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Championship Race Stays Close As Green, Hargrove Trade Victories At Calabogie
Posted by: newsla on Jun 23, 2014 - 06:47 AM
Sports Cars
Championship Race Stays Close As Green, Hargrove Trade Victories At Calabogie


Championship contenders Scott Hargrove and Chris Green endured each other's best shots Sunday at Calabogie Motorsports Park, with the pair splitting the two rounds of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin.

 

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Canadian stars Green and Hargrove finished 1-2 in the first 45-minute race Sunday morning, with Green earning his first victory of the season in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. They swapped positions in the second race, with Hargrove winning for the third time in four rounds this season in the No. 69 OpenRoad Racing Porsche.

The speedy stalemate preserved Hargrove's four-point lead, 78-74, over Green with four of 10 rounds completed in the series, one of 19 global Porsche 911 GT3 Cup one-make championships providing thrilling action.

"It was a really good win for me, and I couldn't be happier to be at Calabogie Motorsports Park in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin," Hargrove said after Round 4.

Young American standout Spencer Pigot finished third in both races in the No. 21 Alegra Motorsports entry to climb to third in the championship with 54 points.

Carlos de Quesada, Marco Cirone, Perry Bortolotti
Platinum Masters podium finishers in both rounds at Calabogie (from left): Carlos de Quesada, Marco Cirone, Perry Bortolotti
Toronto resident Marco Cirone was the top Platinum Masters (drivers age 45 and older) finisher in both races in the No. 88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche. Carlos de Quesada, from Odessa, Florida, was second in Platinum Masters in both races in the No. 22 Alegra Motorsports entry, with Perry Bortolotti of Kanata, Ontario, third in both races in the No. 84 Porsche fielded by Ottawa-based Mark Motors Racing.

Shaun McKaigue, Tim Sanderson and Martin Harvey shared the podium spots in both Gold Cup (2010-2013 model cars) races.

McKaigue, from Gilford, Ontario, was the top Gold Cup finisher in Round 3 and finished second in Round 4 in the No. 34 Fiorano Racing entry. Sanderson, from Pickering, Ontario, bounced back from a third-place finish in Round 3 to win Gold Cup honors in Round 4 in the No. 07 Alegra Motorsports/Northwest Atlantic Motorsports Porsche. Harvey, from Berthierville, Quebec, finished second in Round 3 and third in Round 4 in the No. 08 Wingho Racing Inc. Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.

Sanderson turned a Gold Cup track-record lap of 2:05.585 in Round 3.

Tampa, Florida, residents and Alegra Motorsports teammates Chuck Harris and Keith Bass finished first and second, respectively, in both races in Silver Cup competition for 2005½-2009 model cars. Harris set a lap record of 2:10.425 for the Silver Cup class during the second race

Hargrove, from Surrey, British Columbia, never trailed from the pole in Round 4 Sunday afternoon. He led by 1.211 seconds after the first lap and expanded his lead in metronomic fashion, tenth by tenth nearly every lap, to build his winning margin of 6.737 seconds.

"I just got a really good start," Hargrove said. "Chris was really quick in the beginning and put quite a bit of pressure on, but the OpenRoad Racing guys did a great job with the setup to preserve these Michelin tires. My tires were great at the end of the race, and it seemed like everybody was slowing down."

Pigot, from Orlando, Florida, gained ground on Green in the closing laps but fell short and settled for third, 8.124 seconds behind Hargrove. Green had turned a track-record lap of 2:00.832 earlier in the race.

Shaun McKaigue, Tim Sanderson, Martin Harvey
Gold Cup podium finishers in both rounds at Calabogie (from left): Shaun McKaigue, Tim Sanderson, Martin Harvey
In Round 3, Montreal resident Green passed pole sitter Hargrove on a restart on Lap 9, diving inside Hargrove in Turn 1. Hargrove's momentum in the duel carried his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car into the grass at the exit of Turn 1, letting Green build a 1.111-second gap in one lap after the restart.

Hargrove then regained his bearings and went to work in pursuit of Green. He pulled to within .443 of a second of Green on the third full lap after the restart, but Green then gradually started to rebuild his leading gap to 1.049 seconds over the next two laps.

The pressure was lifted from Green one lap later when Hargrove put all four wheels of his Porsche off track in Turn 5 while chasing Green. Suddenly, Green had a 4.1-second lead.

It appeared Hargrove might have one more chance to pass Green when a full-course caution flew late in the race due to Jerimy Daniel's No. 75 TRC Porsche stopping at the edge of Turn 12. Daniel and Gold Cup pole sitter Sanderson made contact while dueling for the class lead, forcing Quebec resident Daniel off course and Sanderson to the pits.

But there wasn't enough time to clear Daniel's Porsche from the 20-turn, 3.05-mile (5.05 km) circuit, the longest layout in Canada. So Green crossed the finish line under the yellow and checkered flags for his first victory and third podium finish of the season.

"The car underneath me was good, and the Michelin tires were fantastic," Green said. "We had a good strategy. I was just able to get the best of Scott (Hargrove) going into Turn 1; I knew it wasn't too wide. There's only room for one car through there, so once I got through I never had to look back at that point."

Keith Bass, Chuck Harris
Silver Cup podium finishers in both rounds at Calabogie (from left): Keith Bass, Chuck Harris
Hargrove was off the top step of the podium for the first time this season, as he swept both season-opening rounds May 17-18 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.

"He got a good run on me going into Turn 1, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to be on the inside or the outside for Turn 1 because you're going to be on the inside for Turn 2 if you're on the outside in Turn 1," Hargrove said of Green's decisive pass on the restart. "I let him get to the inside of me, and unfortunately there wasn't enough room for us on exit, and I was off into the dirt."

Rounds 5 and 6 of the 10-round Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin are scheduled for July 19-20 in Toronto. The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) sanctions the series.

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 all races is provided on Twitter at @IMSALive.

For high-resolution images of both races, contact Paul Kelly at paul@grand-solutions.net.

ROUND 3 POST-RACE QUOTES

CHRIS GREEN (Winner, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports): "The car underneath me was good, and the Michelin tires were fantastic. We had a good strategy. I was just able to get the best of Scott (Hargrove) going into Turn 1; I knew it wasn't too wide. There's only room for one car through there, so once I got through I never had to look back at that point."

SCOTT HARGROVE (Second, No. 69 OpenRoad Racing): "The race was a lot of fun, a lot of passing. At the start, Chris (Green) got by Spencer (Pigot) and then he was right on my tail right away. He applied a lot of pressure, and I was just maintaining the gap. Then the yellow came out, and he did a better job on the restart. He got a good run on me going into Turn 1, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to be on the inside or the outside for Turn 1 because you're going to be on the inside for Turn 2 if you're on the outside in Turn 1. I let him get to the inside of me, and unfortunately there wasn't enough room for us on exit, and I was off into the dirt."

SPENCER PIGOT (Third, No. 21 Alegra Motorsports): "It was a tough race. I've been struggling a little bit this weekend, and I just kept pushing throughout the race. It's a tough track; it's really hard on the tires. We know where we need to improve, so we'll just keep pushing."

MARCO CIRONE (First, Platinum Masters, No. 88 Mark Motors Racing): "For us, tire management was the most important thing. Everyone seemed to have the same problem. There was a lot of understeer in the car, and everyone was sliding around. We were just fortunate to stay ahead of Carlos (de Quesada) and my teammate (Perry Bortolotti) and managed to bring the car home in first place."

CARLOS DE QUESADA (Second, Platinum Masters, No. 22 Alegra Motorsports): "It was good. The car handled really well. We were able to make some changes and try some things out, and I was the guinea pig for it and it seemed to work throughout most of the race. Toward the latter part of the race, it started to push a bit more, but it was still manageable and it was a good race for us overall. We got that restart, and that was quite a bit of a shuffle there, and I was able to get in front of Perry (Bortolotti). But Marco (Cirone), I just didn't have anything for Marco. He was driving very consistently."

PERRY BORTOLOTTI (Third, Platinum Masters, No. 84 Mark Motors Racing): "We had good pace, and I thought I was faster than Carlos (de Quesada), I don't know what happened on the restart there, but both my teammates Scott (Hargrove) and Marco (Cirone) got pushed out into the grass, so obviously I made room for them to get back in, and Carlos was watching the whole setup and took advantage of it. We pressed on, and we were running a little faster than he was toward the end, so I thought I had him on the restart. I knew where he was weak and where he was strong. I am pretty sure we could have taken a run at him. But congratulations to Marco and Carlos for a great race."

SHAUN McKAIGUE (First, Gold Cup, No. 34 Fiorano Racing): "I just tried to keep it neat and tidy and not make any mistakes. I just waited for the race to come to me, and it did. It's unfortunate that some guys made a couple of mistakes. But this is a track that's very demanding, and you really have to hit your marks. I was really trying to work on my tire wear to maintain my tires, and in the end the race just came to me."

MARTIN HARVEY (Second, Gold Cup, No. 08 Wingho Racing Inc.): "I am very happy, but it was a crazy race. I spun three times. The back of my car is just gone! But I am lucky that I finished second, and I am very happy. This track is very tough on the tires, so we are learning from it and working on our tire management and will change the setup on the back. But overall I am very, very happy to be on the podium."

TIM SANDERSON (Third, Gold Cup, No. 07 Alegra Motorsports/Northwest Atlantic Motorsports): "The Joanne's House car was running great today, and we had a really good battle going with the 75 car (Jerimy Daniel), and we came together in an unfortunate situation that forced the race to end under yellow. It's unfortunate for everyone because you want to race right up until the end, but the car was running great and I think we had a lot for everyone out there today."

CHUCK HARRIS (First, Silver Cup, No. 50 Alegra Motorsports): " It was a great race. The car ran well, and the tires were good considering the track surface. There was a lot of carnage out there, so to speak. There was a lot of back and forth. It was fun to be able to run with some of the Gold cars."

KEITH BASS (Second, Silver Cup, No. 49 Alegra Motorsports): "This is my first time to the track. But it's been great. It's a really demanding track, but it's fun. You have to be really patient in the turns and make sure you know where you are going, so it's a tough track to learn, but it's a blast."

ROUND 4 POST-RACE QUOTES

SCOTT HARGROVE (Winner, No. 69 OpenRoad Racing): "It's pretty hot out here, so it was definitely a lot of work in the car. I just got a really good start. Chris (Green) was really quick in the beginning and put quite a bit of pressure on, but the OpenRoad Racing guys did a great job with the setup to preserve these Michelin tires. My tires were great at the end of the race, and it seemed like everybody was slowing down. It was a really good win for me, and I couldn't be happier to be at Calabogie Motorsports Park in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin."

CHRIS GREEN (Second, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports): "We just made a slight change, and it didn't work in our favor. The last couple of laps I knew I wasn't going to catch Scott (Hargrove), so I just decided to back it up and bring it home."

SPENCER PIGOT (Third, No. 21 Alegra Motorsports): "I never had enough pace to challenge Chris (Green) ahead of me, so I was really just going around by myself. Two podiums is a good result, and I'd like to thank everyone at Alegra for their hard work and the opportunity to be here."

MARCO CIRONE (First, Platinum Masters, No. 88 Mark Motors Racing): "I think I drove a much better race this afternoon. With new tires, I had better control of the car, and I was able to slightly keep up to those three fast kids, which was very encouraging for me. I felt very good about that. But eventually their talent just ran away with it, and I was kind of all by myself. I heard there was an incident behind me with my teammate (Perry Bortolotti) and Etienne (Borgeat) that was very unfortunate, so it was kind of a lonely race. But I think I ran a really good pace, and I want to thank Mark Motors and my crew. They did an amazing job, and we will see what happens in Toronto."

CARLOS DE QUESADA (Second, Platinum Masters, No. 22 Alegra Motorsports): "In the second race, the start was really good, and we all fell into the positions where we started in. Then in Turn 4, I saw Etienne (Borgeat) and Perry (Bortolotti) get together. After that I just sat back. I was hoping for a yellow to give Marco (Cirone) a challenge - he already had a good lead because of that incident - but it never came out."

PERRY BORTOLOTTI (Third, Platinum Masters, No. 84 Mark Motors Racing): "I thought we were running better. We hardly had a chance to see what we had in us because we got punted early, and so it was unfortunate. But congratulations to Marco (Cirone) and Carlos (de Quesada). I thought I had something for both of them, but it wasn't meant to be today."

TIM SANDERSON (First, Gold Cup, No. 07 Alegra Motorsports/Northwest Atlantic Motorsports): "This afternoon was much better than this morning, and the results speak for themselves. Our Joanne's House GT3 Cup car was running awesome. The team did a great job with setup and a minor tweak after our little run in this morning. But the car ran strong, and it was a great race."

SHAUN McKAIGUE (Second, Gold Cup, No. 34 Fiorano Racing): "I had a great start and managed to get a position on Ilker (Starck). We made a good change, and I was able to pull away from him, but Timmy (Sanderson) just pulled the distance on me, and I had nothing for him. He drove a great race. My team really came through for me, and Johnny (Fiorano) gave me a great, predictable car that I could just drive. So my hat's off to the team, and I had a great time this weekend."

MARTIN HARVEY (Third, Gold Cup, No. 08 Wingho Racing Inc.): "It got better and better. The car was not perfect, but it was good. I won the third-place position passing Ilker (Starck) on the last lap, and I was very happy. It was very hot but a great weekend for us."

CHUCK HARRIS (First, Silver Cup, No. 50 Alegra Motorsports): "It was really slick out there this afternoon. The track was much slicker, so it was harder to maintain your tires, and without the yellows, we didn't have any time to recover. But it was fun to drive around a little bit loose in the rear end. It was like driving an old 911. But it's a great racetrack and very complicated, and I think it would take thousands of laps to really master this thing. So I was pretty happy with how I did with only having the one test day this weekend."

KEITH BASS (Second, Silver Cup, No. 49 Alegra Motorsports): "I had a blast out there. The track was getting a little greasy, but it was good to finish the race without a caution flag. The tires are always a challenge at this track when it gets hotter, but it was fun. That's what this is all about."

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.

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