Series press release
MIRABEL, JUNE 1, 2011 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ After the dust had settled on the first round of the inaugural season of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada at Calabogie, Perry Bortolotti had taken both races of the weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s double-header. And while he and Marco Cirone finished 1-2 in both races, each race went down to the wire in both wet and changing track conditions that placed a premium on driver ability. Both races were also characterized by tough, yet clean, racing, with a four-way struggle for third through sixth that wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t decided until the last few laps.
After a three-week hiatus, the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series now shifts eastward to a new venue, Circuit ICAR on the site of the old Mirabel airport, in Mirabel, Quebec.
Bortolotti, driving the #84 SpeedMerchants/Fiorano Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, took part in a pre-race test earlier this month on a portion of the track that will be used for the race and was impressed with what he saw in his first look at Circuit ICAR.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d never been to ICAR,Ã¢â‚¬Â explains Bortolotti. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pretty much what we expected. With concrete surfaces, there is a high abrasion factor and some bumpy surfaces, like at most airport circuits. The Michelin tires will be a big plus here, especially with all of their Sebring experience.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Bortolotti continued: Ã¢â‚¬Å“and, since they are reconfiguring the track for our event, we only ran about two-thirds of the actual race circuit, so the other third will be new. There are very few visual markers, which increases the degree of difficulty.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The changes in the trackÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s configuration will make it a more level playing field for all of the competitors, even those who have spent time at ICAR. And Bortolotti, who had a home-field advantage at Calabogie, is eager to increase his number of wins.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Calabogie race weekend was fantastic,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Bortolotti. Ã¢â‚¬Å“But your luck can change quickly. It was good for me and for the team to get a little momentum and success behind us. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re pumped
and have a lot more confidence in our abilities now.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The series has gained some traction in the intervening weeks. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We were gratified with the amount of buzz the series has created among the members of the Canadian racing community,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Joe Lawrence, President and CEO of Porsche Cars Canada. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The series came together in just a few weeks, but now that it is here and real, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re getting calls from teams from as far away as British Columbia who are exploring ways to participate before the season ends at Mosport in July.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“People are starting to see what this series is all about,Ã¢â‚¬Â added Bortolotti, Ã¢â‚¬Å“and I think it will gain momentum quickly. I expect to see more cars next year, which will up the competition level and the fun quotient. But I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe the amount of exposure weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve already gotten. As word gets out, more people will be interested in participating and sponsoring the series.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge has become a fixture on the racing scene around the world. Run on every continent except Antarctica and Africa, it is estimated that the GT3 Cup Challenge will hold 120 events and 255 championship rounds in 2011. The concept of a Porsche based one-make cup series dates back to 1986, with the Rothmans-Porsche Challenge Series for the normally-aspirated Porsche 944 in Canada and the Porsche Turbo Cup Championship for 944 Turbos in Germany.
The series is divided into three classes; Platinum Cup, featuring the more powerful 2011 and 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, Gold Cup, which includes 2005Ã‚Â½ – 2009 Porsches, and Silver Cup for 2002 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 2005Ã‚Â½ 996 Porsches. All three classes run on Michelin tires.
Two events remain in the inaugural season of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada: June 3-5 at Circuit ICAR (Mirabel, Quebec) and a season finale on the same racing card as their American counterparts July 23-24 at the Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport. The seasonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s overall champion will be presented with a Tudor Heritage Chronograph, provided by Rolex Canada.
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada will have two races this weekend at the newly reconfigured
Circuit ICAR Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Saturday at 2:15pm and Sunday at 1:05pm EDT.
Additional information, including competitor regulations, is available at http://www.imsaracing.net.