Race 1 Summary
Round 1 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama at Sebring International Raceway for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida set the stage for the 2017 racing season, with plenty of close, fast and controlled racing, punctuated by exciting passes and mixed class action.
Former Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama series champion Scott Hargrove, in the No. 9 of Pfaff Motorsports, took the Platinum class victory from pole sitter and Hurley Haywood Scholarship winner Jake Eidson, in the No. 24 of Kelly-Moss Road and Race, with an unexpected outside pass in Turn 1 just before the first full course caution period of the race.
Hargrove held on to his position in his 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup for the remainder of the race, leaving Eidson and newcomer Trenton Estep, in the No. 3 of JDX Racing, to wage a close battle in his wake. Hargrove took the checkered flag with a 0.541 second lead ahead of Eidson and Estep, who ultimately finished second and third in class, respectively.
In the Platinum Masters category, returning veteran and class champion Jeff Mosing, in the No. 01 entry of TOPP Racing, appears to be continuing where he left off in 2016 - firmly in the class lead. Mosing held off his TOPP Racing teammate David Baker to take the win. Canadian competitor Shaun McKaigue, in his No. 34 Pfaff Motorsports entry, wrapped up the podium neatly in third place.
Not to be outdone by the veterans, 16-year-old newcomer Roman de Angelis, in the No. 78 entry of Mark Motors, showed considerable talent, moving his older Gold class 911 GT3 Cup entry up through the field of Platinum cars to take the win in category and seventh place overall. An impressive feat given the depth of talent and horsepower among the 2017 series entries.
His teammate and fellow Canadian series competitor and veteran Marco Cirone followed closely on his heels and held off USA competitor Kurt Fazekas, in the Kelly-Moss Road and Race No. 52 car, to take second place in a sprint to the finish due to a second and final full course caution period late in the race, leaving only minutes on the clock. Fazekas took the third-place step on the Gold Podium to complete the class podiums for Round 1.
The Yokohama Hard Charger Award went to Platinum contender Phil Bloom, of Wright Motorsports, for gaining nine positions to finish in eighth overall from his starting position of 15th on the grid.
Race 1 Driver Quotes:
Scott Hargrove – No. 9, Pfaff Motorsports - Platinum Cup Winner
“Right from the second I jumped into this new 2017 991.2 Cup car I felt like I was right at home. A bit more power - the car moves around a little bit more on you, so you have to manhandle it a little bit more. The Pfaff Motorsports guys did a really good job on setting it up and it was really, really good over the long run. Jake (Eidson) was right there, started on pole and I had a good car at the beginning and was able to put the pressure on him. I stuck my nose in and was able to get the spot in Turn 1, which I’m sure looked pretty cool from the outside. I can’t wait to see the replay. For the rest of the race it was smooth sailing and then the yellows made it a little interesting, especially there at the end. Two-lap dash to the end. I’m just loving driving these cars and can’t wait to come back and do it again.”
Jeff Mosing – No. 01,TOPP Racing - Platinum Masters Winner
“The first race is always good to get behind me without virtually any damage to the car. I just wanted to get out there and get that first round done. It was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, somebody dumped some radiator fluid over there in 16, but I wasn’t able to recognize it in time. Spun off and had to work my way back up to 10th place overall. I’m really excited for the TOPP Racing team and I am really enjoying this brand new Porsche 2017 Cup car. It’s a total blast to drive. Thanks to Porsche, IMSA, Yokohama Tire, and to everyone else.”
Roman De Angelis – No. 78, Mark Motors Racing - Gold Cup Winner
“It was pretty busy out there - exciting. I’m happy we kept it clean throughout the whole race. The car was super good. It got to where I had a good enough gap in Gold so I could start fighting with the Platinum cars to see if I could get a good overall position. We worked our way up to seventh, so I am happy with that.”