Fourth- and fifth-place finishes at CTMP keep Hargrove in championship leadMay 22nd, 2018
Fans that have been attending races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (formerly known as Mosport) know that the area is famous for having its own micro-climate. Changeable weather conditions often add an extra layer of challenge to its fast 10-turn layout. So it was during the Victoria Day long weekend for the Pfaff Motorsports team, as Scott Hargrove went from a front-row qualifying position to fourth- and fifth-place finishes in his two races. The team continues, however, to hold the championship points lead in the Pirelli World Challenge GT class as it heads to Lime Rock next week.
The Pfaff Motorsports team was well-prepared for a rain-soaked qualifying session on Saturday morning. In torrential rain, Hargrove put his #96 Castrol/Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R on the front row of the starting grid alongside local Daniel Morad driving a Mercedes-AMG GT3. In a similarly wet session, Orey Fidani, driving the #13 Orlando Corporation/Pfaff Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport in fifth in class, 11th overall.
The weather didn’t improve for much of the day, with fog shutting down all proceedings at the track for several hours due to severely reduced visibility. The fog cleared as more rain came in, but as the first race of the weekend started for Hargrove, the sun came out and the track began to try. Running on rain tires on a rapidly-drying track – and in heated competition to defend his track position from hard-charging Ferraris and Bentleys – Hargrove finished in a strong fourth position. The Bentleys of Alvaro Parente and Martin Fuentes, running further down the field, made the decision to pit and change to dry tires, allowing them to set the fastest laps of the race to put them on the front row of the starting grid on Sunday.
By the time Orey Fidani hit the track at the end of the day on Saturday, the track had dried, and he found himself in a terrific race-long battle that eventually landed him seventh in class and 14th overall. His next race came on Sunday morning, where an error early in the race cost him track positions, finishing 10th in class and 17th overall. Fidani heads to Lime Rock for the next weekend in eighth position in the championship in a field of over 20 – a good showing for his rookie season in the series.
Hargrove, starting from the third row in his second race of the weekend, drove an error-free race on Sunday, but perfect track conditions, as well as similarly error-free drives from all of his professional competitors, meant he wasn’t able to make up any ground, finishing fifth in class but scoring valuable championship points in the process. The powerful Bentleys, starting from the front thanks to their clever strategy in race one, finished one-two, with the Ferrari of Toni Vilander finishing third.
The Pirelli World Challenge will now head to the Lime Rock Park road course next weekend (May 25-28) in the annual Memorial Weekend Classic.