MRTI: Hargrove (Porsche GT3 Canada) and Burkett (Atlantic) capture other titles

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A pair of drivers who competed in the Mazda Road to Indy this year have captured championships outside their normal open-wheel seats. Pro Mazda’s Scott Hargrove took home the Porsche GT3 Canada Platinum Cup title, while Daniel Burkett of USF2000 won the Atlantic Championship.

From a one-off guest starring appearance to a championship, Hargrove enjoyed quite the year in Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin.

Hargrove, the 19-year-old from Surrey, British Columbia, rounded out his debut season both in the championship and in a GT car with his fifth and sixth wins of the year over the weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

It made for a perfect book-end after also sweeping the CTMP doubleheader opening weekend in May, driving the No. 69 OpenRoad Racing Porsche for team principal Christian Chia. Overall, Hargrove finished first or second in each of the 10 races and won the title by 22 points over Chris Green.

“It’s a phenomenal feeling,” Hargrove said. “I can’t thank the guys enough. Michelin tires, IMSA, Porsche, everybody that helps put this series together. I’m proud to be the champion in only my rookie year. I can’t wait to see where this goes.”

Hargrove also shook off the previous week’s defeat in Pro Mazda, where Spencer Pigot emerged with that title at the final race of the year in Sonoma. Pigot ended third in the GT3 Canada season.

“I put that behind me,” Hargrove said. “This is a different championship, and now this is the highlight of my year. I’ve just got to move on from what happened last weekend and just cherish what we did this year in both series. I’m just excited to be here and the champion.”

Hargrove wasn’t alone in winning Porsche GT3 Canada class titles. Hargrove took the Platinum Cup title with Marco Cirone (Platinum Masters), Tim Sanderson (Gold Cup) and Chuck Harris (Silver Cup) also leaving the CTMP weekend with additional season long hardware.

For Burkett, who also made waves this year with a series of humorous videos about the quest for sponsorship, his Atlantic Championship Series win was a season-long tour de force.

Burkett, also 19 and from Winnipeg, Manitoba, won seven of the 10 races this season driving for K-Hill Motorsports, including the finale at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut. He clinched the championship in race one of the Thompson weekend.

Burkett ended 11th this season in USF2000, driving for Belardi Auto Racing.

Marco Andretti to drive throwback scheme to honor 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario’s last win

Photo courtesy Andretti-Herta Autosport
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Marco Andretti wanted to do something really special to honor the 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario Andretti’s final Indy car win in 1993 at Phoenix International Raceway (now known as ISM Raceway).

So the third-generation Andretti, along with his team, Andretti-Herta Autosport, came up with a plan and design that will take longtime race fans back in time when it appears early next month for the Phoenix Grand Prix.

Marco Andretti’s No. 98 Oberto Beef Jerky Circle K/Curb Honda will be decked out in the colors of the car his grandfather won his last race on the one-mile short track 25 years ago.

“When the idea of a throwback livery celebrating my grandfather’s final win was thrown around, Oberto was ready to get to the drawing board,” Marco Andretti said in a media release. “The black, white and red car resembles many of my family’s race cars and was a big part of my life growing up.

“It’s really cool to be able to add one of my cars to that family legacy.”

The car is a virtual double of the legendary Newman-Haas Racing and Texaco/Havoline-sponsored car Mario drove on that celebratory day in the Valley of the Sun 2 ½ decades ago.

Various events and ceremonies during the April 6-7 race weekend will honor the senior Andretti. That includes several of his former competitors who will be on hand to celebrate with Mario, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Arie Luyendyk, and of course, son Michael Andretti and grandson Marco Andretti.

Check out what happened on that day 25 years ago:

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