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Sep 04, 2014 - 06:22 AM
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Scott Hargrove's Review of the IMSA 2014 Porsche GT3 Canada Cup Season
Posted by: newsla on Sep 04, 2014 - 06:20 AM
Sports Cars
Scott Hargrove's Review of the IMSA 2014 Porsche GT3 Canada Cup Season


In May, Scott was offered the seat in the brand new for 2014 OpenRoad Racing Porsche 991 when team principal, Christian Chia, was unable to make the season opening double header event at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park near Bowmanville, Ontario. What was originally going to be a one off ride turned into something much greater!

 

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Scott is an open wheel specialist having come up through karting, Skip Barber, USF2000 (2013 Series Champion) and new to Pro Mazda in 2014. Despite no closed wheel racing experience, Scott adapted immediately to the powerful Porsche, qualifying on the pole and winning both races and setting both the qualifying and race lap records, and in the process stunned the racing community.

Based on the perfect results of the first weekend, Christian decided to put Scott back in his Porsche for the 2nd double header weekend at Calabogie Motorsports Park where Scott continued his winning ways, qualifying on the pole for both races, finishing 2nd in the first race after losing the lead to veteran driver Chris Green on a restart, and then dominating race 2 for the win.

Thoroughly impressed by this point, Christian decided to order an OpenRoad driving suit for Scott and let him run his Porsche for the remainder of the season! The Toronto Indy followed with a crazy race 1. Starting from second, Scott quickly assumed the lead. With rain beginning to fall, Scott tapped a tire barrier with the rear of the car and managed to continue; but the lead was handed to Spencer Pigot - who then experienced a mechanical problem and had to retire, handing the lead back to Scott for the win. Race 2 saw Scott and Chris make contact while racing for the lead. Scott received a drive through penalty for avoidable contact, falling to 6th place and then drove through the field to finish in 2nd place.

The amazing Trois-Rivières street race followed. Starting race 1 in 2nd place he quickly moved to the lead only to be spun back to 5th place by another competitor. For the second race in a row, Scott had to drive through the field to take a fine 2nd place finish. Scott started the 2nd race on the pole and moved out to an early lead. Braking problems forced him to slow, allowing Spencer to take the lead. Scott then made the drive of the season to stay ahead of Chris Green for the remaining half of the race for another 2nd place finish.

The series returned for the Finale to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on Labour Day Weekend. Having been denied the Pro Mazda championship the week before by a mechanical failure of his car with 4 laps remaining in the final race, Scott was determined to make this weekend his finest hour and proceeded to dominate the event. He led both practice sessions, qualified on the pole for both races with another new track record and won both races, the final one by a massive 14 seconds to clinch the championship, all under the watchful eye of team owner Christian Chia, CEO of OpenRoad!

"2014 has been a truly remarkable year for me" stated Hargrove. "Having the opportunity to race a brand new 2014 Porsche GT3 Cup Car was like living a dream. I’m so thankful to Christian Chia and OpenRoad for allowing me the chance to showcase my skills in a closed wheel car. I didn’t know what to expect going into the year, but now that we are champions I am overcome with joy and can’t wait to see what the future brings!"

Chia adds, "What initially impressed me about Scott was his natural speed and the ability to adapt quickly to the car, and changing conditions on the track. At the end of the season, however, I realized that it is Scott’s character, maturity and humility that really sets him apart. And, of course, his speed!"

The statistics are staggering: 10 races resulting in 6 wins and 4 second places for an average finishing position of 1.4, 6 pole positions and an average starting position of 1.5, 3 qualifying lap records and 3 race lap records. Scott led 175 of 301 laps or 58% of all the laps run this season and scored 192 out of a maximum of 200 points available for the season.

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