Green regains lost dround on Ostella in points
Drivers and teams took the Circuit de Trois-Rivières for the second round of the double header as fans filled the stands along the front straight.
The pristine Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars glimmered in the sunlight and took the green flag for a second consecutive 45-minute sprint with nonstop action. Another caution-free race allowed drivers to display their true talents and skill on the 1.5-mile, 10-turn circuit and put on a show for the Quebec residents who have celebrated the summer festival that is the 44th edition of the Grand Prix de Trois-Riviéres all week.
Darryl O’Young made an appearance as a guest driver in his No. 69 SpeedMerchants entry and led the field from the green flag all the way to the checkered for Round Eight on the series schedule. His unclassified status makes for a very impressive performance, however, no points or official standing will be accumulated for his finish. His expertise took the field of GT3 Cup cars to a safe and steady start.
“The race was really good,” O’Young said. “I had a good start and was able to get a good lead. The first five laps I pushed really hard to get a gap. Chris (Green) was quite a ways back, but he kept the gap even so I was pushing really hard to maintain that gap and not let him get closer. Chris drove a good race and I am really happy to race here at Trois- Riviéres. The GT3 Cup Challenge is a very good series.”
O’Young’s significant lead left the usual fast suspects – Chris Green, JF Laberge and David Ostella to battle for the true podium spots. Laberge quickly passed Green on the first lap for second position and held it until Lap 10 when Green reclaimed the spot between Turn 2 and 3. Green pulled away after the gateway and maintained the position until the checkered.
“It was a good day and great little battle with JF (Laberge) at the beginning,” Green said. “The guy’s fast but a little mistake there I was able to optimize on the opportunity get by him we just had a great car today. To be able to win my race I’m very happy and the guys did an excellent job. Get to be back on the top of the podium and now we’re looking forward to the next two races.”
In his winning performance, Green broke the new race lap record set yesterday by JF Laberge. Green turned a time of 1:05.655, two tenths faster than Laberge’s
The victory is Green’s third of the season and puts the Quebec-native within striking distance of series points leader David Ostella. After settling for a ninth place finish yesterday after having to replace a tire, Green is back in the hunt. Ostella has racked up 138 points this season, with Green tallying 125. Thirteen points separate the top two drivers entering the final event of the season. By the same margin, Laberge came back to win the championship at Calabogie in 2012.
“This race was great,” Ostella said. “Phenomenal race today. It was very clean. No incidents. We were struggling a bit with the car. I made a mistake coming around Turn 10, ended up brushing the wall on the inside so kind of messed up the setup a little bit. Other than that it was a clean race and I couldn’t ask for anything better. The team did a fantastic job. Got to thank SpeedMerchants, the Porsche car was phenomenal the Michelin tires were very consistent. And I’ve got to thank my sponsors Global Precast, JND Erectors, Connolly Marble, Pro-Green Demolition, Masters Insurance and NTC. Without them I wouldn’t be here, and especially the family, so it was a great event and I look forward to the next one and continuing this streak.”
Ostella took the third place finish behind GT Racing’s Laberge in second place. Ostella has now racked up seven podium finishes in eight races this season. Laberge, the 2012 series champion, is regaining his luster in the final rounds of the season this year, with a second place finish today after winning Round 7 yesterday at Circuit de Trois-Rivières.
“Amazing race again,” Laberge said. “Good battle with Chris (Green). He was fast when the race started so I was trying to keep him behind me for a bit but he passed me for 10 laps so I tried to come back but the race was a bit far away.”
Despite an incident with only five minutes remaining, Carlos de Quesada was able to finish on top of the Gold Cup class at Circuit de Trois-Rivieres for Round 8 of the 2013 season. The Pfaff/Alegra Motorsports driver overshot Turn 6 in the braking zone and had to gather himself back on the track, which diminished his 40-second lead over Tim Sanderson to almost 15 seconds. He was able to hang on for a few more laps to take the checkered.
Tim Sanderson earned his eighth podium of the year with a second place finish at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières. Martin Barkey of Fiorano/Garage Racing overcame issues with the car from the day before to take a third place podium spot today.
All Gold Cup participants are also Gold Masters competitors this weekend.
Carlos de Quesada: First Place Gold Cup/Gold Cup Masters
“It was a good start. Very clean, no issues just basically ran consistent lap times. I had a little off where I overshot the turn in the braking so I had to gather myself around and get back on track. I had a good lead at that point, so with two laps to go I was pretty nervous but everything worked out. I think I’m two points behind now in the championship so the next race is really important.”
Tim Sanderson: Second Place Gold Cup/Gold Cup Masters
“I think [the start] it’s testimony to the field. It’s great racing with all these guys I think we’ve got enough experience with each other now that we kind of know each others moves for the most part so feel real confident going into the first and second corners even in a tight track like this. It’s tough to catch old Carlos (de Quesada) when you can’t keep it on the road but we had fun. We had a blast here this weekend. It’s a great weekend and we enjoyed ourselves.”
Martin Barkey: Third Place Gold Cup/Gold Cup Masters
“Today was a great race we had some issues yesterday that we were wrestling with the car. The guys set it up a little different and it felt a lot better. It was fun chasing these guys (Carlos and Tim) around and just another great day on the track.”
The 2013 season finale takes place at Calabogie Motorsports Park September 6-8 for the final two rounds of competition. For series news and updates, follow us on Twitter @GT3Canada or on Facebook. For race results, points standings, event information or to download a Spotter’s Guide, visit http://imsachallenge.ca.
The Masters Championship
Masters contenders Etienne Borgeat, Anthony Mantella and Marco Cirone jockeyed for the Masters lead in the first half of the 45-minute sprint. On Lap 22, Mantella starting picking up ground on leader Borgeat. Four laps later, only five tenths separated Mantella and Borgeat, with Cirone behind Mantella by only eight tenths. Entering the final 15 minutes of the race, Cirone made his way around Mantella in Turn 6 to take the second Masters position.
Cirone continued to push forward and gain on Borgeat, meanwhile Mantella took a spin in Turn 6 into the tire wall and lost his position to Perry Bortolotti for third Masters position. As race control made the command for “white flag next lap”, Cirone made a pass on Borgeat in turn 9 for the Masters lead. The Mark Motors Racing driver was able to hold his position until the checkered and take his sixth win of the 2013 season. Cirone finished in fifth position in Platinum Cup, after starting the grid in tenth.
Borgeat also gained significant ground throughout the nonstop action, beginning in ninth and ending up in sixth amongst the Platinum Cup competitors.
Bortolotti of Mark Motors Racing joined teammate Cirone on the podium for the fourth time this year.
Marco Cirone: First Place Masters Championship
“It was fantastic weather for us and I’m really impressed with the crowd that showed up. They’re fantastic fans and the corner workers, everybody who put this race together I’m really impressed. I’m already looking forward to coming back next year. I want to thank my sponsors and my team for a great car and racing with all these guys in the series. I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Etienne Borgeat: Second Place Masters Championship
“These guys are getting very fast and have especially good driving. I was afraid we would have some major crashes here. Two races, 45 minutes without a yellow, it’s like ‘Wow that’s fantastic’. It shows that everyone is stepping up. It’s a great event.”
Perry Bortolotti: Third Place Masters Championship
“I just want to take my hat off and compliment the staff at GP3R. What a fantastic venue. This is my first time here – amazing track, amazing facility, amazing fans. We’re looking forward to coming back here. And a shout out to our sponsor Mark Motors Racing.”
Rookie David Ostella takes third and continues podium streak at Trois-Rivières
Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin rookie and series points leader David Ostella entered this weekend with a goal of leaving with his points lead in tact. This is not an easy task for even the most seasoned of drivers at Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières. The 10-turn, 1.5207-mile (2.433 km) temporary street circuit is known for its tight confines, concrete walls and severe lack of runoff areas.
Ostella began execution of his weekend plan by posting a second-place finish in Race 1 yesterday, while his nearest competitor in points, Chris Green had a bit of a rough race and ended up collecting points for seventh in the race.
The Maple, Ontario-native driver and his SpeedMerchants team knew they had their work cut out for them in Race 2 today, as the field of drivers near the front proved to be some fast and fierce competition yesterday. Ostella started in fourth overall and planned on utilizing his experience at the track, as this was his fifth time in varied competition at the circuit. And though he suffered a minor setback, his plan proved profitable.
David Ostella speeds toward Turn 3 at Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières
“This race was great,” Ostella said. “Phenomenal race today. It was very clean. No incidents. We were struggling a bit with the car. I made a mistake coming around Turn 10, ended up brushing the wall on the inside so kind of messed up the setup a little bit. Other than that it was a clean race and I couldn’t ask for anything better; the team did a fantastic job. Got to thank SpeedMerchants, the Porsche GT3 Cup car was phenomenal and the Michelin tires were very consistent. And I’ve got to thank my sponsors Global Precast, JND Erectors, Connolly Marble, Pro-Green Demolition, Masters Insurance and NTC. Without them I wouldn’t be here, and especially the family, so it was a great event and I look forward to the next one and continuing this streak.”
Ostella took the third step on the podium today and continued his streak of podium finishes, which now stands at seven, including two wins. He looks to continue that streak en route to the Championship during the final race weekend at Calabogie Motorsports Park, September 6-8. At stake are not only pride and satisfaction, but also the keys to a brand new Porsche 991 for one year courtesy of Porsche Cars Canada.
David Ostella accepts third-place trophy from Patrick Saint Pierre, Porsche Cars Canada
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