March 20, 2018 – It was an action-packed two days in Sebring, Florida at the Sebring International Raceway for the opening weekend of the 2018 Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama! Not only were teams here to compete in the first race of the season, but also the only race this year that was combined with the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.
The results of qualifiers on Thursday placed our youngest driver Roman De Angelis in P1 for the first race, followed by Zach Robichon in P2 and Marco Cirone in P22. Race 1 brought excitement as De Angelis and American driver Trenton Estep battled it out for P1, all while driver Marco Cirone was hard at work making his way passing through the course traffic. Just when it seemed like the podium was set, Zach Robichon pulled a bold pass on his teammate De Angelis in the last lap to capture a 2nd place spot overall behind Estep, finishing 1st place in Platinum for the Canadian series.
“What a way to start the year” said Robichon. “We could not have scripted this beginning for myself and the Mark Motors Racing crew. In Race 1 we had a great battle at the beginning, once clear of 4th place driver we made solid progress on the leaders, eventually capitalizing on the very last lap to get the lead in the Canadian series.”
De Angelis finished 3rd overall and 2nd in the Canadian series Platinum class and Cirone took home the Yokohama Hard Charger award!
I could not have asked for a better weekend” said Cirone. “I didn’t think I would be back at Sebring but when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at the chance! We are very comfortable at this fast and long track and the result was fantastic. A huge thank you to the entire team and the Mark Motors family!”
The second race had fans on the edge of their seats as traffic on the course caused crashes and mechanical failures. Estep and De Angelis continued their battle for the top spot with Robichon close behind. In the final stretch of the last lap, Roman attempted an aggressive pass of Trenton Estep only to make contact and crash into a tire wall. Zach was able to quickly maneuver past the traffic to clinch first overall!
“In race 2, patience proved to be a virtue as I held back and waited to see what unfolded ahead” said Robichon. “In the very last corner I was able to capitalize on the incident ahead as I was running 3rd overall and 2nd in class to take the overall victory. We had a tumultuous start to testing at Sebring but we all rallied together and I couldn’t be happier to bring home these results for the team. Now we have to sit and wait for CTMP in a couple months!”
Driver Marco Cirone finished the race in P4 with a 3rd place trophy for the Canadian Platinum class, while his teammate Zach Robichon proudly stood next to him in 1st place. Roman De Angelis walked away from the crash with no serious injuries.
“Not really the outcome I was hoping for this past week” said De Angelis. “Both races ended with some wild passes for the lead and contact in the second race cost me a tremendous amount of points. Both races we showed strong pace and the Kelly Moss crew gave me an incredible car so I cannot thank them enough. It’s a shame to show such pace and lead the entire race with one corner to go and end like it did. This year will no doubt very competitive and fierce and I look forward to the next event. I want to thank everyone at Kelly Moss and Mark Motors for their hard work and effort as well as the entire IMSA team.”
Stay tuned and follow Mark Motors Racing for their next race weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on May 19th-20th.