Robichon and 2017 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada champion Scott Hargrove have been constant sources of inspiration for De Angelis over the last three years. Robichon won all but one race – which went to De Angelis – during his championship-winning season, while Hargrove missed out on a perfect season by two victories.
The pair then went on to co-drive this season in IMSA’s top-tier WeatherTech Championship sharing a different Porsche, a 911 GT3 R. Robichon also scored the inaugural WeatherTech Sprint Cup title for GTD drivers competing in the seven races in 2019 that were two-hours, 40-minutes in duration or shorter.
“Even when I was in Gold, we had Scott who set the baseline for the competition and how high it was,” De Angelis explained. “We see Scott now moving into GT3 and doing an awesome job, as well as Zach last year setting the baseline and also doing an awesome job this year in GT3. It shows how high the level is. I think it’s good to have somebody like that in the series, that you know how far off you are from someone who’s at the peak of their Porsche GT3 Cup career and of their driving ability in that vehicle.
“At the end of this year, we had some really good fights the last few rounds. It just shows how competitive the series will be moving forward. I think a lot of the other rookie talent we’ve had the last two years is going to start evolving into what Zach was last year, Scott was the year before and hopefully what I was this year.”
While De Angelis is still working through plans for next season – “I’m looking forward to something where I can hopefully keep learning” – he recognizes those who have helped him skyrocket to success.
From his karting team, Koene USA; to Mark Motors Racing and Kelly-Moss Road and Race with Jeff Stone in GT3 Cup Challenge USA; to ANSA Motorsports in Prototype Challenge; and Audi Canada for the Rolex 24 effort, De Angelis’ talent has been recognized across the board.
And to further show his level of humility, De Angelis donated the Porsche 911 Carrera S that he was awarded during the GT3 Cup Challenge USA banquet to the Children’s Hospital of Alabama, as he has been a partner with Racing for Children’s and Medical Properties Trust for the last two years.
“The stuff we do there is really cool to be involved with,” he said. “It shows you’re not only just racing for yourself and the results you want, but you’re racing for kids who are in the hospital and suffering with things that are unimaginable. It’s cool to have something to push you and keep moving forward on your bad days.”
In the end for De Angelis, “It’s a lot of people to thank, but it’s been a long road. I’ve done a lot of stuff in the last three or four years, so I have to thank them all.”