ROBICHON HOLDS 1-POINT LEAD INTO SPRINT CUP FINALE
With just two races remaining and the final Sprint round of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship happening this weekend at Laguna Seca, Pfaff Motorsports is focused squarely on a strong finish to a latter half of the season that’s seen them rocket to second in the standings in just their first season of GTD racing.
Driver Zach Robichon has been front and centre in that first-season success – the Canadian rookie has celebrated three podiums and five top-five finishes this season, and holds a one-point lead over Mario Farnbacher and Trent Hindman going into the seventh and final round of the Sprint championship. He will be looking to lock down the title in just his first visit to the 11-turn, 2.238-mile (3.602 km) Monterey circuit.
“It’s the final sprint round of the season, but we’re going into it with the same approach we’ve had all year,” Robichon said. “Obviously it’s a new track for me, so I’ll be looking to get up to speed and soak up as much information as quickly as possible.”
He’ll be joined once again by Porsche Selected Driver, and fellow countryman, Scott Hargrove, who will be leaning on his previous experience at the Monterey circuit to help Pfaff secure second place in the 2019 IMSA season standings, with just Laguna and the 10-hour Petit Le Mans remaining.
“I have great memories at Laguna Seca,” Hargrove said. ”It’s where it all began for me in a race car in 2010, and I also won there in USF2000. It’s a track that demands respect, and it has a fun collection of high-speed corners and the infamous corkscrew – so we’ll be looking forward to getting to it with the 911 GT3 R.”
Team manager Steve Bortolotti continues to stress the importance of keeping to the principles that have brought the team its success over the last half of the season.
“Obviously this is a big race for us, both with Zach fighting for the sprint championship, and our team looking to secure second place in the GTD championship,” he said. “It’s a lot on the line, and for the driver’s championship especially, it’s coming down to the wire. But our team performs well under pressure, so we’ll be keeping our heads down and executing each task to the best of our ability.”
For Robichon, leading the sprint championship heading into the final round is a great position to be in, but he’s quick to point out the work is far from done.
“Leading the sprint championship heading into the final round is something we could have only dreamed about at the beginning of the year,” he said. “But the championship is so close I think it’s best for us not to think about it, and just focus on having a good race. If we can execute, then the championship will come with it.”
“It’s time to see whether all that time on Gran Turismo as a 12-year old is going to pay off,” Robichon laughed.
The Monterey Sports Car Championship weekend kicks off tomorrow with Friday practice, followed by GTD qualifying on Saturday at 12:40 pm PT. The two-hour and 40 minute Sprint race goes green this Sunday, September 15 at 12:05 pm PT. US viewers can catch the race live on NBC’s main networks, while Canadian viewers can watch the action on the Discovery Velocity channel, starting at 12 noon PT (3 pm ET).
Content and images: Pfaff Motorsports / Jordan Lenssen
Photographer & Editor