Grabowski masters Montreal!
The Apex Racing Academy Porsche Cup paddock descended on the streets of Montreal for round four of the championship. Following a two-week break, drivers reconvened at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to continue their chase of championship leader, Kamil Grabowski.
Across the ten-minute qualifying dash, no one could match Kamil Grabowski who sped to pole by a tenth of a second from Kevin Nielsen. AM class newcomer, Jelt Heldoorn, stunned the field by qualifying eighth overall.
Thirty-eight cars prepared for the opening twenty-minute sprint race. On the streets of Montreal, there is no forgiveness for mistakes. Therefore, drivers would need to use extreme caution to make it to the finish.
Charging into the Senna S on lap one, Kevin Nielsen immediately ambushed Grabowski for the lead. At the halfway mark, Nielsen looked comfortable in the lead until an uncharacteristic mistake dropped the Danish ace back to fourth. Grabowski reclaimed the lead and once into clean air, the championship leader cruised to another victory. Pascal Costa finished a distant second ahead of former leader, Kevin Nielsen.
Following Heldoorn’s demise, Leon Erger prevailed in a tense battle for the AM class win with Mikael Fang and Kev Copeland.
A reverse grid shake up placed Cas Brinkhuizen and Austen Foster on the front row for the thirty-minute feature race. Race one winner, Grabowski, started deep in the pack in twenty-first place. Brinkhuizen bolted off the line to the relative safety of the lead while unbridled chaos ensued behind. Montreal’s opening section is notorious for multi car pile ups and, sadly, this feature race lived up to this reputation.
Brinkhuizen’s lead was short lived and a mistake from the Dutchman allowed Lukas Dearing to move to the front. AM class frontrunner, Kev Copeland, crashed the PRO class party and became the third different leader in as many laps.
Throughout the opening half of the feature race, Copeland pressed ahead as his rivals tripped up behind. However, Kamil Grabowski was on his way. From twenty-first on the grid, the Polish star had ascended to second place by the halfway point. Holding a four second lead, could Copeland hang on?
Grabowski’s credentials as PRO class championship leader immediately shone through. Swiftly closing in Copeland, Grabowski moved past at the hairpin with twelve minutes remaining and disappeared to a double victory.
Despite holding second place overall, Copeland’s crusade to the AM class win was now under threat from Leon Erger. In the final laps, Erger carved Copeland’s advantage to shreds and set up a last lap duel for class honours. Spotting his opportunity, Erger slipped past at the Senna S to pinch second place overall and the AM victory in the final moments of an epic encounter.
Immediately after the feature race thriller, several of the ARA Porsche cup protagonists joined Apex Racing TV’s beloved Italian duo, Alessandro Dalledonne and Marco Barbanera:
Leon Erger: “Kev didn’t make it easy on me. In the beginning, I thought he had it in front because he ran away and I had damage. But, I managed to catch up. It’s great to get some points back that I lost last time.”
Kev Copeland: “That was so much fun! I’m gutted to lose to Leon on the white flag lap but I wasn’t quite quick enough to keep him behind me. What an epic race!”
Nick Madsen: “That’s all that I could get today. I always take what I can get. I had a bad qualifying, but I was able to overtake some people in race one and end up fourth, I’m really happy with that.”
On the 3rd of March, the Apex Racing Academy Porsche Cup Championship heads to the notorious Suzuka circuit in Japan. Catch all the live action on Apex Racing TV at 8pm GMT.