Bowmanville, ON (Sept 4, 2017) – A high-energy, triple-header race weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Mosport) marked the season finale for the Pfaff Motorsports’ GT3 Cup Challenge program, who were looking to lock up the team and Platinum-class championship titles in front of the packed hometown crowd.
Points leader and Pfaff pilot Scott Hargrove had a healthy 18-point lead on challenger Zach Robichon, though with the make-up race from Watkins Glen included amongst the weekend’s events, it meant the team and its 2014 champion would essentially need to win two of the remaining three races.
The first day of regular-scheduled practices also saw the Watkins Glen make-up race held, with Hargrove starting from second position and pushing Robichon from the wave of the green flag.
Pressure on, Hargrove made a swift move on lap 11 on the inside of the tight Turn 9-10 complex and never looked back. Teammate Orey Fidani, who was involved in the heavy collisions at Watkins Glen that resulted in the reschedule, had started from the back as a result, though he consistently sliced his way through the field to finish in the top 10, with teammate Pieter Baljet behind, and Ed Killeen closing out the field.
Hargrove carried that momentum into qualifying for the weekend’s regular-scheduled events, leaving little room for the competition as he set pole and a new GT3 Cup lap record at Mosport with a time of 1:18.488.
Putting himself up front for the start for race one, Hargrove’s race for his second GT3 Cup title since 2014 mirrored much of his performance all season, putting in consistent, fast laps and running away from the competition. He cemented his title and the Pfaff Motorsports’ team championship crossing the line 7.5 seconds ahead of second place, while Fidani earned a second-place in the Gold class, and Baljet and Killeen sitting on either side of the top-10 position.
When Hargrove drove into the winner’s circle, he pumped his fists in the air and took a giant leap from the roof of his Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup car in celebration, before being joined by his Pfaff Motorsports teammates and congratulated by the competition.
“This season has been a dream come true,” Hargrove said at the podium celebrations. “To be called on by Pfaff this year has been an amazing opportunity, and the team has been absolutely incredible, giving me an amazing car weekend after weekend. All the credit goes to them for their amazing talent and hard work to make this championship possible.”
Reclaiming their crown as the top team in the series, the final race of the season was also one of the wettest, with heavy rains pouring down on the circuit on Sunday morning. Killeen would not start, leaving a three-car effort for the season finale.
Hargrove again started from pole, but a quick move and a bump on the outside of turn one left Hargrove in second place with a yellow-flag that soon followed. Fidani found himself in the top 10 on the first lap, and would hold that through to the checkers, while Baljet climbed three positions to finish ninth.
When the flag dropped, Hargrove crossed the line in second place for only the second time this season, in what has been a near-perfect performance by the Pfaff Motorsports crew for 2017.
At season’s end, Hargrove finished with 246 points, a 25-point margin from second place, while Baljet finished eighth overall, Shaun McKaigue ninth, Killeen 14th, and Fidani 16th. As a team, Pfaff Motorsports celebrates their second title in just three years, and looks forward to continuing its 50-year involvement in major Canadian motorsport.
“This has been a dream season,” team manager Steve Bortolotti said. “The entire crew has given it their all week in and week out, and we have an amazing lineup of drivers to match. It’s been a lot of work, but to see it pay off like this for everyone is just an amazing feeling.”
Stay tuned for 2018 developments, and Pfaff Motorsport’s ongoing 2017 programs by following @PfaffMotorsports and @PfaffAuto on Instagram.