Pfaff Motorsports will run GTD Sprint Cup in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2019, contesting the seven races in the Sprint calendar with a new 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 R and Canadian drivers Scott Hargrove and Zacharie Robichon.
In selecting its drivers, the Canadian team continues its tradition of finding up-and-coming Canadian talent. Hargrove and the Pfaff team finished their first year in Pirelli World Challenge by winning the GT Sprint class championship – the first time in series history a rookie team has won the championship’s top class. The No. 96 Castrol-Pfaff Motorsports 911 GT3 R was also the top Porsche in the series’ overall standings.
Robichon capped his 2018 season by clinching the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama title for Mark Motors Racing.
“I couldn’t be more excited to enter the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Championship in 2019,” said team manager Steve Bortolotti. “We have long targeted this series as where we ultimately want to bring our program, and the new sprint format allows us to make that transition sooner than expected. We are working hard with our commercial partners to be on the grid for all the endurance events in the near future, and are thrilled to contest the sprint championship as well as Petit Le Mans in 2019.
“Our relationship with Porsche Motorsport North America has been incredible over the years, and we are excited to begin another new chapter of our company’s racing history with a marque we have passionately represented for over 50 years.”
Hargrove admits there will be challenges in graduating to IMSA’s top class, but a pairing with Robichon is a bit of a reunion.
“There will be new challenges like dealing with other classes of cars, refueling, and significantly longer races,” he said. “I’m excited to have Zach joining our all- Canadian team – we were teammates racing Formula 1600, both in Canada and Europe, and again in 2016 racing Porsche GT3 Cup. I know he will be very quick, and that will allow us to focus on the details necessary to become a winning team.”
Robichon said he will rely on Hargrove’s experience as he transitions to GTD.
“It will be a tough transition from a one-make sprint series to GTD, but I’m up for it,” he said. “I had the task of competing against Pfaff Motorsports in 2016 and 2017, seeing first-hand their ability to produce race- and championship-winning cars, and their results in 2018 speak for themselves. I couldn’t think of a better place to compete in 2019, and this will be the fourth time Scott and I will race as teammates. I know we’ll push each other to get the most out of the car. His experience in the GT3 R means I’ll be leaning on him a lot to learn.”