Robichon and Moorespeed Win Fifth-Straight IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Race in No. 19 CAG/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup
Zach Robichon and Moorespeed are now five-for-five in IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama race wins after Saturday’s victory from the pole in the No. 19 CAG/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup in the first 45-minute sprint of this weekend’s doubleheader at Sonoma Raceway.
Making his Sonoma debut, Robichon won the pole for this weekend’s pair of races in Saturday morning’s qualifying session and then stayed just clear of the competition in a well-managed and flag-to-flag race win that afternoon in the CAG/Moorespeed No. 19.
“Every time we go out and try to execute at a race, our goal is to peak at the right time,” said Moorespeed President David Moore. “We knew that tire deg (degradation) was going to be huge, so the main focus was to try to get an early gap, just enough so Zach could run the race line and not over stress the tire. It took a lot of discipline, you can go quicker in the first two sectors of the track, but they are hard on the tires, so we just took a measured and chip-away approach.”
Moorespeed and Robichon have teamed up for the final four IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA doubleheader race weekends of the year, a pairing that remains perfect with five of eight races now in the books through Saturday.
“We knew coming in Sonoma was probably going to be our hardest weekend,” Robichon said. “Right from the green flag I was thinking about the tires. I knew at the beginning I could push harder, but right from the word go the backend was sliding a little bit. I knew if I pushed I was going to hurt the tires, but I was pretty comfortable with where I was at.”
Last month, Robichon won both races from the pole in his debut in the No. 19 CAG/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup at Road America and joined the Moorespeed team in backing it up with another weekend sweep two weeks later at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR).
Road America, VIR and this weekend at Sonoma are all first-time tracks for Robichon, a French-Canadian driver from Ottawa who recently clinched the 2018 IMSA Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama Platinum Cup Championship.
“The two guys behind us today drove well and had lap times right there with us, so getting a gap on the first lap and then just managing that was huge,” Moore said. “Zach did a great job of managing the car and the tire deg.”
Robichon is filling in at Moorespeed for regular team driver Will Hardeman, who drove the No. 19 CAG/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup to victory at Sebring last March and is joining the team this weekend at Sonoma.
Sunday’s second and final 45-minute sprint for Sonoma is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. PDT and will be streamed live on IMSA.tv.
Rounds 13 and 14 on the 2018 schedule, the Sonoma races are the next-to-last weekend of the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA season before next month’s season finale at Road Atlanta at the Motul Petit Le Mans.
- Moorespeed’s longtime Crew Chief Robin Hayes is enjoying the recent run of success he and his teammates have worked so hard to achieve. “I have been working hard and waiting for this for a while,” Hayes said. “Zach makes me look good. Porsche and other people have come to us and said, ‘we knew you had a good car, but we didn’t know how good it was,’ and Zach has allowed us to show it. He has let us show exactly what our potential is, what we can do.”