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Pigot Pulls Away For Smooth Victory In Trois-Rivieres
Posted by: newsla on Aug 10, 2014 - 03:12 PM
Sports Cars
Pigot Pulls Away For Smooth Victory In Trois-Rivieres


Spencer Pigot stayed clean from green to checkered to win Round 8 of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin on Sunday during the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières (GP3R).

 

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Pigot, from Orlando, Florida, beat championship leader Scott Hargrove to the finish by 8.499 seconds in the No. 21 Alegra Motorsports Porsche for his second victory of the season. The smooth, composed drive despite close battles with Hargrove and fellow title contender Chris Green earlier in the race was a successful contrast from Round 7 on Saturday, in which Pigot was penalized for bumping Hargrove into a spin early in the race.

"It was a great race," Pigot said. "We've been working hard all weekend, so I have to thank the Alegra guys for continuing to improve the car. Today was really good.

"I knew I had the pace. I just had to take advantage when I could but not take too many risks and end up in the wall, which is easy to do here. Just worked my way past Chris and Scott. It was good battling with them, as always. Really hard racing, but it was all clean today. Happy to get the win."

Round 7 winner Green, from Montreal, finished third Sunday in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. He ended up .778 of a second behind Hargrove after stalking Hargrove's No. 69 OpenRoad Porsche for the second half of the 45-minute race.

Hargrove, from Surrey, British Columbia, extended his Platinum Cup (2014 car models) championship lead to 16 points, 152-136, over Green with just two rounds remaining Aug. 30-31 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. Forty points will be on the line at the finale, as the winning driver in each round earns 20 points.

Etienne Borgeat, from Montreal, finished fourth Sunday on the street circuit at Trois-Rivières in the No. 2 entry fielded by Quebec-based GT Racing.

Carlos de Quesada, from Odessa, Florida, rounded out the top five in the No. 22 Alegra Motorsports Porsche after snaking through the 11-turn, 1.53-mile (2.46 km) Circuit Trois-Rivières in lockstep with Borgeat and fellow Platinum Masters competitors Marco Cirone and Perry Bortolotti for position over the last 25 minutes of the race.

Hargrove started from pole and drove away from Green and Pigot early in the race, buidling a lead of 2.485 seconds after eight minutes. But Pigot's Porsche started to find its groove. Pigot dove under Green with a clean pass for second with 35 minutes remaining and zeroed in on Hargrove.

Seven minutes later, Pigot's Porsche nosed to within a few meters of Hargrove's car. Pigot then sliced under Hargrove, locking his wheels in a puff of white tire smoke into a corner, but hanging on for the pass for the lead. But one corner later, Pigot locked up again, letting Hargrove through for the lead.

But less than two minutes later, Pigot's speed was too much for Hargrove to parry one more time. Pigot used another low pass at the apex of a corner for the lead with 25 minutes remaining, and he cruised away over the remaining laps for an easy victory.

Hargrove continued his streak of finishing first or second at all eight rounds this season.

"This race was pretty wild," Hargrove said. "I got a great start, got away, and then started to lose the rear brakes a little bit. From then on, I was under pressure from both Spencer and Chris. Me and Spencer went back and forth a couple of times, and then he finally got me. And then Chris was pressuring me for the last 20 minutes of the race, and I was just able to hold on.

"Still a great result for the OpenRoad Porsche. Good for the championship. I'm thrilled with that going into the last two races with a healthy lead."

Platinum Masters

De Quesada earned his second Platinum Masters (age 45 and older) victory of the season - both this weekend - after a perhaps the best battle on the track for the entire 45-minute race.

He had one eye out his windshield while chasing Platinum Cup driver Borgeat and another on his rear-view mirror, keeping tabs of Platinum Masters rivals Cirone and Bortolotti.

All four drivers were within two seconds of each other - often closer - throughout the final 30 minutes. The only change in position came when Cirone, from Toronto, snuck past Mark Motors Racing teammate Bortolotti, from Kanata, Ontario, for second in Platinum Masters with 13 minutes remaining.

But de Quesada, Cirone and Bortolotti continued to probe for openings for a pass until the checkered flag, without a whisper of the melees that filled Round 7 Saturday.

"I think it was one of our best races because the four of us had so much respect for each other out there, and no one wanted to hit anybody else even though we had opportunities to try to make a desperate attempt at a pass," Cirone said. "But we all behaved."

2013 Gold Cup champion de Quesada cut reigning Platinum Masters champion Cirone's lead in the championship to eight points, 148-140, with two rounds remaining.

"It's always a lot of luck with this," de Quesada said. "I'll just fight for first there and try to come out on top."

Gold Cup

Quebec resident Jerimy Daniel overcame a disappointing result Saturday to deliver himself the best 21st birthday present possible - a Gold Cup victory in the No. 75 TRC Porsche.

Daniel, from Candiac, Quebec, didn't finish Round 7 Saturday due to a punctured radiator in his car. But he led nearly the whole way Sunday for his fifth Gold Cup victory of the season.

Series rookie Daniel pulled to within two points of Gold Cup championship leader Tim Sanderson, 140-138, with just two rounds remaining in the tightest points race in the series. It was an ideal present for his 21st birthday Sunday.

"It was a crazy race," Daniel said. "It was really hot in the car, and I just tried to manage my race to stay in front and not do any mistakes like Tim did. He spun, so I just tried to stay in front and manage my race so I can keep my first place and give me this birthday present."

Sanderson, from Pickering, Ontario, finished second Sunday in the No. 07 Alegra Motorsports/Northwest Atlantic Motorsports after winning Round 7 Saturday. He spun early in the race while hustling to chase Daniel and ended up 21.303 seconds behind Daniel.

"We didn't quite have the start we had yesterday, so we were playing a little bit of catch-up. We were running strong with Jerimy, and I thought we were reeling him in a few times, getting a little bit closer. I know he was trying to conserve his brakes, I think.

"I just overcooked it in corner 2, and the car looped around on me a little quicker than I thought it would have, and I couldn't grab it back. So happy birthday to Jerimy today."

Shaun McKaigue, from Gilford, Ontario, finished third in Gold Cup in the No. 34 Fiorano Racing Porsche. It was his second Gold Cup podium of the weekend, as he finished second Saturday in Round 7.

Just 24 points separate Sanderson from fifth-place Ilker Starck in the tight championship chase in Gold Cup.

Silver Cup

Chuck Harris returned to his winning ways in Silver Cup (2005½-2009 car models) with his seventh victory in eight rounds in the No. 50 Alegra Motorsports Porsche.

Harris, from Tampa, Florida, was eliminated from Round 7 on Saturday after hitting the wall. But the skill of the Alegra Motorsports team helped Harris return to the top step of the podium.

"I have to thank the Alegra guys for working all night to get the car back on track," Harris said. "The car was perfect; it ran great. It was nice driving with a little cooler temperatures this morning, and I just tried to be a little more patient today. I had a good drive."

Keith Bass, from Tampa, Florida, finished second in the No. 49 Alegra Motorsports Porsche after earning his first victory of the season in Round 7 on Saturday.

Harris leads the Silver Cup championship standings by 12 points with two rounds remaining.

Up Next

Rounds 9 and 10 of the 2014 Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin - both 45-minute races - are scheduled for Aug. 30-31 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park at Bowmanville, Ontario. They are the final two races of the season.

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 8 POST-RACE QUOTES:

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Alegra Motorsports, winner): "It was a great race. We've been working hard all weekend, so I have to thank the Alegra guys for continuing to improve the car. Today was really good. I knew I had the pace. I just had to take advantage when I could but not take too many risks and end up in the wall, which is easy to do here. Just worked my way past Chris (Green) and Scott (Hargrove). It was good battling with them, as always. Really hard racing, but it was all clean today. Happy to get the win."

SCOTT HARGROVE (No. 69 OpenRoad Racing, second): "Good for the championship. I'm thrilled with that going into the last two races with a healthy lead. Definitely looking good there. This race was pretty wild. I got a great start, got away, and then started to lose the rear brakes a little bit. From then on, I was under pressure from both Spencer (Pigot) and Chris (Green). Me and Spencer went back and forth a couple of times, and then he finally got me. And then Chris was pressuring me for the last 20 minutes of the race, and I was just able to hold on. Still a great result for the OpenRoad Porsche. I can't wait to go to Mosport."

CHRIS GREEN (No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports, third): "We tried something new today because we knew it was going to be a little bit cooler on the track. It probably didn't play out to our advantage. The car started coming in a little bit at the end, but at that point, it was tough. After contact with Scott (Hargrove) in the opening laps, I had a puncture in the rad (radiator), so I was kind of maintaining the temperatures and I was up to 160 degrees. It was pretty hot. Came in (after the race), and the thing was spitting fluid out of the car. They drove really well today. Congrats to Alegra. They did fantastic. I'm proud of my whole team. The Pfaff Motorsports car will be back at Mosport to take the two wins back."

CARLOS DE QUESADA (No. 22 Alegra Motorsports, first, Platinum Masters): "My goal was to stay right behind Etienne (Borgeat). I knew Etienne was running a good pace from the start, so I just stuck with him. I just kept on putting pressure toward the end. He was really starting to fall back. He was allowing Perry (Bortolotti) and Marco (Cirone) to catch back up with me. But I never really had a good window to make a good, clean pass, so just strategically I just decided to stay behind Etienne and defend my position for first in Masters." (Can you catch Cirone for the Platinum Masters title?): "I can. It's always a lot of luck with this. The two incidents I've had unfortunately have been with Marco and Perry, and it's unfortunate that the one I'm fighting for the championship with is Marco. I'm just hoping that something happens to them at Mosport, and I can take that lead. I'll just fight for first there and try to come out on top."

MARCO CIRONE (No. 88 Mark Motors Racing, second, Platinum Masters): "There were a few opportunities (to pass Carlos de Quesada), but I think our lap times were so close that someone had to make a mistake to get by. Otherwise it would have been a really risky move. I think it was one of our best races because the four of us (Etienne Borgeat, de Quesada, Cirone, Perry Bortolotti) had so much respect for each other out there, and no one wanted to hit anybody else even though we had opportunities to try to make a desperate attempt at a pass. But we all behaved. Hat's off to Perry, and Carlos drove amazing this weekend. Congratulations to him. And Etienne, he's incredible here in front of his home crowd. I really enjoyed that race. It was a lot of fun. Thank you to Mark Motors for allowing me to be here, and my team did an amazing job. Michelin tires were really good. I noticed all four of us had the same levels of traction."

PERRY BORTOLOTTI (No. 84 Mark Motors Racing, third, Platinum Masters): "We got off to a good start. I got held up in some traffic, and Marco (Cirone) got by me. I managed to reel them all back in again, and we were just running nose to tail like a freight train there. Just waiting for Carlos (de Quesada) or Marco to make a mistake, but the mistake never came, so we went backward a little bit in our setup. We were fast yesterday. But that happens - that's racing. Brought the car home in one piece on a road course; that's always a good thing. It was a good race, good time, Trois Rivierés is a beautiful place."

JERIMY DANIEL (No. 75 TRC, first, Gold Cup): "It was a crazy race. It was really hot in the car, and I just tried to manage my race to stay in front and not do any mistakes like Tim (Sanderson) did. He spun, so I just tried to stay in front and manage my race so I can keep my first place and give me this birthday present. I didn't lock a wheel once. It's really easy to lock a wheel here on this track, so I tried to keep my car really clean and complete the race."

TIM SANDERSON (No. 07 Alegra Motorsports/Northwest Atlantic Motorsports, second, Gold Cup): "We didn't quite have the start we had yesterday, so we were playing a little bit of catch-up. We were running strong with Jerimy (Daniel), and I thought we were reeling him in a few times, getting a little bit closer. I know he was trying to conserve his brakes, I think. I just overcooked it in corner 2, and the car looped around on me a little quicker than I thought it would have, and I couldn't grab it back. We ended up losing about 20 seconds in between that happening and getting it going again. But the Alegra guys did a great job with the car all weekend. The Joanne's House GT3 Cup car ran great. So happy birthday to Jerimy today."

SHAUN McKAIGUE (No. 34 Fiorano Racing, third, Gold Cup): "My car was pretty neutral, just like yesterday. I wasn't fighting the car at all. I had a pretty good start, made up a position on the start. I started to settle in, had a couple of laps in. Ilker (Starck) had fallen behind me and tried to make a move on the inside. I looked back, and I didn't think he was close enough. He ended up touching me going into (Turn) 1. The car was just a little bit off after that, but actually I posted some of my best times. So I was just trying to stay consistent. I was really happy for it. The tires were awesome. They've hung on. We're going to double-stint the tires, use the same tires to run the Supercup race. They've been outstanding. The tread wear is amazing."

CHUCK HARRIS (No. 50 Alegra Motorsports, first, Silver Cup): "It was great. I have to thank the Alegra guys for working all night to get the car back on track. The car was perfect; it ran great. It was nice driving with a little cooler temperatures this morning, and I just tried to be a little more patient today. I had a good drive."

KEITH BASS (No. 49 Alegra Motorsports, second, Silver Cup): "I just got behind at the start and couldn't keep up. Good race. Got a little slick at the end but a ton of fun. Cooler today. The track started out fine but got a little greasy toward the end. But the Michelin tires were hooked up. Perfect."

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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