Porsche Cars Canada

Porsche Cars Canada
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada

August 13, 2012 09:49 ET

Championships Clinched and Records Broken in Wild Season Finale at Calabogie Motorsports Park

Laberge, Gregory and Seitz Take Home Class Championship Honour

CALABOGIE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 13, 2012) - In only its second year of competition, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin is thriving. Throughout the season, over 25 drivers have raced at some of Canada's finest permanent road courses, as well as the Grand Prix du Canada as part of the Formula One Championship weekend in Montréal. The three classes of Porsche GT3 Cup cars provided fans and drivers alike with great racing and fierce Championship battles that were contested to the very end at this weekend's final event for 2012 at Calabogie Motorsports Park.

"What a great end to a great season," said Joe Lawrence, President and CEO of Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. "This season's last two races fittingly ended were it all started last year, effectively coming full circle."

"What was even better than this year's larger field was the quality of the racing itself," added Laurance Yap, Director of Marketing. "We had a lot of very talented drivers join the field, including a number of young up-and-comers. Perhaps what was most impressive is that, despite the fact that the series has grown so much, it still has that great family atmosphere that was there at the start."

As lap records fell during both qualifying and racing on this season finale weekend, the Championship points battle came to its heated conclusion. Jean-Frédéric Laberge and SpeedMerchants ultimately took home the Driver and Team Championships after a very tight finish in Platinum Cup. Laberge started the weekend third overall in Platinum points.

SpeedMerchants would also taste the Team victory in Gold Cup, as Bruce Gregory stretched his Drivers Championship lead this weekend at his home track to clinch his win. Robert "Doctor Bob" Seitz ultimately broke his race-win streak in this weekend's competition, but it wouldn't impact his Championship win in Silver Cup, giving the Team Championship to 6th Gear Racing.

Race One in today's double-header at the 5.05-kilometer circuit started off with a full-course-caution on the very first lap as contact in Turn 3 resulted in a wild ride over the guard rail for Platinum Cup's Jim Hoddinott of SpeedMerchants. His 911 sustained heavy damage during the incident, but he walked away without harm. SportsCarBoutique's Ilker Starck was also involved in the incident, only incurring minor damage, but he ended his day early in his rush to aid his fellow driver. The incident was testament to both the safety of the Porsche GT3 Cup cars and to the sportsmanship and camaraderie of its competitors.

Also on lap one, there was slight contact between the Pole winner, Carlos de Quesada of Alegra Fiorano Racing and Laberge, as Laberge made an early move for position. His gamble paid off, and he made the pass stick and held onto the Platinum Cup lead for the remainder of the race to take home the win.

Marco Cirone from 6th Gear Racing was forced to start last on the grid in 19th position after incurring a post-qualifying penalty. He would make a hard charge toward the front of the field to finish third in Platinum Cup, just behind de Quesada.

Gold Cup competition saw a flag-to-flag win by Chris Green of Pfaff Automotive Partners, who captured yesterday's class Pole while setting a qualifying lap record for Gold Cup at Calabogie Motorsports Park.

Green was followed by another hard charger, Bruce Gregory of SpeedMerchants who finished second after starting 18th due to being unable to post a qualifying time. Gregory was serving double-duty this weekend as both a participant and as the event promoter. His teammate Robert Maranda took home third in Gold.

Seitz and 6th Gear Racing had a streak of 12 wins in Silver Cup competition dating back to last season and representing a clean sweep of every race in his category in the brief two-year history of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin. That streak would end today as Leho Poldmae would take home the top prize in Silver for his TPC Racing team.

Today's second race, and final round of competition for the season was a Championship-changer as Platinum Cup points leader Borgeat spun his GT Racing machine early on lap two, leaving the title up for grabs as he desperately tried to regain lost ground. Meanwhile, Laberge would take his second win of the weekend, securing the Platinum Class Driver Championship. "The guys gave me the good news when I got out of the car," stated the enthusiastic Laberge. "Despite losing his splitter, Carlos [de Quesada] was not easy to pass and Marco [Cirone] was pushing me pretty hard. Then suddenly I got by and the yellow came out. I won the Championship and I am super happy!"

Gold Cup class competition saw a repeat of today's first race in order of finish, as Green and his Pfaff/Fiorano Racing took the top step of the podium once again.

The event ended under the second full-course-caution of the day after heavy contact between the two Silver Cup entries of Seitz and Poldmae. The two made hard contact near the entry of Turn 11, which would bring out the yellow for the remainder of the race as officials tended to the scene of the incident. Seitz secured the Silver victory, but was taken to a nearby medical center for further observation. He was later released with only minor injuries.

Unclassified driver Kyle Marcelli in his Pfaff Automotive entry had smooth sailing this weekend as he led both races flag-to-flag. His unclassified status prevents him from accumulating points and awards, but still affords him all the best action that GT3 Cup Racing can offer.

"I love this series and I am hopeful that I can come back next year," said Marcelli. "I love driving these cars, they are tons of fun and the whole year has been awesome."

With strong fields of cars expected for the 2013 season, and Platinum Cup competitors already ordering cars for next season, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin is positioned for another great year of racing. Teams, drivers, and fans can be assured that the series will continue to provide the best GT3 Cup Challenge racing that Porsche, Michelin, and IMSA have to offer.

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin
Calabogie Motorsports Park
Porsche GT3 Cup Canada Finale Weekend
Event Race Results
Round 8 Round 9
Platinum Cup Platinum Cup
1: Jean-Frédéric Laberge 1: Jean-Frédéric Laberge
2: Carlos de Quesada 2: Marco Cirone
3: Marco Cirone 3: Carlos de Quesada
Gold Cup Gold Cup
1: Chris Green 1: Chris Green
2: Bruce Gregory 2: Bruce Gregory
3: Robert Maranda 3: Robert Maranda
Silver Cup Silver Cup
1: Leho Poldmae 1: Robert Seitz
2: Robert Seitz 2: Leho Poldmae

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin is divided into three classes; Platinum Cup, featuring the more powerful 2012, 2011 and 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars; Gold Cup, which includes 2005 1/2 - 2009 Porsche GT3 Cup cars, and the Silver Cup class for 2002 - 2005 1/2 996 Porsches. All three classes run on Michelin Cup N1 tires. Additional information, including a downloadable schedule and competitor regulations, are available at http://www.imsachallenge.ca.

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