TORONTO, On – The infamous Toronto Indy race weekend brought on some serious excitement, attention and first ever moments for team Mark Motors racing in Rounds 7 and 8 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama.
Mark Motors Racing drivers #88 Marco Cirone and #78 Zach Robichon took their Porsche GT3 Cup cars to the streets of downtown Toronto to compete against other talented Canadian drivers in the heart of the city. With much action on track, including penalties, break-downs, and minor incidents, Marco Cirone and Zacharie Robichon were able to place themselves top five for both races this past weekend.
The schedule for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama started late Friday morning with practice one. The team ran into issues when veteran driver and three-time Platinum Masters Champion Cirone rubbed his car into a tire wall in practice. The minor rub ended up in a summersault for #88 in turn 6, with Cirone walking away and only damages to the car.The carnage of the rollover was hard to look at but despite the front end of the car, rear wing, and roof bruised from impact, the dedicated Mark Motors Racing technicians from Bestline Auto Tech fixed the #88 GT3 Cup car in just a few hours. The dedication from Bestline should not go unnoticed with repairs happening right on pavement under a tent. They made it possible for Cirone to get back out for practice two and to put down faster lap times. Teammate Robichon recorded the fourth best lap times on the circuit in both practice sessions after being away from the Toronto Indy track for a couple of years. Both Cirone and Robichon shared the same second in time.
After the qualifying session on Saturday, the two Mark Motors drivers Robichon and Cirone were to be placed on the pre-race grid as fourth and fifth place, respectively. The decision made by the team to change all four of Cirone’s tires under IMSA rules required him to start at the back of the pack, giving up his fifth spot to a competitor.
Just when you thought we were off to the races, Zacharie ran into electrical issues which affected his car starter at the very start of the race. He sat as the lone soldier at the starting line until his car was towed and was jump-started while the pack passed him under a pace lap. This landed him in last place for the green flag, behind teammate Cirone. However, Robichon ran an incredible race to finish 2nd overall and winning the title as the Yokohama Hard Charger.
Due to an incident with competitor Chris Green, Robichon received a penalty that resulted in him giving up his second place to Green. Cirone, while driving an unsettled, damaged car from second-last place, crossed the finish line in fourth place only to take the third place due to Robichon’s IMSA penalty. Fourth place was then given to Robichon, continuing the streak of both Mark Motors Racing cars performing in the top five of their class for the weekend.
Race two on Sunday brought third and fifth places for the Mark Motors Racing drivers, after a very humid 45 minutes in their Cup cars. In the last lap of the race, after a steady hold in second for Robichon, a competitor was able to pass him and shift him into third place. Cirone, also in a fight for place, took home fifth after a long and consistent gain on the fourth place car ahead of him in the last half of the race.
Cirone, driver of the #88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche GT3 Cup, speaks out about the weekend, “It was such a privilege to be able to race and compete in my hometown of Toronto in front of all of my friends and family. Thank you to Mark Motors for their continuing support and help. A special thank you goes to the Bestline Auto Tech team for their efforts and hard work in getting car 88 back to perfect working order after Friday’s unfortunate incident. Next stop is Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres. Can’t wait!”
Robichon had a similar outlook on the weekends events, “Racing in the streets of Toronto is really something special. We endured every emotion possible this weekend and the Mark Motors Racing team overcame every challenge that was thrown at them. We’re already looking forward to the next round hoping for a bit less drama at GP3R.”
After completing Rounds 7 and 8, Robichon and Cirone took home valuable points to bring them into the running as third and fourth for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Platinum Championship. Now in their 5th year running in the Toronto Indy, Mark Motors of Ottawa brought home yet another success story. Watch out for Rounds 9 and 10, which will be held at the famous Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres on August 12-14 in Three Rivers, Quebec.
To keep up to date on all of the ongoing Mark Motors Racing action, follow us on our Twitter at @markmotors_race, our Instagram at @markmotorsracing or on Facebook at facebook.com/MarkMotorsRacing. The races will be available for a live stream on imsa.com so make sure to follow along to not miss any of the updates.
About Mark Motors Racing
Mark Motors Racing is an amateur racing team competing at the highest level of sports car racing in North America. As three-time Platinum Masters champions, Mark Motors Racing is dedicated to the growth of Porsche Motorsports in Canada and developing a strong motorsport foundation for creating tomorrow’s champions.