves Motorsport are respectively in 6th and 7th places overall at the end of the day with best laps of 1:25.281 and 1:25.294, both significantly improving their best times compared to this morning's first session. Several new drivers have joined the British squad, such as American Mark Patterson alongside Matt McMurry and Tom Kimber-Smith (No. 41) and the British-Russian pairing of Luciano Bacheta and Mark Shulzhitskiy (No.28). The No.29 Pegasus Racing Morgan Nissan has retained its Imola line up of Julien Schell, Nicki Leutwiler and Jonathan Coleman, setting their best lap of the day at 1:25.727.
Free practice was also a chance for the LMGTEs to work on their cars' set up. The Ferraris are in great form but Porsche and Aston Martin are not far off. SMP Racing set the overall best time of the category this afternoon with a lap of 1:29.746, 0.3s better than this morning. Viktor Shaitar, Andrea Bertolini and Sergey Zlobin headed the No.55 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia of Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin and Michele Rugolo by 0.49s.
The No. 56 Ferrari of AT Racing claimed the 3rd fastest time today, ahead of the No. 77 Proton Competition Porsche which is being driven by three Austrians: Horst Felbermayr Sr and Jr and Richard Lietz. They are in fact just 0.76s off the best time, and will be determined to shine at their home race. The Gulf Racing UK Aston Martin Vantage V8 was 5th in LMGTE with a lap which was just 0.85s from the fastest of the day. The free practice times certainly signal some great qualifying battles ahead.
Next up were the Ferrari Italias: No.58 of Sofrev-ASP, the AF Corse No.70 and the No.66 of JMW Motorsport and the No.54 AF Corse entry. IMSA Performance Matmut set the 10th and 12th best times of the session, while Kessel Racing and Gulf Racing's Porsche were 11th and 13th.
The GTC class has seen some new faces at the top of the time sheets today. While the No.71 SMP Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 remains the fastest overall with a time of 1:31.665, it was Team Russia by Barwell which clinched the class' second fastest time at the end of the day, 0.223 seconds from the leaders. Leo Machitski, Timur Sardarov and Jonathan Cocker put the only BMW Z4 GT3 on the grid in second place with a lap of 1:31.888. They headed the No.59 Ferrari 458 GT3 of Team Sofrev-ASP by nearly 0.2s in which the French trio of Christophe Bourret, Jean Luc Beaubelique and Jean Philippe Belloc posted a best lap of 1:32.082. The Porsche GT3 R of Prospeed Competition was 4th in this session, with a time of 1:32.114 (Max van Splunteren, Gilles Vannelet and Mike Parisy, who has just joined the team).
Ferraris occupy the four following places with the No.57 of SMP Racing in 5th position, No.60 of Formula Racing 6th, the No.73 of SMP Racing 7th and the No.95 of AF Corse in 8th position. ART Grand Prix placed its two McLaren MP4 12C GT3 in 9th and 11th places, with Pro GT by Almeras in 10th and AF Corse closing out the class with the No.63 F458.
Full Timing HERE
(European Le Mans Series PR)
With one of the most decorated nostalgia Nitro Funny Car fields ever assembled on the property, it was IHRA newcomer and Grand Blanc, Michigan native Shawn Bowen making the first move, propelling the "Violator" 1977 Pontiac Firebird Nitro Funny Car to the top of the charts at the IHRA Summer Nationals at Cordova Dragway Park.
Cary Goforth (Pro Stock), Mike Scott (Nitro Harley), Mike Hilsabeck (Nitro Altered) and Marisha Falk (Jet Dragster) also topped qualifying in their respective classes Friday in Cordova.
Bowen put down a stout lap in the first round of qualifying Friday night, rocketing to the top of the charts with a 5.819-second pass at 251.02 miles per hour to put the 2013 DRO champion in the No. 1 position entering eliminations on Saturday. Current IHRA points leader and four-time IHRA national event winner Jason Rupert qualified second in the Bays and Rupert "Black Plague" '69 Camaro with a 5.853 at 243.63 mph.
Mark Sanders, in the "Mr. Explosive" '69 Mustang, was third with a 5.880 at 244.25, while Paul Romine and John Hale rounded out the top five. Former IHRA Top Fuel world champion Bruce Litton snuck into the field in his final qualifying attempt to place sixth on the ladder, joining 2010 IHRA Funny Car champion Steve Nichols and Mike McIntire Jr. as the final drivers in the eight-car field.
Five drivers failed to make the field, including IHRA regular Tim Boychuk and heavy-hitter Marc White.
Cary Goforth, from Holdenville, Oklahoma, paced IHRA's Mountain Motor Pro Stock class on Friday, driving the Dean's Casing Service 2013 Chevrolet Camaro to the top spot on the ladder with a 6.254-second pass at 222.91 mph. Two-time IHRA Pro Stock champion Pete Berner qualified second with a 6.338 at 220.98 and Dean Goforth was third with a 6.357 at 218.72.
In Nitro Harley, Canadian Mike Scott led the way with a 6.617-second pass at 180.24 mph. Alvin Kobernusz, from nearby Manly, Iowa, was second with a 7.103 at 187.50 and Rocky Jackson was third.
Rounding out the nitro categories was Nitro Altered as Arizona native Mike Hilsabeck drove the aptly named "Arizona Thunder" to the top spot with a 6.738 at 157.61. Troy Martin was second with a 6.813 at 185.69 and Kyle Hough was third.
Finally, Marisha Falk was quickest in IHRA's Jet Dragster category with a 5.791-second pass at 276.41 mph, just edging Elaine Larsen and her 5.816 at 275.45.
The IHRA Summer Nationals at Cordova Dragway Park will continue on Saturday with final eliminations for all professional classes with the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series and first day action of the Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL.
Robby Gordon edged TRAXXAS-driver Sheldon Creed on the final lap of practice Friday to set the fastest lap in qualifying for Saturday’s first of two Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS races at the Honda Indy Toronto.
Although Gordon, driving the SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires/TRAXXAS truck, set the quickest time in the session, he will not start on the pole for the 2:20 p.m. race Saturday given that he will draw a number from a hat during tomorrow’s pre-race driver’s meeting to determine how many rows in the eight-truck field will be inverted for the start. It is guaranteed, however, that he and Creed will start alongside each other when they get the green flag, but it is yet to be determined whether it will be row two, three or four.
Scotty Steele, who like Creed is 16-years-old, was third quickest following by Toronto’s Paul Tracy, Aaron Bambach and Bill Hynes. X Games gold medalist Apdaly Lopez, who also won earlier this year at Indianapolis, crashed in the first corner of the first lap of practice and did not record a lap time. The final spot in the field will be filled by Long Beach, California’s Nick Vanis who was delayed in his travels to Toronto due to a family illness.
The eight trucks will navigate the same 11-turn 1.755-mile (2.84 km) circuit as the IndyCar series, however, the trucks will also negotiate four man-made metal jumps placed strategically along the circuit’s front stretch.
NBCSN will broadcast the race at 10 p.m. PDT on July 31 (1 a.m. EDT Aug. 1). Following its trip to Toronto, the series will shift to the west coast for its final three races of the 2014 season at the Sand Sport Super Show in Orange County, Calif. Sept. 19-20; the Coronado Speed Festival Sept. 21 and in Las Vegas in conjunction with the SEMA Show in early November.
The Stadium Super Trucks that will race in Toronto will hit huge man-made ramps at more than 100 mph at multiple locations throughout the downtown street circuit hurling drivers nearly 20 feet in the air and 150 feet down course. The series features identically prepared trucks which are made to resemble their scaled-down Traxxas radio-control-car counterparts. Like their Traxxas namesake the trucks are designed to take flight. However, unlike RC trucks, they produce 600 horsepower generating speeds upwards of 130 miles per hour and race on DOT approved Toyo Tires.