Just four days after Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama was last on track, the series returned to action on Friday at Indy Toronto for Rounds 7 and 8 of the season.
Two practice sessions were on the docket for GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, racing on the Streets of Toronto and while 18-year-old Roman De Angelis led both practice sessions of the day, he improved his time during the afternoon session to an overall fastest lap of one minute, 13.941 seconds (85.442 mph).
"All in all, a really good day," said De Angelis, who drives the No. 79 Mark Motors Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. "Happy to be back at a street track after being kind of surrounded by grass and gravel pits for two weekends in a row [at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last weekend and Watkins Glen the weekend prior]. A bit more challenging with the walls here, but if you stay out of them, you should be okay."
Saturday at Indy Toronto will see two on-track sessions for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama. The first will be qualifying at 12:15 p.m. ET, which sets the grid for Race 1 later in the day at 4:15 p.m. ET. Timing and scoring is available for the race at www.scoring.imsa.com.
Race 2 is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. and can be streamed live, flag-to-flag on the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Facebook page.
Di Meo, OpenRoad Racing Seeking "Fresh Start" Heading into Second Half of 2019
It’s been a trying GT3 Cup Challenge Canada season for Michael Di Meo and the No. 96 OpenRoad Racing crew, having been plagued with mishaps in the first six rounds of the season that have prevented a podium finish for the team.
However, if there’s one event they’re confident to reverse their luck at, it’s Indy Toronto.
Di Meo, who lives just over an hour from the street circuit in Richmond Hill, Ontario, has three top-five finishes in six races so far this year. On how to capture his first podium of his sophomore season, though, he doesn’t need to look further than the second race of the 2018 Indy Toronto weekend, where he scored his first ever GT3 Cup Challenge Canada podium, finishing third.
"We’re just looking for a fresh start because the first half wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t from a lack of effort," said Di Meo. "Things just didn’t go our way and that’s racing. This is the biggest race for me of the year and everyone’s really looking forward to having a good result. I’m doing my best, it’s a tricky track. There’s maximum effort from everyone and the results will come. It just hasn’t been easy so far."
If the time charts are any indication, Di Meo is poised for a successful weekend, with both of his practice times on Friday within one second of leader De Angelis.
Jeff Kingsley Represents the "Sports Cars of the Weekend" at Welcome Press Conference
Jeff Kingsley represented GT3 Cup Challenge Canada at the annual Welcome Press Conference for media on Thursday afternoon ahead of the Indy Toronto weekend. Alongside drivers from open wheel, truck and stock car disciplines, Kingsley was the spokesperson for the sole sports car series of the event.
Driving the No. 16 Policaro Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, Kingsley described racing a Porsche around the street circuit in downtown Toronto.
"Obviously the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge is a bit different," said Kingsley of Ajax, Ontario, just an hour down the road from Streets of Toronto. "You’ve got a lot of open wheel guys, you’ve got truck guys, but we’re the sports cars of the weekend. I’m definitely happy to be here with Porsche and with Yokohama.
"These cars on this track are a bit different. You’ve got a lot of weight to move around. It’s not like the IndyCars here where you can just point-and-shoot. There’s a bit more, I wouldn’t say sophistication to it, but it’s obviously a lot different. The Porsches are a great car, definitely fun to drive around here, definitely quick. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to put the car where it needs to be if you want to win the race."
Parker Thompson was also on hand Thursday afternoon, as the Red Deer, Alberta, native is pulling double duty between GT3 Cup Challenge Canada and Indy Pro 2000.
"It’s going to be a lot of curveballs, but I’ve had a lot of success in Toronto," said Thompson, driver of the No. 3 SCB Racing Porsche. "It’s treated me well in the past and we’ll go see what it has."
For news and updates throughout the Indy Toronto weekend, please visit IMSA.com or join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #GT3Canada, #IMSA and #IndyTO.