Scott Hargrove closes in on championship

Should wrap it up in Sunday's GT3 Cup Challenge.

Scott Hargrove closes in on championship
#18 Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche 911 GT America: Mark Thomas, Chris Green
Scott Hargrove
Race winner Scott Hargrove
Spencer Pigot

The ultimate finish line is in sight for Scott Hargrove after he earned his fifth victory of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin season Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. 

Hargrove (in photo), from Surrey, British Columbia, only needs to start the season-ending Round 10 at 4:15 p.m. (ET) Sunday to clinch the Platinum Cup (2014 car models) season championship in the No. 69 OpenRoad Racing Porsche.

"It was kind of a perfect race from a driver's standpoint," Hargrove said. "I started on pole, got the lead on the start and was able to pull a gap early on and then just kind of maintain the gap for the rest of the race. Phenomenal result for these guys. I am thrilled to be here and can't wait to finish off the championship tomorrow." 

Hargrove led the 45-minute race from the pole to the checkered flag, as he has finished first or second in all nine events this season. The race ended under caution due to contact between Platinum Masters competitors Perry Bortolotti and Carlos de Quesada with six minutes remaining in the race.

Chris Green second

Chris Green, from Montreal, finished second in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche to sustain his slim championship hopes. Green trails Hargrove by 18 points. The winner of each race earns 20 points. 

Spencer Pigot, from Orlando, Florida, finished third in the No. 21 Alegra Motorsports entry. Marco Cirone, from Toronto, placed fourth and was the first Platinum Masters (drivers age 45 and older) finisher in the No. 88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. De Quesada, from Odessa, Florida, continued after the late incident with Bortolotti to round out the top five in the No. 22 Alegra Motorsports Porsche. 

Hargrove eased away from Pigot and Green early in the race, maintaining a gap of around one second. Pigot passed Green for second in Turn 1 on the first lap, and Green needed to regain the spot to keep his title hopes alive. 

Green pulled off that crucial pass with 25 minutes remaining on the 10-turn, 2.459-mile (3.957 km) circuit. But he never got a chance to threaten Hargrove, who led by 1.899 seconds at the halfway point of the race. 

Hargrove extended that lead to 3.202 seconds with 17 minutes remaining. Green sliced the gap to 2.350 seconds with 13 minutes left but never approached Hargrove until the field was bunched under the race-ending caution period with six minutes remaining. 

"Those guys were definitely quick, and I had to push for the whole race," Hargrove said. "The OpenRoad Porsche was so good. I was able to run consistent lap times all race long, matching my best lap of the race even at the end."

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