Our neighbors to the north have got themselves a brand new racing schedule for 2014, and there is plenty of reason to be excited about it. Today, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and Porsche Cars Canada announced a 10-round, four-venue schedule for the 2014 Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin season. Sure, the series name is a little bit of sponsorship soup, but the competition is sure to be awesome, and the venues are world class.
Beginning on May 17th, the single-make Canadian GT3 Cup Challenge spec series will visit Mosport (I still refuse to call it "Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) for the opening double-header round. The series will be running in support of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. From there, they head to the longest circuit in Canada, Calabogie Motorsports Park, for the fourth time in mid-June for rounds 3 and 4. Rounds 5 and 6 will take place in Toronto, opening the weekend for IndyCar to take over the mean streets of Canada's most populous city. Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres plays home to the 7th and 8th rounds with the Canadian Supercar Series sharing the weekend in June. The season closes by returning to Mosport (CTMP) with the 9th and 10th rounds fitting in between sessions for NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series.
With a brand new, faster GT3 Cup car, approximately 10 brand new 991 GT3 Cups will be taking part in the Platinum class this year, and some excellent tracks, the series is expecting new record lap times and some excellent multi-class racing competition. The new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is powered by a 3.8-litre horizontally-opposed six cylinder engine. It generates 460 horsepower at 7,500 rpm, surpassing the predecessor by 10 hp. The most predominate change in this year's cup car is the newly developed six-speed gearbox, which for the first time is operated via steering wheel mounted shift paddles. The new spec Michelin race slicks were increased in width by two centimetres to 27 centimetres at the front and by ten millimetres at the rear axle to 31 centimetres. The brakes of the 991 Cup are further improved over the 997 Cup car it replaces, by increasing the rotor diameters to 380 millimeters of steel at all four corners, making full use of six-piston aluminium fixed calipers front and four-piston rears.
Myles Brandt, President/General Manager, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park -
"We are excited to welcome back the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Series to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2014," said Myles Brandt, president and general manager of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. "The series is a great proving ground for Canada's next crop of racing talent and is known for exciting, close-quarters racing. Adding the series to our Victoria Day SpeedFest Weekend lineup as well as Labor Day Weekend with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will provide our fans with a varied mix of on-track action."
Bruce Gregory, Owner/Operator, Calabogie Motorsports Park -
"In 2011, Calabogie Motorsports Park hosted the very first Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada race weekend, and it has been a signature event for us ever since," Gregory said. "With the introduction of the new GT3 Cup car for the 2014 season, we're anticipating new lap records and very close racing. It will be the best show yet, and we can't wait to welcome back the spectators, IMSA, Porsche, Michelin and, of course, all the competitors."
Charlie Johnstone, President, Honda Indy Toronto Weekend -
"We are always looking for ways to provide our fans with more entertainment both on the track and off," said Honda Indy Toronto President Charlie Johnstone. "The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin series will be an exciting new addition to our weekend lineup."
Dominic Fugère, General Manager, Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières -
"Everyone from our volunteer workers to our officials and, of course, our spectators were thrilled to have the Porsche GT3 Cup in the streets of Trois-Rivières in 2013," said Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières General Manager Dominic Fugère. "This is why it will be an honor and a privilege to welcome the series again with, as a special bonus, a new generation of Porsche 911 race cars to fuel the dreams of our more than 130,000 fans."
For updates on the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Series, follow @IMSA on Twitter with the hashtag #GT3CAN and Facebook. The latest news can be found by visiting the newly launched imsa.com website.
2014 Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin
May 17-18 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
June 21-22 Calabogie Motorsports Park
July 19-20 Honda Indy Toronto
Aug. 9-10 Trois-Rivières GP3R
Aug. 30-31 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
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