Happy Birthday, Dad

Happy Birthday, Dad

Press Room IMSA

Happy Birthday, Dad

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Subtitle:
Hargrove Presents Gift To Father With Trois-Rivières Sweep

TROIS-RIVIÈRES, Quebec (Aug. 2, 2015) – Scott Hargrove delivered a long-distance birthday present to his father by winning Round 8 of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin on Sunday, Aug. 2 at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières (GP3R), completing a weekend sweep of both races.

Hargrove’s father, Jim, celebrated his birthday Sunday at home in Surrey, British Columbia. Reigning Platinum Cup champion Scott Hargrove earned his fifth victory in six starts this season in the No. 25 OpenRoad Racing Porsche, driving away from the field to win by 15.760 seconds.

“You couldn’t ask for anything better than this,” Hargrove said. “And first off, I would like to say happy birthday to my dad. It’s his birthday today, and hopefully this is a good present for him this weekend. Just an incredible, incredible weekend, and I am so happy.

“The OpenRoad Porsche was amazing. My teammates at Mark Motors were phenomenal. I don’t really have words for what happened this weekend. Everything went perfectly, and I am just thankful for everyone, and especially the fans here. This is what we dream of when we think of a race weekend. The fireworks last night and the crowds today. I love it here. I wish I could race here every weekend.”

Daniel Morad, from Thornhill, Ontario, finished second in the No. 22 Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports entry after another tough street fight with Platinum Cup championship leader Chris Green on the 10-turn, 2.433-km (1.5207 miles) temporary circuit.

Green, from Montreal, finished third in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche for the second consecutive day. Green is the only driver to finish on the podium in all eight rounds this season, and he carries an 11-point lead over Morad into the season-ending Rounds 9 and 10 on Aug. 28-30 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) in Bowmanville, Ontario.

Etienne Borgeat, from Montreal, placed fourth in the No. 2 GT Racing Porsche. Harry Steenbakkers, from Ottawa, rounded out the top five in the No. 78 Mark Motors Racing Porsche.

Tim Sanderson, from Pickering, Ontario, earned his second Platinum Masters victory of the season in the No. 05 Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports entry. His 15-year-old teammate Michael de Quesada stretched his Gold Cup win streak to four consecutive rounds in the No. 24 Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports car.

Hargrove’s path to victory followed almost the exact blueprint as Saturday. He drove away from the field from pole, managing a gap of two to three seconds to Morad during the first half of the 45-minute race before pulling away through deft navigation of lapped traffic during the final 20 minutes.

The win vaulted Hargrove – who missed the first two rounds of the season in mid-May at CTMP – to third in the standings with 118 points, 22 behind leader Green.

Morad and Green raced hard for second place for the second consecutive day. Morad squeezed past Green in Turn 1 at the start, and the margin between the two main title contenders never grew to more than a second for the next 40 minutes.

Green tried to pass Morad for second in Turn 10, the final turn leading to the front straightaway, with five minutes remaining. The two cars made contact, bringing the large, passionate crowd to its feet.

But Morad held second and pulled away over the closing laps to take the checkered flag .544 of a second ahead of Green. The hard duel set the table for an intriguing, intense rivalry for the championship later this month at CTMP.

“Alegra and Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports gave me a good car again today,” Morad said. “It was solid even though I had quite a bit of contact from the rear from Chris Green. It was unfortunate because it was a great battle. He’s fighting for a championship, and I just don’t understand why he was fighting so hard. He tapped me in my left rear tire and my rear bumper and spun me halfway around in the last turn.

“But I managed to save it and came back on with a little bit of left rear suspension damage, but I managed to hold on to second in the end. Overall it was a good weekend and two second-place finishes, and we are getting closer in points. Now it’s going to go down to the wire in CTMP.”

Said Montreal native Green: “It’s really emotional for me to come home. To be on the podium twice is a real success for the Castrol/Pfaff Motorsports team. I think we had everything in place to be able to win this weekend, but you know what, this wasn’t my weekend. Sometimes it comes to us; sometimes it doesn’t.”

Platinum Masters

Sanderson scored his second Platinum Masters victory of the season, trimming Marco Cirone’s points lead to 156-148 with two rounds remaining.

2014 Gold Cup champion Sanderson took the lead with 26 minutes left when Cirone spun in Turn 1 in his No. 88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche. Sanderson then drove away to a clean victory as the final car on the lead lap, finishing sixth overall.

“It was a good, smooth race,” Sanderson said. “The racing gods were with us a little bit today. Marco had a little spin there, and we were able to take advantage of it. I hate it when that happens because it can happen to any of us at any time. He’s a hell of a driver and a hell of a competitor.”

Two-time defending Platinum Masters champion Cirone, from Toronto, again was battling with Borgeat when he twice brushed the concrete walls lining the challenging circuit. The contact knocked the steering of his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup out of alignment, leading to the spin in Turn 1.

“It all went downhill from then on,” Cirone said. “My steering wheel was off, and the car was just a nightmare to drive after that. But it was all my fault. It’s great for Tim to finish in the No. 1 spot. He’s a great driver. He deserved it, and he drove well. It’s been a great event.”

Chuck Harris, from Tampa, Florida, finished third for the second consecutive day in the No. 50 Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports entry. It the third podium finish of the season for 2014 Silver Cup champion Harris.

Gold Cup

De Quesada launched himself into the tight Gold Cup championship race with his fourth consecutive victory of the season. He climbed to second with 128 points, just eight behind leader Orey Fidani, with two rounds remaining at CTMP.

The two victories this weekend also cemented a place for de Quesada, 15, in the storied lore of GP3R. He is the youngest winner in any series in the 46-year history of the popular event, which started in 1967.

Pole sitter De Quesada lost the lead to Shaun McKaigue early in the race but then squeezed past McKaigue to seize first place in the class. He then gradually eased away from McKaigue despite a close call at one point.

“Shaun got ahead of me; he did a great job. I eventually got past him, and I just tried not to make any mistakes. Which I did; I just carried a little bit too much speed and had a small lockup and just grazed the wall. But I was fine, and I made it to the end of the race. I just tried my best to stay ahead.”

2011 Gold Cup champion McKaigue, from Gilford, Ontario, tied his best finish of the season by placing second in the No. 34 Fiorano Racing Porsche. This was McKaigue’s best event weekend of 2015, with two podium finishes. He placed third Saturday.

Martin Harvey, from nearby Berthierville, Quebec, earned a popular third-place finish in the No. 08 Wingho Motorsport Porsche. He rebounded from a challenging weekend that included a crash in qualifying and a fourth-place finish in Round 7 Saturday, nursing his car to the finish Sunday despite a gearbox problem.

“Yesterday was a very bad day for me because of the problem with the throttle, and today I started at the back of the field,” Harvey said. “But I finished third, and I am very, very happy. I finished third here at Trois-Rivières, which means a lot to me.”

Championship leader Fidani, from Woodbridge, Ontario, placed fourth in the No. 13 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche.

For more information about Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin, visit www.imsa.com, follow hashtag #GT3CAN @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.

ROUND 8 POST-RACE QUOTES:

SCOTT HARGROVE (No. 25 OpenRoad Racing, winner): “You couldn’t ask for anything better than this. And first off, I would like to say happy birthday to my dad. It’s his birthday today, and hopefully this is a good present for him this weekend. Just an incredible, incredible weekend, and I am so happy. The OpenRoad Porsche was amazing. My teammates at Mark Motors were phenomenal. I don’t really have words for what happened this weekend. Everything went perfectly, and I am just thankful for everyone, and especially the fans here. This is what we dream of when we think of a race weekend. The fireworks last night and the crowds today. I love it here. I wish I could race here every weekend.”

DANIEL MORAD (No. 22 Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports, second): “I seemed to be quicker the first few laps of the race, and I thought I might have a chance to put some pressure on Scott (Hargrove) and maybe overtake him. But after five laps he hooked up and was about a tenth or two quicker per lap, and I couldn’t keep up with his pace. So I just focused on managing my own race and my tires and driving to the pace that I could drive. Alegra and Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports gave me a good car again today. It was solid even though I had quite a bit of contact from the rear from Chris Green. It was unfortunate because it was a great battle. He’s fighting for a championship, and I just don’t understand why he was fighting so hard. He tapped me in my left rear tire and my rear bumper and spun me halfway around in the last turn. But I managed to save it and came back on with a little bit of left rear suspension damage, but I managed to hold on to second in the end. It really feels nice to get that personal victory because that was a really tough battle out there, and to be honest, it wasn’t necessary. But overall it was a good weekend and two second-place finishes, and we are getting closer in points. Now it’s going to go down to the wire in CTMP.” 

CHRIS GREEN (No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports, third): “I’m so happy to be here in front of my Quebec fans. The people are absolutely amazing. I’ve known some of these people since I was 9 years old. It’s really emotional for me to come home. To be on the podium twice is a real success for the Castrol/Pfaff Motorsports team. We’re such a young crowd. I think we had everything in place to be able to win this weekend, but you know what, this wasn’t my weekend. Sometimes it comes to us; sometimes it doesn’t. I just want to thank my entire Castrol family, Quebec guys, that came out this weekend. The guys from Ontario, as well, from Castrol. This is for them.”

TIM SANDERSON (No. 07 Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports, first Platinum Masters): “It was a good, smooth race. The racing gods were with us a little bit today. Marco (Cirone) had a little spin there, and we were able to take advantage of it. I hate it when that happens because it can happen to any of us at any time. He’s a hell of a driver and a hell of a competitor. I wish I had some more for Harry (Steenbakkers). He took off on me, but it was a good, clean race. I was just looking to be consistent like yesterday and bring it home in one piece.”

MARCO CIRONE (No. 88 Mark Motors Racing, second Platinum Masters): “I was pushing really hard to keep up with Etienne (Borgeat), and I think I did for a few laps. But Etienne knows this track well. He’s a great driver, and I guess I was pushing just a little too hard and I grazed the wall. Not once, but twice. That threw off my alignment, and I figured I’d keep on going, and then I spun the car. It all went downhill from then on. My steering wheel was off, and the car was just a nightmare to drive after that. But it was all my fault. It’s great for Tim (Sanderson) to finish in the No. 1 spot. He’s a great driver. He deserved it, and he drove well. It’s been a great event. I want to thank Mark Motors and my team. They tried so hard. Unfortunately, this time I disappointed them. We’ll try to get them back at Mosport. Thank you very much to the Trois-Rivières fans. What an incredible event. And I hope I’m fortunate enough to be here next year.”

CHUCK HARRIS (No. 50 Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports, third Platinum Masters): “It was pretty uneventful. The track was good, the car was good. I was just having a good time out there. I’m just trying to stay out of trouble and go as fast as I could. It was more of the same. Trying to do it a little better and a little more precisely. The tires were good. They never went away. I was pushing them a little harder today, and they stayed good all the way to the end.”

MICHAEL DE QUESADA (No. 24 Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports, winner Gold Cup): “I just made sure not to crash at the start. Shaun (McKaigue) got ahead of me; he did a great job. I eventually got past him, and I just tried not to make any mistakes. Which I did; I just carried a little bit too much speed and had a small lockup and just grazed the wall. But I was fine, and I made it to the end of the race. I just tried my best to stay ahead.”

SHAUN McKAIGUE (No. 34 Fiorano Racing, second Gold Cup): “It was another great race today, but I didn’t have anything for Michael (De Quesada). I was on his tail a couple of times but just couldn’t catch him. It was a great start, I was out front in first. But Michael reeled me in. Orey (Fidani) made a mistake, and then I was just trying to keep the pressure on them. The Michelins held up really well today, a little bit better than yesterday. No flat spots. So it was really fun.”

MARTIN HARVEY (No. 08 Wingho Motorsport, third Gold Cup): “Yesterday was a very bad day for me because of the problem with the throttle, and today I started at the back of the field. But I finished third, and I am very, very happy. My car is not very good (due to yesterday’s issue), but it was OK. But the last 10 laps my gearbox got very hot and my alarm went off, so I backed out of the throttle a bit for the race. But I finished third here at Trois-Rivières, which means a lot to me.”

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