MONTREAL – Roman De Angelis came out on top of a battle for survival during Saturday’s Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada and USA by Yokohama event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
A few laps into the 30-minute race, a series of incidents took place across the track that resulted in a 15-minute full course caution. While De Angelis – who is competing for points in both GT3 Cup Challenge Canada and GT3 Cup Challenge USA at this joint race weekend – led flag-to-flag, he admitted to mistakes that kept the race for the lead closer than it should have been.
“It’s never easy,” said De Angelis. “Initially on the start, we had pretty good pace. We set the car up so it was good towards the end, but it was struggling at the beginning to pull a gap. It seemed like – and obviously not and I hope everyone’s okay – but everyone kind of crashed on one lap and had a lot of clean up to do.
“When it went green again, I kind of made a stupid mistake braking into (turn) one and made the same mistake into (turn) three. I locked the front tires, so I had a flat spot on the left and right front and I had to deal with that for the five remaining laps, so that didn’t make easy. We had a good car though with Kelly-Moss and Mark Motors which made it cool.”
Parker Thompson, in the No. 3 Porsche, finished second in both championships during his first visit to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Thompson faced a stiff battle in the closing minutes with fellow GT3 Cup Challenge USA competitors Maxwell Root in the No. 7 Wright Motorsports Porsche and teammate Sean McAlister with JDX in the No. 11 Porsche.
Ultimately, Thompson was able to hold off the duo while Root and McAlister finished third and fourth, respectively. This is also the first trip to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for Root and McAlister, who have both been recipients of the IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup scholarship – Root in 2018 and McAlister this year.
In the Platinum Masters GT3 Cup Challenge USA class, it was a first victory for Bill Smith in the No. 42 Topp Racing Porsche over teammate David Baker in Topp Racing’s No. 56 entry.
At the right spot at the right time to win the GT3 Cup Challenge USA Gold Class was Kurt Fazekas in the No. 52 Kelly-Moss Porsche. Fazekas was running second to polesitter Sebastian Carazo in the NGT Motorsports’ No. 27 entry, who was slowed by an incident and lost time and positions to eventual winner Fazekas.
With De Angelis and Thompson taking the first two spots on both the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada and USA podiums, third place in the Canada championship went to Marco Cirone in the No. 88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche.
Cirone’s podium finish also solidified his second Platinum Masters victory in GT3 Cup Challenge Canada and a big swing in the point standings for that championship, as fellow Masters competitors Alan Metni in the No. 99 Kelly-Moss/AM Motorsports Porsche and Etienne Borgeat in the No. 2 Lauzon Autosport Porsche were involved in the series of incidents at the beginning of the race.
Sam Fellows, winning in the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Gold Class, took seventh overall in the Gold competitors on Saturday.