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September 4, 2016.- The only female registered this year in the Porsche GT3 Cup Canada, Valérie Chiasson completed her first season in this prestigious class, this past weekend at the Mosport track (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park). Despite incidents that forced her to spend multiple laps in the pits during the first race and abandon the second race, she finished the season in eighth spot in the final championship standings.
In this final doubleheader program of the 2016 season of Porsche GT3 Cup Canada, Valérie Chiasson found herself back at Mosport, where she first competed at last May, but she was also familiarizing herself with new technical crew as the reputable Toronto-based Mark Motors team prepared her Porsche Prestige Porsche GT3 Cup for this outing. « The 2016 season was a learning curve for me. This weekend, with the Mark Motors team, the collaboration was a very positive one. They did a great job and I learned a lot, which significantly improved my times » explains Valérie Chiasson.
Qualifying in seventh ahead of Saturday's race, Valérie immediately lost a position at the start of the first race. « I lost a bit of time before I was able to take back seventh spot, but I was then able to gain time on sixth. This progression was halted two-thirds of the way into the race, as Valérie explains : « In Friday's practice session, I felt a small vibration in one of the wheels and shortly after that, the tire exploded. I felt the same vibration with about 20 minutes left in the race. It was too risky to try to finish without changing the wheel ». After the pit stop, Valérie retook the track and finished the race in ninth place.
Sunday, Valérie Chiasson launched from seventh place on the starting grid for the last 45 minutes of the Porsche GT3 Cup Canada season. « I had a great start and I was able to stay within the Top 6 during the first few laps, before going off course. I lost the front spoiler and had to go to the pits. When I returned to the track, there were vibrations once again, and I felt it was safest to stop » summarized Chiasson, who was selected in 2016 as the recipient of the "Amis du Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières" bursary and who is also the Canadian representative of the FIA "Women in Motorsport" commission, which encourages women's participation in motorsports.
For her first season in Porsche GT3 Cup, Valérie Chiasson had a lot of learning experiences, with both good and bad surprises. « The Porsche GT3 Cup is a fantastic car to drive but requires a few testing sessions before starting a competition season if you expect to perform among the front-runners. I started the season without even one meter of testing! I had to learn the tracks, the car, the series, and working with a new team. It wasn't an easy task but I had a great time. I like working hard for success and I have to admit that this was quite the challenge !» she confessed.
Her progress all season long was reaffirmed this past weekend in Ontario. « I am confident for 2017. Looking ahead to the next season, I expect to do some testing in Florida during the winter and come back next year even stronger. Thank you to all my partners during the 2016 season, thank you to the technical teams that prepared my car all season long, as well as my coach on the last events, Ontarian Aaron Povoledo, with whom I have a perfect arrangement. His experience is so beneficial » concludes Valérie.
Vancouver driver Scott Hargrove won Saturday's race and Ontarian Zach Robichon won Sunday's. Daniel Morad was crowned 2016 series champion.
Valérie Chiasson's participation this season in the Porsche GT3 Cup Canada was organized in partnership with Porsche Prestige (principal partner), Total Canada, Super Remover, Anibal Automotive Design, L.P.M., VCE Auto Marketing and Pole-Position Magazine.
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