The Grand-Prix de Trois-Rivières turned out to be an exiting weekend for the Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsport team and its lead driver, Daniel Morad.
Being the second last race weekend in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin championship, this Grand-Prix de Trois-Rivières (GP3R) was an important step for gaining championship points, both at the team and at the driver level.
Set as a temporary city circuit within the city of Trois-Rivières, the legendary and popular 10-turn, 2.433 km GP3R racetrack is known as being both challenging and captivating; perfect for the team’s “Never give up” mindset.
As usual in the GT3 Cup Championship, two races are held during a set weekend and these two races were round seven and eight of the 10 races championship.
Unfortunately the practice didn’t start too well for the team; Morad was off-pace. The team made changes to the car’s setup overnight and Morad was back in the game for Saturday morning’s qualification, gaining more than a second compared to his practice lap times, even though the track was very cold. This earned him the third position on the starting grid.
Saturday’s race, round seven, had a unique start. The moment the green flag was waived, Scott Hargrove, who was starting first, went for it while Chris Green in second position hesitated, as if not realizing the flag was dropped. Morad stuck to Hargrove and quickly gained second position, holding onto it for the full 42 laps race.
“I focused on getting clean exits out of every corner to maximize my straight line speed,” explained Morad. “I was able to stay relatively close to Hargrove for the 15 minutes or so. As we started to overlap the slower cars it came time to lap the slower cars, I just seemed to catch them at the wrong parts of the circuit and lost a big chunk of time trying to find a way by which allowed Green to catch up. I had a bit more pace than him and was able to always open up a small gap after overtaking slower traffic to hold onto second spot.”
Sunday’s race turned out to be breathtaking. As in the previous race, Morad stayed glued to Hargrove at the start, grabbing second spot in the first lap with Green relegated to third again. Green’s eagerness to pass led him to make a few mistakes, even misjudging his braking distances, hitting Morad in the rear a total of four times!
The fourth time created a breathtaking situation, turning Morad to 45 degree angle opposite to the direction of the right hand corner right in front of the stands. The crowd went in an uproar and the stunning display of car control likely made a few believe they were at a drifting event.
Never giving up, Morad’s experience came into play and he not only kept control of the car as much as possible, he also held onto the second spot in spite of a a heavily damaged left rear suspension from the clash.
The end result of the weekend has Green still leading the Platinum driver championship with 140 points, with Morad second with 129 points and Hargrove third with 118 points. Anything can happen during the last weekend of the championship to be held at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Morad is not the only successful driver of the Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsport team, far from it! Michael De Quesada runs in the Gold Cup and has won his division in both GP3R races, making it four races in a row he wins. Such a result allowed this 15 year old rookie to grab the second position of the Gold division with 128 points behind Fidani who has 136.
Another team driver contributing to the results is 2014 Gold Cup Champion Sanderson who has been a consistent top-five finisher this year in his first season in Platinum Cup. He scored 10 points for each race in Trois-Rivières and has now accumulated a total of 94 points.
While we may find the driver championship to be close, the team championship is even closer. In the Platinum class, Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsport is sitting in second position with 138 points, only two points behind Pfaff Motorsports. Same story in Gold class, with Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsport team in second place with 128 points, eight points away from Pfaff Motorsports.
The next and last weekend in this championship will be held at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park from August 28th to 30th. Anything can happen!
Date Posted: August 7, 2015