GT3 Cup Canada challenger set for Sebring

Daniel Morad is making his transition from the Porsche GT3 Cup to racing Prototypes at Sebring. IMSA.COM

Daniel Morad is making his transition from the Porsche GT3 Cup to racing Prototypes at Sebring. IMSA.COM

Daniel Morad, a regular in the International Motor Sport Association Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, will debut in the Prototype class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida on March 20.

Morad will co-drive the No. 24 Alegra Motorsports Insync BMW Riley DP with Carlos de Quesada, his car owner in the Canadian-based IMSA single-make series.

“This was my first time driving a Daytona Prototype, and it’s a lot of fun,” Morad said after driving the car in the recent tests at Sebring International Raceway. “When this deal came about, Carlos immediately thought about me, and gave me the opportunity to drive the car.”

The car was formerly raced by Starworks Motorsport, and won the 2013 Rolex Series race at Road America with Scott Mayer and Brendon Hartley driving.

“I came from a Formula car background before jumping into the GT car last year,” Morad said. “Just as I’m getting used to the GT car, now I jump into the Prototype. It’s similar to some of the formula cars I’ve driven in the past – like A1GP – with carbon brakes, which are familiar to me. It took a few laps to get used to the Prototype, but actually, I was comfortable in the car from lap one.”

Morad finished second in the 2015 Ultra 94 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, only five points behind Christopher Green in the final Platinum Cup tally. He scored podium finishes in nine of the 10 races, including five second-place finishes. The Alegra/Porsche Centre Oakville Motorsports operation captured the team championship by four points.

Morad had mixed results at his hometown of Toronto early in the season. He was eliminated in an accident and finished 17th in the opening race, while the next day’s event was run in rainy conditions—Morad’s first experience in the wet driving a GT car. But he proved to be up for the challenge and scored his first victory in the series.

“We had a great year,” Morad said. “Carlos and I have a great relationship.”

It was a stunning return to racing for Morad, who won the 2007 Formula BMW championship, winning six races – including winning three of four races on Formula One weekends at Montreal and Indianapolis. That led to recognition with the Red Bull Junior Drivers program. He also competed in Formula Atlantic and the global open-wheel series A1GP and GP3 through 2010, winning a GP3 race at Silverstone in 2010. But his last open-wheel drive was in 2011 in Indy Lights, and he was out of racing from 2012-14 before resuming his career.

Morad sent a resume to Alegra engineer Larry Hahn early last year, and then made a cold call to the team.

“The first thing Larry saw was Formula BMW champion, and he felt that anyone who can win that that series deserves a shot,” Morad said. “That’s how I got my shot. The deal actually came together on the Wednesday of the race weekend, and I jumped in the car.”



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