After taking 11 of 12 Gold Cup class victories in 2017, Roman de De Angelis advanced to Platinum Cup in the No. 78 Mark Motors Racing Porsche for 2018 and in just his fifth start, found the top step of the podium.
At 17 years old, De Angelis led flag-to-flag in Porsche GT3 Cup Canada’s first race of two at the Canadian Grand Prix after topping both practice session charts and starting from the pole position. Holding second place throughout the contest was De Angelis’ teammate Zach Robichon – who entered the weekend undefeated on the season – in the No. 98 Porsche. This was Mark Motors’ fourth 1-2 finish in five races.
“It really well,” said De Angelis. “Really good pace by Zach as well, so I think we have some work to do tonight. There’s never perfection, so there’s always a little bit more to find, but awesome effort by everyone at Mark Motors and everyone at Best Line, they put together an amazing car today. Also a thank you to Kelly Moss on the other side of the border for their support as well. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully we can find some more time tonight and do the same thing.”
While the win checks off another accomplishment for the Ontario-native, De Angelis has his eyes on the bigger picture – closing Robichon’s 17-point lead in the championship standings.
“Obviously winning is a really good feeling, so I mean we’ve got to win tomorrow too, right?” De Angelis said. “It’s a long series, so winning one race isn’t a huge deal but I’m really, really happy about it and a win’s a win.”
Another driver who had a stellar performance in Race 1 was Montreal-native Etienne Borgeat in the No. 2 Lauzon Autosport Porsche. This was the first race of the season for Borgeat – a Platinum Masters driver – with Porsche GT3 Cup Canada and the Quebecker took home third place overall and first place in the Masters category.
And while he held third position throughout the race, Remo Ruscitti in the No. 96 OpenRoad Racing Porsche was hot on his tails all 30 minutes.
“I knew I could be fast because it’s a track I like and I’ve been to many times,” said Borgeat. “In qualifying, I was super happy with what I did and in the race, I knew I would have some pressure because I’m in between younger guys, but I wasn’t sure.
“I was getting pressured all race long and that was great. I think (Ruscitti) did a few mistakes, so I was catching a little bit of space from him. He was all the time around me, but I never really felt there was one place or somewhere specific he could pass me. But he did put pressure, pressure, pressure. This is where sometimes experience pays and I guess in this particular experience, it helped me.”
Winning the Yokohama Hard Charger Award for gaining the most positions during the race was James Walker in the No. 83 Tullman Walker Racing Porsche. The feat was truly that, as Walker powered through the pain from a rib injury suffered a few weeks ago.
““I feel good because my times are coming down,” said Walker. “This is only my second time racing on this track. I’m figuring how to drive the track and hopefully tomorrow will be even better.”
The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama drivers have a quick turnaround before Race 2 at Circuit Gilles Villenueve on Sunday. The race goes green at 10:15 a.m. ET ahead of the Formula One race at 2 p.m.