The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama visited the streets of downtown Toronto during Indy weekend
THE ULTRA 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama series visited the downtown streets of Toronto, ON, during the Indy weekend between July 13-15, completing two races (rounds seven and eight) of the 2018 season.
“Two exciting races, in extremely hot conditions, provided intense entertainment for race fans at what is considered one of the toughest street circuits in North America,” said Marc Ouayoun, President & CEO, Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. “As the season progresses, drivers are pushing the limits of the car, as well as their own, gambling for what could yield impressive accomplishments.” Robichon earns two victories, adding to his point lead in the series, currently a 32-point gap. In Platinum Masters, Perry Bortolotti was victorious in both races.
Race One: Robichon Stands Atop Indy Toronto
Entering this weekend’s event, Zacharie Robichon, driver of the No. 98 Mark Motors Racing Porsche, had accumulated five wins in six races, and had built himself a 20-point lead in the Platinum class championship standings. The Ottawa native added to both of those totals on Saturday afternoon with a flag-to-flag victory from the pole position on the streets of downtown Toronto. His victory at the 2.824-kilometre circuit has been several years in the making.
After first competing at Indy Toronto in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada in 2016, Robichon has continuously improved his performance. As a rookie in 2016, Robichon took fourth and third place in the weekend’s two rounds and in 2017, he finished runner-up twice, in addition to setting a track record during Race 2.
Saturday’s race presented its own challenges for Robichon. On Lap 1, a three-car incident resulting in debris and oil on track brought out a full-course yellow for the field. Following the cleanup, Robichon had to defend his lead yet again against his teammate Roman De Angelis in the No. 78 Mark Motors Porsche who started alongside him in second place.
De Angelis held on for his fifth runner-up finish of the season and Stefan Rzadzinski in the No. 8 DFC Motorsport / Speedstar Motorsport rounded out the podium.
Rzadzinski – who took third place after a hard-fought drive in the closing minutes to pass Jeff Kingsley in the No. 16 Policaro Motorsport / SportsCarBoutique Porsche – also took home the Yokohama Hard Charger Award for gaining the most positions throughout the race after starting seventh.
In the Platinum Masters class, it was Perry Bortolotti with the win in another Mark Motors Porsche, the No. 84. This was Bortolotti’s third win of the season and following him on the podium was Neal Walker in the No. 83 Tullman Walker Racing Porsche in second and Martin Harvey in the No. 08 for Wingho Racing / Porsche Prestige in third.
Capping off the race with the Porsche GT3 Cup Canada Gold class victory was Marco Cirone in the No. 18 Mark Motors Racing Porsche, making it a podium sweep across all three classes for the Ottawa-based team.
Race Two: Robichon Conquers Indy Toronto with Weekend Sweep
Starting from the pole position on Sunday afternoon, Robichon, driving the No. 98 Mark Motors Racing Porsche, had his hands full early on as he held off the charging duo of teammate Roman De Angelis in the No. 78 Mark Motors Porsche and Remo Ruscitti in the No. 96 OpenRoad Racing Porsche.
On Lap 2, however, the tough street circuit bested De Angelis, who – running second place at the time – was forced to heavily lock the brakes and slide slightly off track to halt his momentum heading into Turn 3 behind Robichon. As a result, De Angelis brought his No. 78 Porsche to the pits, dropping as far as 10th place before climbing back through the field to finish fifth.
Meanwhile, with the action in his rearview mirror, Robichon was able to set sail for the remainder of the 45-minute race. De Angelis’ struggles on Sunday afternoon favour Robichon in the Porsche GT3 Cup Canada championship standings, with the latter now opening up a 32-point gap over his teammate.
Ruscitti came home second on the Platinum class podium, a welcome result for the team, which has seen some misfortune in recent races.
Third on the podium was Porsche GT3 Cup Canada rookie Michael Di Meo in the No. 35 Policaro Motorsport / SportsCarBoutique Porsche. Di Meo’s team also overcame damage from the same incident as Ruscitti on Saturday to earn the Toronto native’s first podium of the season at his home track.
Sweeping the Platinum Masters class at Indy Toronto was Perry Bortolotti in the No. 84 Mark Motors Racing Porsche.
Marco Cirone in the No. 18 Mark Motors Racing Porsche also took home the Porsche GT3 Cup Canada Gold class victory as well as the day’s Yokohama Hard Charger Award.
Only four rounds remain in 2018 for the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama and up next is the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières in Québec on August 10 – 11, 2018. </>
Compiled by Randy Gananathan, Provinz Editor | Photos by Porsche Cars Canada Ltd.