BOWMANVILLE - July 22, 2011 – It was a battle of local knowledge at Mosport International Raceway, as Torontonians Randy Oswald and Marco Cirone battled it out for the pole position for the fifth round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, the final event of the inaugural three-event season. But when an early spin put Cirone on the sidelines with only one fast lap, it was Oswald’s TRG teammate, Carlos Gomez, who gave Oswald a scare.
On his third lap, Oswald put his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car on top of the field and the Platinum class, with a time of 1:23.724. But two laps later, Gomez, Oswald’s teammate, clocked a lap of 1:23.821 to start alongside Oswald, with American Melanie Snow, Cirone and current Platinum points leader Perry Bortolotti rounding out the top five.
Oswald was obviously thrilled to set the fast time and first qualifying record for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada on his home track – but he certainly had to sweat out his teammate’s lap times.
“Carlos came quite close,” said Oswald. “It was not only his first time for him driving a Porsche GT3 Cup car, but only his second day on track at Mosport. He really worried me! Marco had a problem and I had to pass him on my fast lap, so I think we had a little more. But I know Marco is going to be tough in the race – he and I have raced a lot out here and since he went off on the second lap of qualifying, his tires are fresh. But my teammate will be bringing it as well, so this is going to be a tough race!”
“Randy has been a lot of help during the week, helping me make up the time,” said Gomez. “I missed the first practice yesterday and then we had a problem in the afternoon, so I spent a lot of time watching data and video and started to catch up. I’m really close and I’m so glad that it’s Randy in front. But this is by far and away the most technical, scariest track in North America, by a huge margin. I’ve raced most of the tracks, but this track in the Cup car took a while to figure out.”
Michael Levitas put his car on the Gold Cup class pole, backing up his quick time in the morning practice.
“This was great stuff,” enthused Levitas. “I’m glad to be a part of the Canadian series and I enjoyed the Michelin tires; they had great grip. We got a little slowed up on our flyer, so I think there’s a half second left in the car.”
Thornhill’s Gabor Foti just nipped series regular Bob Seitz of Toronto for the Silver class pole.
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge has become a fixture on the racing scene around the world. Run on every continent except Antarctica and Africa, it is estimated that the GT3 Cup Challenge will hold 120 events and 255 championship rounds in 2011. The Canadian series 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 Silver Cup for 996-generation Porsches. All three classes run on Michelin tires.
The two races of the season finale run Saturday, July 23 at 4:50 PM and Sunday, July 24 at 8:55 AM at the Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport. The season’s overall champion will be presented with a Tudor Heritage Chronograph, provided by Rolex Canada.