Daytona Beach, Florida – Scott Hargrove was enjoying the annual Canadian German Gala Ball on Nov. 1 in Toronto as a guest of Porsche Canada when Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. President and CEO Alexander Pollich tapped him on the shoulder.
“We’re in the middle of dinner, and he pulls me aside and said, ‘Scott, we’ve got to talk,'” Hargrove said.
2014 Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin champion Hargrove followed Pollich into an elevator at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and they rode down to the lobby.
Gulp. Was this good news? Bad news? Thoughts raced through Hargrove’s 19-year-old mind.
Then Pollich reached into his pocket, pulled out a set of car keys and said, “Here you go.” Hargrove asked, “What’s this?” Pollich responded, “It’s the keys to your new car.”
Porsche Canada rewarded Hargrove for his Platinum Cup championship season with the use of a new Porsche 911 street car through Aug. 31, 2015, a full year after he clinched the title last August at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP).
Hargrove, from Surrey, British Columbia, earned six victories in 10 starts this season in the No. 69 OpenRoad Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. He finished first or second in all 10 races.
Not bad for a guy who only was supposed to compete in the series at the season-opening double-header on Victoria Day Weekend in mid-May at CTMP. Hargrove swept those two races, and team owner Christian Chia kept Hargrove in the car for the next two rounds, in June at Calabogie Motorsports Park.
Hargrove won one of those rounds and held the lead in the championship, so Chia decided to keep him in his Porsche for the rest of the season. That decision paid off with a championship.
Canadian racing phenom Hargrove already has plans for his sweet new prize ride.
“I’m going to drive it as much as I can,” Hargrove said. “Hopefully when summer rolls around, I’m going to do some trips up into the interior of British Columbia and check out some cool stuff that I haven’t driven before. There are lots of fun roads up here.”
The prize car is an extension of Porsche’s special recognition of its single-make series champions in North America.
Porsche Canada presented 2013 Platinum Cup champion David Ostella with the use of a 911 for a year after he won the title. Porsche Motorsport North America rewarded both Hargrove and 2014 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Platinum Cup champion Colin Thompson with entries into the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup races during the United States Formula One Grand Prix earlier this month at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) at Austin, Texas.
Hargrove was unable to take advantage of that prize, so Porsche instead extended the surprise reward of the 911.
“That’s not bad, eh?” Hargrove said. “Nothing a 19-year-old can complain about.
“When I wasn’t able to use the prize at the end of the season, there was nothing that was required by Porsche to step up and supply me with the car for the year. That was their good will. Hats off to them. I’m really thankful they got me a prize for winning the championship.”
For more information on the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin, visit www.imsa.com and @IMSA on Twitter with the hashtag #GT3CAN.