Jul 17

Martin Harvey Porsche GT3 Race Report from the Toronto Indy

A Couple of Fourth Place Master Class Finishes for  Martin Harvey in the Porsche GT3 Cup Races in Toronto

2017-06-11_0230Drivers of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada were in scenic downtown Toronto this past weekend for Rounds seven and eight of their 2017 schedule.

Both races were held on the 2.82-kilometre temporary street course on the grounds of the former Exhibition Place as a support event for the Toronto Indy. Martin Harvey of Repentigny, Quebec, who competes in the Platinum Masters championship for drivers 45-years and over, a separate contest within the main Platinum Cup class, finished fourth in both Saturday and Sunday’s Masters Class races.

In both events, the driver of the McDonald’s Porsche 911 number 08 was unable to catch up to Shaun McKaigue of Gilford, Ontario, who finished twice on the third step of the Masters podium. Class points leader, Marco Cirone, of Toronto, won both Masters Class races ahead of Tim Sanderson of Pickering, Ontario. In Saturday’s race, Harvey improved one spot from his starting position when he finished ninth overall with all three classes combined including the Gold Cup Class, and two spots on Sunday with an eighth place finish.

“I had good starts in both races, but there were a couple of incidents right in front of me in each event that prevented me from keeping up with Shaun (McKaigue) in a battle for third,” said the semi-pro driver of Porsche Prestige of Montréal. “On Sunday, I was right on his tail at one point going for the pass, but my car lacked top speed on the long straight. Later on, someone lost it in front of me and Shaun checked out. With a small field of cars, it’s easy to become isolated on the track and lose perspective. Overall, I am pleased with my performances in this new class because I have improved my lap times on every track we’ve visited so far this year. I am now going on a much-needed month-long break before the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières, an event I am looking forward to.”

Surviving a one-lap shootout on Saturday
No one predicted a one-lap shootout in Saturday’s race held on a late sunny afternoon, but a late race caution, followed by a last lap white and green flag, did cause some turmoil in a sprint that lacked flavour. During the full course caution, the race lead pack caught up to the backmarkers and when the green signal was given, the race leaders, fighting for position, as were the backmarkers, created chaos on the track and a few Porsches were scratched along the way. When it all settled down, Scott Hargrove of Tsawwassen, BC maintained first place, crossing the finish line ahead of Zacharie Robichon of Ottawa. Patrick Dussault of Montreal collected his first podium of the season with a third-place finish.

Win number five for Scott Hargrove on Sunday
Sunday’s race was held under cloudy skies and humidity was a factor for more than one driver. The Porsche 911 racecar, powered by a four-litre, 485 hp flat four rear engine, does not come with air conditioning. As on the previous day, Hargrove was perfect, winning from the pole ahead of rival Robichon. With the win, the BC driver increased his lead in the overall Platinum Cup championship over Robichon. Michael Quesada finished third, but the young American did hold second place for a while.

Following the massive second lap pile-up in at Watkins Glen fifteen days ago that forced the cancellation of the first race of the weekend, the field of 911 Porches was reduced to 13 on the starting grid in Toronto. On Saturday, nine cars crossed the finish line, seven of them on the lead lap. On Sunday, 10 drivers saw the chequered flag wave, with six on the winner’s lap.

In the overall Platinum Cup standings, Hargrove with six wins in seven starts is still leading with 124 points, 14 ahead of Robichon. In the Masters Class standings, Martin Harvey moves up to fourth place with 72 points, 14 away from McKaigue and 16 from second place held by Tim Sanderson. Marco Cirone is still first in class.

The Porsche GT3 Cup race weekend will be aired on TSN on Saturday, July 29 at 2 p.m.

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

Next race: Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières
The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Series takes a month off and will next compete at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières on August 12-13. The season will end September 2-3 at the historic Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

source: Max d’Orsonnens