Spencer Pigot (pictured, middle) put a heartbreaking result from Round 5 into the vanishing point of his rear-view mirror, winning Round 6 of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Sunday, July 20 on the Streets of Toronto.
It was the first victory of the season in the No. 21 Alegra Motorsports Porsche for Pigot, 20, from Orlando, Florida. He led with seven minutes remaining in Round 5 Saturday when a belt broke in his car, causing him to retire in 15th place and handing the lead and an eventual victory to Scott Hargrove.
Pigot beat both of his fellow championship contenders, Hargrove and Chris Green, for the first time this season Sunday after Hargrove and Green were both forced to drive to the podium from deep in the pack after an incident between them early in the 45-minute race.
"It was really a very straightforward race for me," Pigot said. "I was just out by myself, and I didn't really have to push it that hard, just hit my marks and don't make any mistakes. Just a big thanks to everyone at Alegra for all the hard work this weekend."
Hargrove, from Surrey, British Columbia, finished 16.379 seconds behind Pigot in the No. 69 OpenRoad Racing 911 GT3 Cup car. Platinum Cup (2014 model cars) championship leader Hargrove has finished first or second in all six rounds this season in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)-sanctioned series. He leads second-place Green, 116-100, in the championship.
Green, from Montreal, placed third in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche for his fifth podium finish this season.
Carlos de Quesada, from Odessa, Fla., finished a season-best fourth in the No. 22 Alegra Motorsports entry and was the first finisher in the Platinum Masters (drivers 45 and older) class. Santiago Creel, from Mexico City, rounded out the top five in the No. 60 Wright Motorsports Porsche.
Pigot took the lead when race officials ordered Hargrove to serve a drive-through penalty for contact with Green in Turn 2 after a restart 16 minutes into the race. Green spun and backed into the wall, suffering damage, in the incident.
Green dropped to 11th after the contact and spin. Hargrove fell to seventh after serving the drive-through penalty. Both drivers then began to bob and weave through traffic to salvage podium spots.
Hargrove passed Creel for third with an inside move on the backstretch with 15 minutes remaining in the race and then dove under the No. 2 GT Racing Porsche of Etienne Borgeat for second in Turn 3 on the next lap.
Meanwhile, Green climbed from seventh to third in a five-minute span late in the race despite a damaged front splitter. He passed de Quesada for fourth in Turn 1 and then dove under Borgeat for third in Turn 8 on the same lap, with seven minutes remaining.
Pigot maintained his cool and his gap over Hargrove during the closing laps. The charging Hargrove was able to slice only two seconds into Pigot's lead during the final 13 minutes.
"It was going to be a good battle between Scott and I," Pigot said. "We were both really close the first few laps. Unfortunately, him and Chris got together, and he got a penalty."
Perry Bortolotti, from Kanata, Ontario, placed second in Platinum Masters in the No. 84 Mark Motors Racing Porsche. His teammate, Marco Cirone of Toronto, was third in Platinum Masters.
Jerimy Daniel, from Candiac, Quebec, completed a sweep of the Gold Cup (2010-2013 car models) class this weekend with his fourth victory of the season in the No. 75 TRC Porsche. Daniel took the victory despite a close call during a late-race collision in Turn 3 with fellow Gold competitor Shaun McKaigue in the No. 34 Fiorano Racing Porsche.
Daniel took the Gold Cup championship lead, 104-102, over Tim Sanderson with the victory. They were tied atop the standings after Round 5 Saturday.
Sanderson, from nearby Pickering, Ontario, was second in Gold in the No. 07 Alegra Motorsports/Northwest Atlantic Motorsports GT3 Cup car, 6.572 seconds behind Daniel. Ilker Starck completed the repeat of the Gold podium from Saturday, finishing third in the No. 48 SCB Racing/Downtown Porsche entry.
Chuck Harris, from Tampa, Florida, continued his perfect record in Silver Cup (2005 ½-2009 model cars) with his sixth victory in the class this season in the No. 50 Alegra Motorsports 911 GT3 Cup car. Teammate Keith Bass, also from Tampa, Florida, was second in the No. 49 Alegra Motorsports entry.
Rounds 7 and 8 of the 10-round season are scheduled for Aug. 9-10 during the GP3R Grand Prix Trois-Rivières at Trois-Rivières, Quebec, the only event in the series in Quebec.
"You know what, we've got four more races to go, and you are going to see some interesting things," Green said.
For more information on the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin, visit www.imsa.com and @IMSA on Twitter with the hashtag #GT3CAN. Live commentary for both races will be provided on Twitter at @IMSALive.
Photo by IMSA