July 22, 2011

Axis of Oversteer on front row for GT3 Cup Canada at Mosport

friedrichphoto.com / IMSA

Axis CG improved his lap times by almost 3 seconds overnight to qualify on the front row for the Porsche GT3 Challenge Canada race tomorrow at Mosport. The Axis car will see action in both the Canada cup, which is run on Michelin tires and the IMSA GT3 Challenge, run with Yokohama rubber.

Here is the official IMSA press release ... GO AXIS!

BOWMANVILLE, Ont (22 July, 2011) – It was supposed to be a battle of local knowledge at Mosport International Raceway, as Torontonians Randy Oswald and Marco Cirone duked it out for the pole position for Round 5 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada. But when an early spin put Cirone on the sidelines with only one hot lap, it was Oswald’s TRG teammate Carlos Gomez who gave the Pickering resident a scare.

More after the jump
Oswald put the #14 TRG/Verax Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car on top in Platinum Cup class and overall on his third lap with a time of 1:23.724. But two laps later, Gomez clocked a lap of 1:23.821 in his #75 TRG/Axis of Oversteer entry to start alongside Oswald, with Melanie Snow (#56 Snow Racing) and Cirone (#88 6th Gear Racing) rounding out the top four.

Oswald was obviously thrilled to set the fast time and first qualifying record for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada on his home racetrack – but he certainly had to sweat out his teammates lap times.

“My teammate came quite close!” said Oswald. “It was the first time for him driving a Cup car at Mosport and 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!”

Gomez’s qualifying time is even more amazing considering it was only his second day on one of the most demanding tracks in North America.

“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, it took me a while to figure it out.”

Michael Levitas, driving the #36 TPC Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in the Gold Cup class, backed up his quick time in the morning practice by putting the car on the pole for tomorrow’s race.

“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. I haven’t been here in a few years, so I got some coaching Thursday and the TPC guys gave me a great car!”

For most of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada season, Toronto’s Bob Seitz has been the only entrant in the Silver Cup class for 2002-2005½ Porsches, in the #58 SpeedMerchants –Fiorano Racing Porsche. But this weekend, he has company in the form of teammate Gabor Foti in the #00 car, who nipped Seitz for the class pole.

“It will just be Bob and I,” said Foti, from Thornhill, Ontario “so we will start side by side. It will be fun!”

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada 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 the Silver Cup class for 2002 – 2005½ 996 Porsches. All three classes run on Michelin Cup N1 tires.

The final two rounds of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada will take the green flag Saturday at 4:50pm and Sunday at 8:55am. Live timing is at http://www.gt3timing.ca.

Three events comprise the inaugural season of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada: May 14-15 at Calabogie Motorsports Park(Calabogie, Ontario), June 3-5 at Circuit ICAR(Mirabel, Quebec) and ending the season on the same racing card as their American counterparts July 23-24 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. For news updates throughout the race weekend, competitor regulations and live timing, visit http://www.imsaracing.net

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