A LIVERY THAT STOOD OUT FROM THE PACK AND A RACE TEAM THAT HAS RAISED EYEBROWS ACROSS THE IMSA PADDOCK
Since my beginnings in the Canadian motorsport world, I have heard and seen the name Pfaff constantly at race tracks. Whenever the name was mentioned, I always connected Pfaff with Porsche. Back in the days(that would be late ’80s for the younger generation reader!), well before the Porsche GT3 Cup Canada, there was a series known as Rothmans Porsche 944 Turbo Cup Series. It was one of the three main Canadian Series along with the Player’s GM Series and the Export A Formula 2000 Series. Pfaff Motorsports had entered the Rothmans Porsche 944 Turbo Cup Series with a certain Scott Goodyear at the wheel.
Years have gone by and with the renaissance of the Porsche Cup, Pfaff Motorsport were one of the teams to enter the Series. As I got back into photography during the 2016 season, I had a chance to photograph the Castrol livery they had on the car driven by Chris Green. In 2017, Scott Hargrove drove for the team and won the Championship in the Castrol colors. Their Castrol Pfaff Motorsports livery has always been eye catching at every corner.
With that, they embarked on a new venture last year competing with a Porsche 911 GT3 R in the Pirelli World Challenge with their champion driver Scott Hargrove. And, in their rookie year, another championship in the books winning the GT Sprint class and top Porsche in the points.
They showed up at the Roar before the 24 in early January with a brand new car they knew little about with no race mileage but a team ready to take on IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the GTD class. They went through their testing program, got to understand their new Porsche 911 GT3 R better and went back to their home base in Toronto to get ready for the big weekend of the Rolex 24. The had yet to show their final colors for the Rolex 24.
Came the Rolex 24 at Daytona week and Pfaff Motorsports introduced their plaid livery very representative of the colors of the North. The car was turning heads all over the paddock.
The team went trough some glitches during practice sessions, worked hard to get it sorted and qualified 8th in the GTD class that is extremely competitive as the top 13 cars were within a second.
Came race time and during the fans grid walk, the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports plaid Porsche 911 GT3 R was the attraction of the grid. IMSA even posting an article following the race partly in relation to the livery.
The team and drivers Canadian Scott Hargrove and Zach Robichon, Germany’s Lars Kern and Norwegian’s Dennis Olsen were competitive throughout the race even as their progress was hindered with an electronic problem. Until the unfortunate incident in the treacherous rainy conditions when Robichon tried to avoid a scramble of cars and sadly had contact with another competitor damaging the suspension thus ending their race.
It was identified soon after the race, the tub had been severely damaged and needed replacement. The team is now in the middle of rebuilding the car in time to be ready for Sebring. And ready, they will be, I am certain.
There was a sense of “who are these guys?” across the pitlane at the Roar and Rolex 24. Well, they are Pfaff Motorsports. A very professional, dedicated team in its approach to racing and the marketing to go with it, as they have shown in previous years. And they are in to win it. Are they to keep the plaid livery for the entire season? I guess we have to wait and see come Sebring!
Photographer & Editor