|By Marketwired .||
|September 20, 2013 05:00 AM EDT||
CALABOGIE, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 09/20/13 --
Editor's Note: Photos for this release are available on the Canadian Press picture wire via Marketwire.
Blind apexes and blind corners make up the majority of Calabogie Motorsports Park, but spectators saw green all the way around for race one of the 2013 KBC Grand Prix. The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin participants provided 45 minutes of nonstop action for the ninth round of the 2013 season. The circuit challenged drivers' patience, with multiple elevation changes and a mixture of fast, slow and medium speeds demanded from various points on the circuit.
As the series took the 3.05-mile, 20-turn track for the third consecutive year, records were broken and championship standings tightened. Pfaff / Alegra Motorsports driver Chris Green turned the pressure up a notch on point leader David Ostella after taking the checkers in his No. 9 Porsche GT3 Cup car. Green started in second position on the grid behind pole-sitter Ostella.
"I was just kind of sitting back, just waiting for an opportunity for David (Ostella) to hopefully make a mistake," Green said. "He spun in Turn 5, and I never had to look back from there. The Pfaff/Alegra Castrol car is incredible. The guys did such a good job and I'm really proud of them today."
Green seized the lead on lap five after Ostella made a mistake and dropped back to fifth position. After gaining the lead, he pulled away to take the finish line 20 seconds ahead of the field.
Competing on his sponsor's home track, Marco Cirone was determined to make Mark Motors Racing proud in the final weekend of competition. Cirone started in fourth position, behind teammate Perry Bortolotti. The teammates exchanged leads in the Masters category throughout the race, and both found their way onto the podium.
Cirone was mirror-to-mirror with Jean-Frederic Laberge and Ostella throughout the duration of the race, and his patience was put to the ultimate test as he entered the final set of right-handers. As he approached turn 17, 18 and 19, he was in fourth behind two of the series' frontrunners. But in turn 19, he made a bold move on both drivers to lead them to the front straightaway as they took the white flag.
"JF (Laberge) and (David) Ostella battled so hard that I managed to have a little bit of tire left at the end," Cirone said. "With a couple of laps left, Ostella got a little bit loose in turn 10 and I managed to get a run on him. I made a clean pass and just before the last lap, JF went a little wide around the last corner there and I managed to just sneak it through."
SpeedMerchants' Ostella managed to land a third-place finish for his eighth podium of the year. The 21-year-old driver took full responsibility for his error early in the race.
As he climbed his way back from fifth to third, Ostella continued to run the same pace as Green. Early on, when the two frontrunners were nose-to-tail, he turned the fastest time on track, good enough for a new race lap record with a time of 2:03:387 on lap 2.
Round nine ruffled some feathers in the Gold Cup category. Entering the event at Calabogie, Tim Sanderson had a two-point lead over Carlos de Quesada for the Gold Cup championship.
On lap 16, Tim Sanderson and Martin Barkey of Fiorano/Garage Racing were nose-to-tail. The two continued to duke it out throughout the sprint, but Barkey ultimately landed on the second step of the podium, while Sanderson finished third.
On Sunday, the final race of the season, the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Series raced start-to-finish under green flag conditions for the fourth consecutive time.
Starting on the front row, David Ostella lined up next to Chris Green's 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 win.
"Today really was for the team," Green said. "I really had to step up and show them that I wanted this for them. 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 that 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."
Green's fast lap came on lap three with fresh Michelin tires. His time of 2:03.562 was second only to SpeedMerchants' Ostella. With the victory, Green finished the season with five wins this year, the most of any participant.
Victor Carbone in the No. 21 entry also made some noise. Carbone started the grid in 13th position and finished sixth overall, gaining seven total positions during the caution-free 45-minute sprint.
Ostella finished second in race two at Calabogie. The 21 year-old driver was the fastest on track with a time of 2:03.519, on his third trip around the circuit. The Maple, Ont.-native finished the season with two wins and nine podiums in his debut season.
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 on his own in the third position.
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. De Quesada pulled away early and never looked back from his No. 50 Porsche GT3 Cup car.
"I won, which is always a good thing!" said de Quesada. "It was a matter of getting as much of a lead as I could and then backing off and trying to conserve my tires. I love this track. It's very technical and at the same time it's also very abrasive on the tires - so it's really about tire management and trying to be there at the end."
With the win, de Quesada racked up his sixth victory of the season. Tim Sanderson, racing for Fiorano Racing for Joanne's House, came a close second. The two have battled it out all season long, and both were smiling on the podium following the final race of the season.
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.
Mark Motors Racing driver Marco Cirone entered the weekend with the goal of landing on the podium, and he took the top step of Masters again. The win brought 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 and took second.
SpeedMerchants' Anthony Mantella found his way to the Masters 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 spinning on the second lap. Bortolotti climbed his way back after the incident to finish eighth overall.
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.
Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd.
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