Prototype Challenge Trois-Rivieres Saturday Notebook
Saturday, August 12, 2017

As anticipated Saturday morning at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, rainy conditions leveled the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda playing field, balancing the heavier, higher-horsepowered LMP3 chassis and the nimble, but slower MPC entries.

IMSA officials declared Saturday morning’s 20-minute qualifying session to be “Wet,” putting all teams on Continental rain tires in preparation for a shootout in steady, light rain.

But rain is what Performance Tech Motorsports driver Kyle Masson admittedly does best. “I just love the rain,” Masson said. “Rain has always been my strong suit. It’s one of the things I am best at in driving so I always pray for the rain because even though those cars [LMP3’s] have more horsepower, I know that I can make up for it in the rain.”

And make it up he did. Masson pushed his No. 18 Neurospine Institute entry throughout the short session in the rain to clock a fast lap of one minute, 7.798 seconds in his Elan DP02 MPC car on the very last lap of the session, putting him on the overall pole for Sunday’s first race, just ahead of LMP3 pilot and former series champion Kenton Koch in the No. 8 Ligier JS P3 entry for P1 Motorsports.

Just seconds after he blazed his way to the top of the grid, the session was red-flagged for contact by the No. 72 of Tazio Ottis and JDC Motorsports.

And while this is Masson’s first overall pole of the season, he was pragmatic about how he accomplished it. “I still think the LMP3 cars are a little quicker overall,” Masson said. “We did really well at this track and we managed to get a good lap in at the end when it was getting dryer. The red flag came out and it killed everyone else’s laps as they were completing them so the circumstances worked out perfectly in our favor. I finally got a clear lap at the end of the session to where I could put a fast lap down. It was a really good session and we had a really good setup. The car was beautifully balanced. Performance Tech did a great job setting our cars up this weekend.”

Koch led the qualifying times for the majority of the session, swapping the lead with Masson twice during the 14-lap stint.

And the front row is not the only one to start the race with a mixed class format – Row 2 will be equally balanced with a combination of series LMP3 points leader Colin Thompson in his No. 14 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Norma M30 entry and the MPC challenger Kris Wright of JDC Motorsports in his No. 7 car.

Thompson, who has been in a consistent rivalry with Koch all season steadily increased speed throughout the soggy conditions, but didn’t quite have enough to outpace Koch.

Series newcomer Stefan Rzadzinski in the No. 17 for P1 Motorsports rounded out the top five, an impressive starting position given that it’s his first time in the series, and his first time in the Ligier JS P3 chassis.

Naj Husain captured the LMP3 Masters pole position with a lap of 1:12.274, starting in eighth overall.

The series will run two 45-minute sprint races Sunday. Race 1 will take place at 8:45 a.m., with Race 2 starting at 4:15 p.m., giving competitors a long break during the day to enjoy all the fan activity and hospitality that Trois-Rivieres is famous for.

Live timing, scoring and race coverage will be available on IMSA.tv, and a delayed broadcast of the races will be shown on FS2 Thursday, Sept. 14, at 8 p.m. EDT. The broadcast will also be available on YouTube 24 hours after it airs on television. 

For more information on all IMSA competition - or to access IMSA Radio, which will have live streaming audio of both races - visit IMSA.com.

For more information about the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series, visit www.imsa.com, follow hashtag #IMSAPC @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.

Schedule (all times ET):

Race 1: 8:45-9:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 13

Race 2: 4:15-5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 13

Race Coverage: 

Live Streaming: Both races will be streamed live at IMSA.tv

Live timing: All on-track sessions at scoring.imsa.com and on the official IMSA app for iOS, Android and Windows

Twitter: Live text commentary from all sessions at @IMSAlive

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