Porsche Carrera Cup North America splits winners at rainy Canadian weekend

Porsche Carrera Cup North America, Montréal, Québec Rounds 5 & 6

Montréal, Québec, Canada.The Porsche Carrera Cup North America ran its second of three race weekends with the Formula 1 ® World Championship this week in Montréal, Québec, Canada, splitting overall race winners. The Formula 1 ® AWS Grand Prix du Canada, run June 7 – 9 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, offered two rounds of weather and on-track challenges. The pair of 40-minute races faced torrential rains that directly impacted both rounds seeing each finish under the caution flag. The Pro class saw first-timer Yves Baltas (New York City, New York) take the top step on Saturday and three-time winner Loek Hartog (Netherlands) add to his points lead on Sunday. The Pro-Am class witnessed veteran James Sofronas (Villa Park, California) take the first race while Moisey Uretsky (Miami, Florida) enjoyed his return to the podium in Race 2. The Masters class remained the territory of points leader Matt Halcome (Dallas, Georgia) who added back-to-back victories in the all Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car series.

Round 5. Saturday. June 8, 2024.
The question of weather hovered over the 2.71-mile, 14-turn Circuit Gilles Villeneuve like the clouds themselves. As the late afternoon green flag time approached, series officials offered the tire choice to the competitors. Putting more weight on the dry conditions at the start, the majority of the 32 entries picked Yokohama’s ADVAN® A005 racing slick over the ADVAN® A006 tire for wet conditions. That choice would set the tone for the remainder of the race.

Overall points leader, Loek Hartog (Netherlands) brought the field to the green flag in his No. 24 Kellymoss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. When the field was set free, it was an impressive move into the first turn that allowed Yves Baltas (New York City, New York) to press his No. 15 MDK Motorsports Porsche ahead of Hartog for the lead. The move would be the key of the race as the weather made itself the key player in this round.

The dry weather start quickly changed to wet as the clocked ticked. By the end of lap one, rain had started to fall. With the clock at 30-minutes remaining, the yellow would fall across the field as the rain increased intensity. Race officials would call for a red flag four-minutes later. The full field would pull down pit lane and begin switching to Yokohama’s grooved rain tire. With five-minutes remaining in round five of the championship, the field lined up and hoped for a re-start that would not come. The checkered flag would be shown, giving Baltas his first career Porsche Carrera Cup North America victory. By virtue of a pass for the Pro-Am class lead just before the yellow flag was thrown, Sofronas added to his win total. The popular “Mystery Machine” entry of 2021 champion Halcome strengthened his points lead taking the Masters class win.

Round 6. Sunday. June 9, 2024.
When the sun rose over Montréal on Sunday morning, it was behind a rain cloud. There was no surprise when race officials mandated the Yokohama ADVAN® A006 wet weather tire for round six of the 2024 season. With the grid for race two based on the second fastest set in Saturday morning’s qualifying session, Hartog was again at the tip of the field. The first-year series driver learned the lesson from the previous afternoon and controlled the grid all the way to the green. His ability to keep the top spot became the critical moment of his race. The Dutchman went on to lead every lap in the No. 24 Kellymoss prepared Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.

The rain continued to fall harder as the race progressed. Spins resulting in damage ended the race for Masters championship contender Chris Bellomo (Portola Valley, California) in the No. 68 and Andre Renha Fernandes (Tarrytown, New York) in the No. 91. Jordan Wallace (Annapolis, Maryland) and Sabré Cook (Grand Junction, Colorado) would also spin but continue. At the race’s midpoint, Colin Kaminsky (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) made hard contact with the barrier near the pit entrance. The No. 77 did its job protecting Kaminsky. However, the damage to the wall at this critical location on the track could not be repaired in time to restart the race. Officials ended the race with 10-minutes remaining on the clock.

Joining Hartog on the victory stand was Moisey Uretsky driving the No. 44 Baby Bull Racing Porsche to the Pro-Am class win – his second in the last three races. Halcome repeated his winning performance in the No. 55.

• Pro class winners.
o Race 1. Yves Baltas, No. 15 MDK Motorsports.
o Race 2. Loek Hartog, No. 24 Kellymoss.
• Pro-Am class winners.
o Race 1. James Sofronas, No. 14 GMG Motorsports.
o Race 2. Moisey Uretsky, No. 44 Baby Bull Racing
• Masters class winners.
o Race 1 & 2. Matt Halcome, No. 55 ACI Motorsports.

• On point.
o Pro class. Loek Hartog, No. 24 Kellymoss
o Pro-Am class. Moisey Uretsky, No. 44 Baby Bull Racing
o Masters class. Matt Halcome, No. 55 ACI Motorsports
o Entrant. Kellymoss

• Broadcast. All 2024 races are archived on Porsche Motorsport North America TV: (https://www.youtube.com/c/PorscheMotorsportNorthAmerica).

• Online. Porsche Carrera Cup North America: www.PorscheCarreraCup.us

• Next Up. June 20 – 22, Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, N.Y., Rounds 7 and 8.

Yves Baltas, No, 15 MDK Motorsports, Pro Winner, Race 1.

“To win the race was good. I had mega confidence in the car at the start. I think everyone braked a little early. We just carried the speed around the outside. It was a make-or-break moment, and I didn’t want to let it go. I wish we could have run longer just to show we had insane amounts of pace. It was a really good race for us. Sucks it got cut short because we really didn’t get to show our stuff. I liked the wet conditions. It made the racing more fun.”

Loek Hartog, No. 24 Kellymoss. Pro Winner, Race 2.
“We came away with the win. We are really happy with that. Not as many laps as I would have liked but I executed everything I needed to. I learned from my mistake on the start [in race one]. This time I kept it [the lead] and could pull away quite a bit. I am happy with that. A bit of a shame we didn’t get too many laps but, in the end, we are leading the championship, so I am happy with that.”

James Sofronas, No. 14 GMG Motorsports, Pro-Am Winner, Race 1.
“Definitely a crazy win. I have been doing this long enough that you take the win when you can get them because sometimes you think you deserve them, and you don’t. As a racer we all want to continue to the end, but the track was getting pretty sketchy. We will take the win.”

Moisey Uretsky, No. 44 Baby Bull Racing. Pro-Am Winner, Race 2.
“First place in Pro-Am, we can’t complain about that. The weather was definitely a bit of a challenge. The track itself was pretty good but the visibility was just impossible. Happy to get first in class and third overall. This one is for Jason [Hoover, Baby Bull Racing team manager]. He is a little bit under the weather so hopefully this will help him get feeling better.”

Matt Halcome, No. 55 ACI Motorsports. Masters Winner, Race 1 and 2.
“It was amazing. Exciting! A very, very exciting race. The spray was unbelievable, and it had a lot of guys spinning. It was a fun race. I am very excited to be able to win at an F1 circuit. I wasn’t expecting to be where we are in the points at this time, but I am very, very thankful. I am looking forward to going to Watkins Glen with this momentum. It is one of my favorite tracks we race at.”

• To the point.
Current Porsche Carrera Cup North America Championship Point Standings.

• Broadcast. All races air on the Peacock streaming app, IMSA.tv and PorscheCarreraCup.us and are archived at:

• On the web. www.PorscheCarreraCup.us.

  • Image courtesy of Porsche Motorsport North America.