MDK Motorsports Yves Baltas pulled off a stunning outside move in the first corner of the opening lap of round five of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America – a move that paid huge dividends at the Formula 1 AWS Grand Prix of Canada.

Baltas started second alongside championship leader Loek Hartog (Kellymoss) and initially didn’t make a great leap off the line. As the field braked for turn 1 in slippery conditions, the New Yorker took the outside line around the pack and leaped into the lead.

He quickly began to stretch his lead as Michael Cooper (Baby Bull Racing) also initially found a way past Hartog.

After two laps with rain starting to fall heavily, the red flag was shown with teams headed to pit lane to switch to Yokohama wets.

With a time-certain 40-minute journey on the Formula 1 schedule, the race resumed behind the safety car but could not be restarted before time expired.

Baltas becomes the 11th different winner in Porsche Carrera Cup North America competition and the fourth American driver to take a race win.

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“To win the race was great. I had mega confidence in the car at the start,” Baltas said.

“I wish we could have run longer just to show we had insane amounts of pace. We really didn’t get to show our stuff, but we would have easily walked that.

“I really like the wet conditions. It helps me focus on finding the grippier line and not focus too much on just locking up. So, the ABS in these cars helps enormously.

“At the start, I think everyone braked a little early, and we could just carry the speed around the outside. It was a kind of make-or-break moment. I didn’t want to let the opportunity go because I had a feeling it was going to start pouring pretty quickly after that.

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In the Pro-am class, James Sofronas (GMG Racing) was able to make a move past Moisey Uretsky (Baby Bull Racing) in the rain-soaked sprint and came home with the win. Pole sitter Jordan Wallace took third.

Masters class championship leader Matt Halcome (ACI Motorsports) took the chance to extend his points lead and take the victory. He led home Chris Bellomo (Kellymoss) and Kyle Washington (GMG Racing).

Teams and drivers have the chance to atone today with round six scheduled for 9:40 am at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. More rain is expected this morning with Yokohama wet tires again expected to be part of the team’s plans.

Round six of the championship can be seen live on Peacock as well as the IMSA YouTube Channel and series website.