DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 7, 2016) – A return to the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal is a leading highlight of the 2016 schedule for the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, announced today by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).
The series, one of 20 global Porsche GT3 Cup single-make championships, will compete at five venues, including Canada’s two largest cities in support of the two most prestigious motorsports events in the country – the Canadian Grand Prix Formula One race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal and the Honda Indy Toronto. The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama also will feature its first event outside of Canada with two rounds at iconic Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York.
Those three events are part of a record 12 rounds for the series, which provides thrilling action and grooms drivers for future IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition or professional GT racing worldwide.
Petro-Canada’s Ultra 94 also has renewed its title sponsorship of the series, which enters its sixth season in 2016.
“Ultra 94, Petro-Canada’s super premium gasoline, is pleased to continue as the title sponsor of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama,” said Deborah Gullaher, vice president, marketing, Suncor. “The series will continue to provide an opportunity to demonstrate the high-octane performance and exceptional quality of Ultra 94.”
Another key addition for 2016 is the introduction of the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport race car, which will be featured in the Silver Cup class. The class will compete alongside the Platinum Cup and Gold Cup classes for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machines in selected events.
“This is the strongest schedule ever for the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama,” said David Pettit, IMSA vice president, marketing. “The series is entering an exciting new era with continued support from Petro-Canada’s Ultra 94, a new tire partner in Yokohama and the introduction of a new car class. The intense competition provided by this championship will thrill fans at high-profile events across two Canadian provinces and upstate New York. It represents a great schedule for the fans, and we’re also grateful for the continued commitments of our teams, drivers and partners.”
The 2016 season starts May 20-22 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and ends Sept. 2-4 at the same historic venue in Bowmanville, Ontario. High-profile events also will take place at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Watkins Glen International, the streets of Toronto and the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, with two rounds at every series event.
The traditional Victoria Day season-opening weekend will feature the debut of the new Cayman GT4 Clubsport race car in the Silver Cup class. The Cayman GT4 Clubsport race car offers a cost-effective entry point for the series, featuring a new, state-of-the-art spec race car based on the successful Porsche Cayman GT4 street car.
The Silver Cup class will compete alongside the Platinum and Gold Cup GT3 classes at four of the series’ six events, with separate standings and awards presented in an eight-round championship. Silver Cup competitors also will race at both event weekends at CTMP and at Toronto and Trois-Rivières, Quebec.
After the season opener at CTMP, teams and drivers then will head to Montreal for Rounds 3 and 4 on June 10-12. History will be made at that event, as the entire Canadian series and the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama championship will race simultaneously on the same circuit. Yokohama has been the official tire supplier of the USA series since 2009 and will assume that role starting this season in the Canadian series, creating opportunities for special joint races.
The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama then will cross the Canada-United States border for the first time to compete in Rounds 5 and 6 June 30-July 2 at historic Watkins Glen International during the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, one of the marquee events in the WeatherTech Championship. The second and final joint event weekend of the season between the Canadian and USA series will take place at The Glen.
Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama teams and drivers then will move to Canada’s largest city for Rounds 7 and 8 on July 15-17, supporting the Verizon IndyCar Series for the third consecutive year before large, enthusiastic crowds at Honda Indy Toronto.
Teams and drivers then will return to Quebec for Rounds 9 and 10 on Aug. 12-14 during the popular Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières (GP3R) street race. The season-ending Rounds 11 and 12 will take place Sept. 2-4 at CTMP to run in conjunction with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
“We are thrilled to welcome the GT4 Clubsport as it joins the GT3 Cup car on the grid this spring, a mere six months after its world unveiling in Los Angeles,” said Alexander Pollich, president & CEO, Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. “The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama has all the elements to make it an exceptional racing season.”
The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama is divided into three classes – Platinum Cup, featuring the 2014-16 model Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which is based on the seventh, and current, generation of the street car; Gold Cup, which is comprised of the previous iteration (model years 2010-2013) of the race car; and Silver Cup, for the new Cayman GT4 Clubsport car. A Masters Championship also is conducted in the Platinum class. Each class is awarded with its own podium at the end of every race and individual champion at the end of every season. Points are awarded by finish in class.
For updates on the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, follow @IMSA on Twitter with the hashtag #GT3CAN and on Facebook. The latest news can be found by visiting IMSA.com.
2016 Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama Schedule
May 20-22 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario*
June 10-12 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal^
June 30-July 2 Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, New York^
July 15-17 Honda Indy Toronto, Toronto*
Aug. 12-14 Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Quebec*
Sept. 2-4 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario*
* — includes Silver Cup class for Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport cars
^ — joint event with Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama
– See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/continued-growth-2016#sthash.JDF3Gf2c.dpuf