Sloan Urry drove away from the field Friday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to earn his first victory of the season in Round 9 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama. Urry, from Park City, Utah, beat championship leader Colin Thompson to the checkered flag by 12.966 seconds on the 10-turn, 2.459-mile circuit. It was the largest margin of victory this season in the series, one of 19 global Porsche one-make championships.
I'm just so happy right now," Urry said. "It's amazing to be at the top of the podium. We've been working so hard to get here. It's where you always want to be. Last year I had a couple of wins, so I knew I had it in me. It was just a matter of time for me and JDX to start clicking, and we're here now."
"It was an unexpected race," added Nielsen. "We weren't quite there with the car. It didn't quite fit my driving style, but overall we kept pushing because you never know what happens in racing, and today was our luck. It's always important to keep trying no matter what. That's what we did today. I finally had some luck. Lime Rock was my first podium this year, and I feel like it was fully deserved. I had the speed there, and it was nothing to do with luck. It was just our commitment that really showed through. But this time, we had a bit of luck, but we also didn't make any mistakes that cost us anything, and that's why we are on the podium today. It's great to have a second podium this year, and we got some good points for the championship."
Michael Schein, from New York, placed a season-best fourth in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports entry. Kasey Kuhlman, from Cincinnati, rounded out the top five in the No. 15 Wright Motorsports entry and was the leading Platinum Masters (age 45 and older) finisher for the seventh time this season.
"I didn't have what I thought, personally, what it took to run with the very front of the pack, but I was pretty quick and I could kind of hang on to the tail end," stated Kuhlman. "That's what I tried to do, just hang on, put in some consistent laps and not make any mistakes. You could see that others had misfortune, and I picked up three spots, so it ended up being a good points day for me. Good result, and I'm happy."
Urry started fourth and passed pole sitter Jesse Lazare for the lead between Turns 8 and 9 with 33 minutes remaining in the 45-minute race. He then gradually pulled away and cruised to the finish in the No. 20 JDX Racing Porsche, earning his third career victory in the series.
"It's interesting to see the outcomes when I've been to a track before," Lazare commented. "I'm happy to prove to myself that I can compete with these guys on more of an equal playing field. I've been able to use my experience that I have on this track from the past and bring it to this race. It feels nice to be upfront, and I'm happy for my sponsors because they're based out of Canada, garaga Door Doctor."
Thompson, from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, increased his championship lead to 12 points over second-place Angel Benitez Jr. with his sixth podium finish of the season in the No. 14 Kelly Moss/Porsche of Bucks County entry. He took over second place with 12 minutes remaining when Benitez served a drive-through penalty for earlier contact that shoved Lazare into the tire barrier in Turn 3.
"You can't complain about moving up five spots in any race, especially at a track like this one," stated Thompson. "We didn't have the fastest car out there, but we just ran a smart race. Others made big mistakes that cost them, and we just capitalized on everything we could. At the end of the day, it's all about the championship and points, and second place is solid points."
Lazare, from Montreal, continued after the incident with Lazare and finished 25th in the No. 31 Door Doctor/Moorespeed Porsche. Benitez, from Valencia, Venezuela, ended up sixth in the No. 05 Formula Motorsport/Avid Motorsport car.
David Calvert-Jones was the second finisher in Platinum Masters in the No. 12 Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian entry.
"We had a pretty good start," Calvert-Jones added. "I was following Kasey Kuhlman around and being pretty tight with him, and I had Santiago Creel behind me. He tried to put a few moves on me early down the back straight, but I was able to pull away from him. I made one little mistake on lap five and spun out, and Creel got past me. Luckily I was able to reel him back in but just didn't have enough to get anyone else. I was doing the same lap times as the guys up front but was just too far back. Other than that one mistake I feel like I drove pretty well and am happy with the race. Thanks to Competition Motorsports, all the team and crew for giving me a good car and our great sponsor Wheels Up."
"From where I was, it was a clean race," said Putman. "It doesn't always happen that way, but it was a really nice race. There was a lot of traffic, a lot of nose-to-tail racing for a long time. There were a lot of cars running together, so sneaking out a pass was difficult. You had to wait for the guy in front of you to make a mistake. It was just solid, solid, hard driving the entire time."
"It's been an absolutely amazing day," added Mosing. "We've done really well in this series with the Porsche and we're actually on pole for the Conti race tomorrow. I really love this track. It used to be one of my top three tracks, but I guess I wouldn't do it service if at this point I didn't call it my favorite track. The race was good. I avoided the first turn incident that I have typically seen in the past and I think my opponents had to deal with it momentarily and dice it up. That allowed me to just hot lap and bring it home."
"I had a tough, tough race today," Madsen commented. "First of all, my cool suit didn't work. At the beginning, (Michael) Levitas got a tow on me on the backstretch there, took me on the outside and put me to third place. Unfortunately for him he had a broken throttle cable and pulled in. That put me back to second place. I drove my heart out to catch (Jeff) Mosing, but between the Platinum cars trying to get by and everything else, I lost some pace. It was a tough race,so I am happy to bring it in second place."
He was followed by Kristin Treager in the No. 52 Wright Motorsports entry.
"I had a fantastic start," stated an elated Treager. "That seems to be my strong point. I am super-excited about a podium finish. This is my first time at this track, and I love it. The high speed seems to suit me well. I like these fast, high-speed tracks, and I am pretty dang happy!"
Oscar Arroyo was the second-finishing Gold Masters driver in the No. 89 JDX Racing Porsche.
"It was a very tough race," stated a tired Arroyo. "This track is so fast. At the beginning, there were many accidents, and you need to be very smart in order to not crash. The (Turns) 5A and the 5B in the first lap is very crazy because you need to take care about everything. The rest of the race was very competitive. It's very hard to pass other competitors, but the track is great. The speed is marvelous. The cars are great, and everything was nice today."
Mark Llano earned his first career Gold Masters podium finish in the No. 24 NGT Motorsport entry.
"Unbelievable race," added Llano. "It was hot and it was tight, but it was just incredible, an incredible race. I am very excited to be able to get my first podium, especially at such a tough track like this. I do want to thank NGT and the crew for being with me from day one. They gave me an incredible car today, especially when you consider this is my backup car. I couldn't do it without them and the incredible people around me."
Jay Patel won the Yokohama Hard Charger Award, finishing 14th after starting 21st in the No. 00 Dempsey Racing Porsche.
"At the start of the race, I was focused on the cars in front of me. In Turn 1, there were a couple of cars that went off, and I decided to go to the inside of a car that spun in front of me," stated Patel. "After that, I saw a couple of cars battling and I got into a good battle with Jeff Mosing for a good while. Eventually I got by him, and the race just sort of came to me toward the end. I just have to stay aware of things that are happening in front of me. My team helps me out, keeping me informed and out of trouble, and when you can do that you can get good results."
The second 45-minute race of the weekend - Round 10 of the season -- will start at 10:10 a.m. Saturday. The race will be streamed live at FansChoice.TV, and live updates will be provided @IMSALive on Twitter.