TrackWorthy - Zach Robichon No. 98 - LENSSEN PHOTO (5)

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada at the Honda Indy Toronto

by Michael Taylor (@trackworthy),

TrackWorthy - Zach Robichon No. 98 - LENSSEN PHOTO (5)
“It’s a lot of fun, it really is. It is very exhilarating, and tricky, because it is a street circuit.”No. 98 Porsche GT3 Cup car driver, Zach Robichon, on the Honda Indy Toronto track
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada was one of several support races taking part in the 2017 Honda Indy Toronto race weekend. The other support races included the Mazda Global MX-5 Cup, NASCAR Pinty’s Series, US Formula 2000 and the Indy Lights, in addition to the headlining race, the Verizon IndyCar Series.
TrackWorthy - Marco Cirone No. 88 - LENSSEN PHOTO (1)
The 2.8 km track around Exhibition Place is a notoriously bumpy mix of asphalt and concrete patches. This year, turn one proved to be even bumpier and tougher for the drivers to navigate.

The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama race series is comprised of spec built Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, which are powered by 485 hp 4.0 litre flat-six cylinder engines. That’s up 25 hp from the previous generation’s 460 hp 3.8 litre engine. The series consists of six race weekends and a total of twelve races.

Marco Cirone’s No. 88 Porsche GT3 Cup car

Five races into the season (one of the two races at Watkins Glen in New York State had to be cancelled due to a bad crash), Ottawa-native Zach Robichon is in second place in the Platinum Class Championship, behind Scott Hargrove from Tsawwassen, British Columbia.

“We ended last year strong winning the last race of the season and finishing third in the championship,” said Robichon at the start of the race weekend. “It was our rookie year so we were really happy with the way it went. We’re continuing on where we left off and this year we are very very competitive. We won our first race of the year at Watkins Glen a couple of weeks ago and qualified in pole position so we are starting to come into our own as the season goes along.”

TrackWorthy - Marco Cirone No. 88 - LENSSEN PHOTO (2)

Marco Cirone

Robichon’s ultimate goal is to move up into endurance racing. His dream, like that of most sportscar racers, is to compete one day at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Le Mans is the ultimate endurance race, and it takes place every June in Le Mans France. “If we could start dabbing our foot in endurance racing in the Continental Tire series or in the WeatherTech series next season, that’s my ultimate goal. My dream is the 24 hours of Le Mans. But those are expensive races to run. Right now we are focused on this season with Mark Motors and keeping our good results coming. We’ll go from there.”
TrackWorthy - Roman De Angelis, Marco Cirone and Zach Robichon - LENSSEN PHOTO

Roman De Angelis (L), Marco Cirone (C) and Zach Robichon (R)

Marco Cirone from Toronto, one of Robichon’s Mark Motors Racing team mates, is also having a good year. “Last year ended up really well because we clinched the championship again so that was my fourth championship in a row (in the Platinum Master class).” said Cirone. “I’m really happy to have brought another championship to the Mark Motors dealerships. This year is starting off pretty good as well. We’re in the lead in the (Platinum Masters) championship.”

Zach Robichon

At the last race at Watkins Glen, the three Mark Motors drivers had a perfect weekend. Zach Robichon won the Platinum Class, Marco Cirone won the Platinum Masters Class and Roman De Angelis from Windsor, Ontario won the Gold class. “We couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Cirone. “It couldn’t have gone any better for us and it was on Canada Day too! All of the Canadians were very proud.”
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Zach Robichon’s Porsche GT3 Cup car cockpit

What is it like driving a Porsche 911 race car as fast as you can through the streets of Toronto? “It’s a lot of fun, it really is. It is very exhilarating, and tricky, because it is a street circuit”.

Zach Robichon finished second overall in both races and Marco Cirone finished first in class in both races. Robichon remains in second place in the Platinum Championship behind Scott Hargrove. Cirone is leading the Platinum Masters Championship.

Zach Robichon’s No. 98 Porsche GT3 Cup car

The next doubleheader race weekend for the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama takes place August 11-13 at the Grand Prix du Trois-Rivieres in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.

PHOTOGRAPHS and VIDEOS © Copyright 2017 TrackWorthy Group Ltd. and LENSSEN PHOTO

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