Zach Robichon said he’s focused on helping Pfaff Motorsports deliver the GT Daytona class title despite his own future with the Canadian team and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship uncertain.
Silver-rated Robichon and Porsche factory driver Laurens Vanthoor took over the GTD points lead following last month’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach and head into this weekend’s Michelin GT Challenge with a scant 32-point lead over Paul Miller Racing’s Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow.
It’s come on the heels of two class wins in the last three races after a rough first half of the season, except for their victory at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
“I think at the beginning of the year it very much was our goal to be fighting for the championship,” Robichon told Sportscar365.
“Things didn’t go our way at the beginning of the year. Obviously we won Sebring but with Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen, we basically had two off-weekends where things didn’t fall our way.
“We were never out of it. We were always fourth or fifth but you felt like you lost a little bit of motivation.
“In the same way BMW had that really good run in those races, the Aston as well, we had that run [too], it just came later on in the year.
“From a personal point of view did I expect [to be in title contention] at the beginning of the year? Yes. Did I expect it after Watkins Glen? Maybe not.”
Robichon said the Steve Bortolotti-led Pfaff crew helped turn things around by “getting back to the basics” and “having everybody stick to what we know.”
“Looking at the last three races, things fell our way,” he said. “We made the right decisions with pit call times, being aggressive when we needed to be at Road America on the restart. That probably won us that race.
“At Laguna we set the car up completely in a way that [I thought] was sketchy but we knew it would help the last 20 minutes of each stint.
“We saw about halfway through Laurens’ first stint that it worked out.
“It feels great to be in this position but at the same time there’s still so much more racing to go. These are not traditional Porsche tracks coming up so that’s something we definitely have in the back of our mind.
“We made the most of the races we had to when we had that advantage. Now it’s about seeing what can be done with a crunch.”
No Change in Focus Despite Uncertain Future
The 29-year-old Canadian said he isn’t letting his uncertain future get to him amid the championship battle.
With Pfaff likely moving to GTD Pro next year, Robichon has been informed that his driving services will not likely be needed in 2022, leaving the former IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup champion looking for opportunities to stay in the series.
“You always want the championship but now probably even more-so because I don’t know if I’ll be back to try and get one again,” Robichon said.
“From my side, I never planned on leaving the WeatherTech [series] without a championship, and I still don’t plan on leaving without it.
“Obviously I don’t know what happens next for me. I have nothing right now but it’s one of those things where you keep asking around and you never really know what’s going to come up.
“With the team most likely moving up to GTD Pro, they’ve told me they’ll be using some other guys. It is what it is. That’s the reality of it.
“There’s no point in me dwelling on it and it’s just kind of focus-forward and finish our job.
“We’re here to win a championship and at the same time, if I can do something to put a stand-out on my name for next year, obviously that would be a huge help.”