De Angelis Routes Canadian Porsche Field

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Roman De Angelis leads the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama field Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. (IMSA Photo)
The schedules for five IMSA touring divisions were announced on Friday. (IMSA Photo)

BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – The first race of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura weekend featured the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama and it was over nearly as soon as it began.

Roman De Angelis scored his fourth victory of the season on Saturday morning in the No. 79 Mark Motors Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car after a strong start at the drop of the green flag.

The 18-year-old from Belle River, Ontario, started on pole alongside Jeff Kingsley in the No. 16 Policaro Motorsport Porsche, but was unchallenged heading into Turn 1 as Kingsley struggled to get up to speed. De Angelis reveled in the clean air, going on to win by a staggering 14.598 seconds.

“It was pretty difficult to be honest with you,” said De Angelis, who will start from the No. 1 spot for Race 2 on Sunday morning. “We struggled a bit with rear grip. We had a shock go bad yesterday in qualifying and to replace that overnight, you never really know how these shocks are going to break in or how they’re going to act. So yeah, the left rear was a bit sketchy in all the right-handers, so I just kind of had to adapt to the way the car was.

“It was definitely not an easy one for us but once again I can’t thank Mark Motors enough. We’re pulling away in these points and we just need to keep doing that.”

While initially dropping to third place at the start, Kingsley bounced back to regain the runner-up position ahead of Patrick Dussault in the No. 77 Lauzon Autosport Porsche. This is the first podium for Kingsley since winning the first race of the season, also at CTMP as part of the annual Victoria Day SpeedFest held in May. This is Dussault’s third podium of the year.

Meanwhile in the Platinum Masters class, it was an exciting race for winner Marco Cirone in the No. 88 Porsche for Mark Motors Racing. After starting seventh on the grid, Cirone moved up to fourth place and was eagerly looking to steal the final overall podium spot from Dussault in the final minutes. Coming onto the frontstretch, however, Cirone got loose as he peeked inside Dussault’s Porsche and spun.

Fortunately for Cirone, the battle for third was well ahead of the rest of the field, so he was able to recover and continue on for the Platinum Masters victory and overall fourth-place finish.

“I’m very happy with the Masters win, but to be quite honest in my heart I had that third place, man,” said Cirone. “I was going for it so hard and perhaps that was the problem, that at the end there I wanted it so bad that I tried too hard and I lost control unfortunately.

“But still a great drive by Patrick and Jeff Kingsley and super congratulations to my partner, Roman. I just want to thank the Mark Motors team, Liza and Michael (Mrak), for being here and supporting us. Thank you to IMSA and a special thank you to (Porsche factory driver) Kevin (Estre), the new Porsche Cars Canada coach. He really helped me out and is a wonderful person.”

Earning the Yokohama Tire Hard Charger Award for gaining the most positions in the 45-minute race was Michael Levitas in the No. 37 TPC Racing Porsche. Levitas – who won the most recent Platinum Masters race at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal last month – moved up from 13th to ninth and finished just off the Masters podium, with a fourth-place finish in class.