David Ostella secures driver championship in final race
For the fourth consecutive race, the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Series was green all the way around for the sprint’s entirety.
The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars glimmered in the Calabogie sunlight as the field lined the grid for the final contest of the 2013 season. In Porsche fashion, drivers and teams put on a flawless show for spectators in Race Two of the 2013 KBC Grand Prix.
One point separated the SpeedMerchants and Pfaff/Alegra Motorsports teams entering the final round of the season. As David Ostella and Chris Green slid into their Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, they knew the battle for the team championship was between them.
Starting in the front row, the black/red/chrome No. 13 entry of Ostella lined up next to Green’s No. 9 Castrol entry. Ostella managed to lead the field from the green flag to the second-to-last lap of the race. Green waited patiently, nearly three tenths of a second back from Ostella for the majority of the race until he secured the lead with five minutes remaining. Taking the checkers three seconds ahead of Ostella, Green secured the team championship for Pfaff/Alegra Motorsports.
Platinum Cup podium (from left): David Ostella, Chris Green, JF Laberge
“Today really was for the team,” Green said. “I really had to step up and show them that I wanted to get this for them. The team championship is almost just as important as the driver championship. You can win those every now and again, but for the team it just means so much more to me. I’m really happy overall with the day. David (Ostella) drove a great race. He was clean. He was fast. I was just sitting there again hoping he would make a mistake, but he drove a flawless race and I have to give it to him. I just had such an incredible car underneath me I knew at the end I would be able to jump and take an opportunity on him, but I’ve really got to take my hat off to all the Pfaff, Alegra and Castrol guys. It was an awesome day, I love them, and it’s for them today.”
Green’s fast lap on the 3.05-mile, 20-turn circuit came on Lap 3 with fresh Michelin tires. His time of 2:03.562 was second only to SpeedMerchants’ Ostella. With the victory, Green finishes the season with five wins this year, the most of any participant.
Victor Carbone in the No. 21 entry also made some noise for the Pfaff/Alegra crew. Carbone started the grid in 13th position and finished sixth overall, gaining seven total positions during the caution-free 45-minute sprint.
As Pfaff/Alegra Motorsports celebrated a team win, Ostella and his SpeedMerchants’ crew shared hugs and smiles for the rookie driver’s individual championship win. The 21-year-old walked away with the Platinum Cup championship after finishing second in Race Two at Calabogie Motorsports Park. He needed to finish fourth or better to take home the ultimate prize – the keys to a Porsche 991 for one year, courtesy of Porsche Cars Canada.
David Ostella poses with his No. 13 Porsche GT3 Cup car after Race Two
“It was a wicked start, but I held the lead almost until the end but Chris Green got around me, and he was always there,” Ostella said. “I just thought of the championship and decided to just let him go and worry about finishing second, and ended up getting the championship. I can’t thank the team enough! SpeedMerchants did a fantastic job and the Porsche GT3 Cup Car was amazing. The Michelin tires held up a little bit better than yesterday, but it was just great out there. The tires have been awesome all year. I have to thank all of my sponsors for helping me get here and I am happy to bring them home a championship. Especially my grandfather and my family, they definitely will be proud, and it’s great to be able to go home and show them this.”
Ostella was the fastest driver on track today with a time of 2:03.519 on his third trip around the circuit. The Maple, Ont.-native finishes the season with two wins and nine podiums in his Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin debut.
Coming in third place was 2012 Platinum Cup champion JF Laberge. While the GT Racing driver was not as pleased with his overall finish this year, he was glad to end on the podium in the season finale. Ostella and Green ran away from him at the front, leaving Laberge to drive a race nearly all on his own in the third position and never let it slip.
“I’m happy to end the season on the podium,” Laberge said. “Yesterday I had a bit of an incident. I was running second for most of the race so I was real disappointed. I was expecting to finish higher. I thought Chris (Green) and David (Ostella) would bump each other and slow down a bit, but that didn’t happen. I have to thank to my team. GT did an amazing job all season long.”
In the Gold Cup category, Pfaff/Alegra Motorsports also came out on top in the team championship thanks to a stellar performance by Carlos de Quesada. The Alegra Motorsports team owner pulled off a win in the final race of the season after entering Round 10 just two points ahead of Tim Sanderson. De Quesada pulled away early and never looked back from his No. 50 Porsche GT3 Cup car.
With the win, de Quesada racks up his sixth victory of the season and takes the individual Gold Cup championship. Sanderson, racing for Fiorano Racing for Joanne’s House this year, came in a close second, just four points back from de Quesada. The two have battled it out all season long, and both were smiling on the podium following Race Two at Calabogie Motorsports Park.
Gold Cup podium (from left): Tim Sanderson, Carlos de Quesada, Martin Barkey
Martin Barkey, representing Fiorano/Garage Racing in the No. 55 Porsche GT3 Cup Car, found the Gold Cup podium in both races this weekend and ended his season on a high note.
Carlos de Quesada: First Place Gold Cup
“That was a great race. The first start was really dicey. There was a lot of banging there and then I was telling myself just to back off for the restart. The second start I just took it easy and let whomever wanted to pass, pass, and then once we got into that single file I just started really going for it for the first couple of laps but then I started to back off but Sanderson was right there, tapping on my heel. But it was a great race and we finished first and that is what we need to do.”
Tim Sanderson: Second Place Gold Cup
“Had a great day today. The car ran the best it has all weekend and I am very pleased. I didn’t quite have enough for Carlos (de Quesada) today, but he’s a great adversary and a great guy to come second to. I am just sorry it’s over. I have been thinking about what I am going to do next year and I made up my mind the last few laps and we are going to get a car and come back!”
Martin Barkey: Third Place Gold Cup
“This season has been awesome. A lot of fun and lot of great guys and we learned a lot from the more seasoned drivers. Today’s race was not the same race we had yesterday. We made some changes to the car and I don’t feel we had the same car as we did yesterday. We brought the car home in one piece and the team did a great job.”
The provisional points standings after Round 10 can be found by clicking here. Next up for the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin participants is the Porsche Championship banquet tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Awards will be presented to the top three drivers in each class as drivers, crews and officials reflect and celebrate the 2013 season.
The Master Championship
Mark Motors Racing driver Marco Cirone was proud to once again be on the podium, representing his sponsor at its home track of Calabogie Motorsports Park. Cirone entered the weekend with the goal of landing on podium, and he took the top step of Masters again today. With back-to-back wins this weekend, Cirone secured the Masters Championship in Platinum Cup. This weekend’s wins bring Cirone’s total victory tally to eight for the 2013 season.
Although Etienne Borgeat of GT Racing had a slow start to the year, he ended his season in good spirits as the second place Master Class finisher overall, and took second in today’s race.
SpeedMerchants’ Anthony Mantella found his way to the podium in Race Two, holding off Perry Bortolotti of Mark Motors. Bortolotti was as high as fifth during the race before dropping back to 14th after taking a spin in Turn 8 on the second lap. Bortolotti climbed his way back after the incident to finish eighth overall.
Mantella, who started ninth overall, managed to end up with a seventh place Platinum Cup finish, about one-and-a-half seconds ahead of Bortolotti. By lap three, Mantella had already gained three positions on the field, showing his intent to land on podium.
Marco Cirone: First Place Masters Championship
“This race was not as exciting as yesterday’s but, the most important thing for the team and Mark Motors was to get that third place Platinum finish and that’s what we achieved and I had a bit of fun out there with Etienne (Borgeat) and JF (Laberge) playing some slow down games and getting me in the middle of their French Sandwich and I just tried to stay away. And it almost worked, I nearly went off a couple of times but I was patient and I just needed to protect that position.”
Masters Podium (from left): Etienne Borgeat, Marco Cirone, Anthony Mantella
Etienne Borgeat: Second Place Masters Championship
“I’m not super happy about the race, but I had fun. Last year I was coming in with a little higher hopes for the season, but the season is over. I had some fun, had some good points of the season for sure. I can’t wait to see the schedule and what happens for next year. We want to get ready this winter to be on my A game next May, that’s the plan.”
Anthony Mantella: Third Place Masters Championship
“Great car. No doubt about it. Tough track. Really tough track. I really, really have a tough time keeping the tires under the car because the track is so abrasive and I am not used to this many turns with that much abrasion on the track. Just because the team set the car up just for me and my driving style I was able to finish the race and hold off Perry (Bortolotti) and I am very, very fortunate to be in this car with a great team.”
ABOUT ULTRA 94 PORSCHE GT3 CUP CHALLENGE CANADA BY MICHELIN
The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin is one of three official Development Series sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). It is also the fastest-growing single-make series in North America. The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin produces intense, exciting competition for semi-professional drivers alongside some of the most promising career-minded GT drivers in one of the world’s most successful and iconic race cars, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, and on classic Canadian road courses such as Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
For more information on the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin, visit http://www.facebook.com/gt3canada on Facebook and @GT3Canada on Twitter.