THE IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was unable to return to Canada for the second straight year. However, the Canadian Pfaff Motorsports team — drivers Zacharie Robichon (Canadian) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgian, on loan from the Porsche factory team) — won the GTD driver’s championship. Pfaff also won the team championship with its Porsche 911 GT3 R. This class is highly competitive with BMW (M6), Aston Martin, Acura (NSX), Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG, Audi (R8), McLaren (720S) and Lexus (RC).
Specifically, the Pfaff squad won four out of 12 races and, with a second at the final event, Petit Le Mans in November, clinched the championship. There were many highlights as well as setbacks but one of its most crucial and hard-fought victories came at the penultimate round at Virginia International Raceway. A rare spin by Zach Robichon and a procedure error in the pits meant they had to start from the back of the field. The team ran as high as second and, after the wheel passing from Robichon, Vanthoor took the lead when the leading BMW had an issue. Steve Bortolotti, general manager, commented after the race that “this was a complete team win.”
This dramatic climb through the field was not without precedent as the plaid Porsche had to start at the back of the field for the Sebring 12-hour race, the second race of the season. From the off, Robichon had jumped six places by the sixth lap. With great driving and strategy calls, the two regulars, aided by Lars Kern, a German also loaned by Porsche, led from about four hours to go until the checkered flag.
Congratulations to Zach Robichon and Laurens Vanthoor and the whole Pfaff Motorsports team. We look forward to cheering you on at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this summer. </>