Ottawa, ON – There was no shortage of excitement at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for the first GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama race weekend! The Mark Motors Racing team wrapped up with the weekend with 5 podium finishes over two races.
The weekend was off to an uncertain start, when the team took a risk during qualifiers that did not pay off the way they hoped. Staying back while the other drivers warmed up the track, De Angelis, Cirone and Bortolloti started their laps almost half way through the session. Just as De Angelis was gaining speed, there was a crash on the track bringing drivers into the pits, and ultimitely ending the qualifying session. The result left Marco starting Race 1 in P5, followed by Perry in P10 and Roman in P14, the last car on the grid.
De Angelis had his work cut out for him in Race 1, as he had to make serious moves to obtain a podium position. As soon as the green flagged was in the air, Roman set to work, quickly making his way through the competition. Meanwhile, Cirone was making moves of his own, from P5 to P3 and maintaining his podium position. Driver Perry Bortolotti found a great pace, moving from P10 to P7. “All in all, it was a great race weekend for the Mark Motors #84 car” said Bortolotti. “We had the pace all weekend but got caught out in a qualifying session that was cut short. We had to start further back in race one but still managed a 3rd place Masters finish after dust settled.” As Roman tried to gain P4 positon, he made contact with another driver, causing damage to his front left tire throwing off the agliment. Despite the contact Roman was able take the P4 position, but unable to gain speed to make any further moves. Race 1 finished with Cirone 3rd overall and 1st in Platinum Masters, De Angelis 4th overall and winner of the Yokohoama Hard Charger award, and Bortolotti 7th overall and 3rd in Platinum Masters. “Race one was fantastic and the pace we set was really good” said Cirone. “The car was almost as good at the end as it was at the start with a 2nd fastest lap. Great job by the Bestline crew to get us a 3rd overall and a 1st in the Masters division.”
Sunday was a new day with the prospect of a podium finish for young De Angelis. Race 2 was off to a great start with De Angelis moving from P4 to P3 and Cirone immediatly taking back his P3 positon. Unfortunely less than 15 minutes into the race an accident with another car forced Marco off the track, with damage keeping him from finishing. When asked about this stroke of bad luck, Cirone said “Race two started very well moving from 4 to 3 right from the start but an incident involving another car unfortunately resulted in us having to retire the #88 car just 12 minutes into the race. We are so anxious to get back on track so we can demonstrate the speed we have and show we can compete for the top spot. Bring on Montreal F1!” Shortly after Marco’s accident, the weather took a turn and rainfall caused puddles to form on the track. The red flag was waved and drivers were forced in off the track, with Roman in P1 and Perry in P7. Time ticked away while officials waited for the track to dry off, however it eventually became too tight to let drivers back on track for another lap, so the end of the race was called – giving De Angelis his first podium finish of the season and 1st overall! “It would have been hard to imagine having the points lead Saturday morning after not getting a lap in Qualifying, but once again the Mark motors team and myself had an amazing package that let us grab critical points. An amazing start to the season and I’m really looking forward to what else is to come.” – De Angelis. Driver Bortolotti also took the podium, with a 3rd place win in Platinum Masters.
De Angelis currently holds the top position for the Platinum championship title, just one point ahead of driver Parker Thomson. Cirone and Bortolotti sit at a three-way tie with driver Etienne Borgeat for second place in the Masters championship category.
Races 3 and 4 will take place at the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Saturday, June 8th and Sunday June 9th.
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