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Cirone Takes Second Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada at Mosport

Marco Cirone Photo by freidrichphoto.com/IMSAMarco Cirone made it a weekend double at his home track, taking the second of two Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada races to close out the series’ inaugural season at the Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport.

With Cirone leading overall and in the Platinum Cup class, Shaun McKaigue had a race-long battle with teammate Bruce Gregory to take the Gold Cup victory and the class championship, while Bob Seitz got around Gabor Foti early to take both the race win and the Silver Cup title. Perry Bortolotti came back from an early incident to finish fourth, securing the Platinum Cup championship.

Cirone, driving the #88 6th Gear Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car, had a sense of déjà vue, with the early going today echoing the refrain from yesterday’s race as Randy Oswald (#14 TRG/Verax) was all over his mirrors for much of the 32 lap, caution free event – until Cirone decided he’d seen enough.

“My mirrors were full of Randy Oswald!” said Cirone. “In some places he was faster than me and was almost touching my bumper, he was so close. So finally, I grabbed the mirror thinking, I can’t take this anymore, because all I could see was his eyes right in my mirror! So I moved the mirror around and hoped for the best. I’m especially happy to win this second race because my father is here watching me.”

Oswald seemed poised to make a move when he slide through fluid in turn five and spun, sending him back into third position, leaving his teammate Carlos Gomez (#75 TRG/Axis of Oversteer) in second.

“We were really chasing Marco hard,” said Oswald. “We were faster in some places and just decided to chase him and see if we could get a mistake. But there was something down in turn 5 and the car locked up. I flat spotted my tire and just tried to hold on from there. I knew how far Perry was back so I kept my head down and made sure not to lock up that tire.”

“It’s still a learning process for me at this track,” said Gomez. “Unfortunately I gained second when Randy spun. I was catching Marco, but I just ran out of time. But I was getting faster throughout the weekend – I really like this track, this is the best track in North America. If you can drive fast here, you can drive anywhere.”

Bortolotti would have liked to put his #84 SpeedMerchants-Fiorano Racing Porsche on the podium as he clinched the Platinum Cup championship but settled for the fastest race lap (1:23.427) after getting caught up in an early incident involving four cars, including teammate Jim Hoddinott.

“It’s disappointing to get taken out on the first lap,” said Bortolotti, “but the bottom line is, I kept my head down, did some fast times and got right on Randy, looking for a podium – I just ran out of time. But the championship was the most important thing.”

Shaun McKaigue Photo by freidrichphoto.com/IMSAMcKaigue, behind the wheel of the #34 SpeedMerchants-Fiorano Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, had his own battle with Bruce Gregory (#18 SpeedMerchants) through the entire contest.

“It was such a great race!,” said McKaigue. “The start was a little wild with the guys losing it down through turn two. After that, it was just lap after lap, with Bruce chasing me, right on my tail, nibbling all race long. It was a lot of pressure, I had a few moments out there. It was a lot of fun and a great way to finish the season and win the championship!”

Bob Seitz (#58 SpeedMerchants-Fiorano Racing) wanted to make sure he took the race win and the Silver Cup class title and made an early pass on Gabor Foti (#00 Fiorano Racing) stick.

“I managed to scoot out early,” said Seitz. “I got Gabor early when he went a little wide in turn three and I snuck inside. I was following Bruce for a while, drafting on him, got my pace and took off. I managed to gap Gabor early and then kept it steady. Basically I was trying to stay out of the way of the fast guys!”

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada is divided into three classes; Platinum Cup, featuring the more powerful 2011 and 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars; Gold Cup, which includes 2005½ - 2009 Porsches, and the Silver Cup class for 2002 – 2005½ 996 Porsches. All three classes run on Michelin Cup N1 tires.

Three events comprised the inaugural season of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada: May 14-15 at Calabogie Motorsports Park (Calabogie, Ontario), June 3-5 at Circuit ICAR (Mirabel, Quebec) and ending the season on the same racing card as their American counterparts July 23-24 at the Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport. The season’s overall champion, Perry Bortolotti, will be presented with a Tudor Heritage Chronograph, provided by Rolex Canada. For news updates, competitor regulations and full results, visit www.imsaracing.net

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