Moorespeed capped the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca doubleheader weekend of the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama on Sunday with two more podium appearances, bringing the team’s weekend total to five podiums and an outstanding six top-five finishes in six total opportunities.
Rob Ferriol earned second place for the second consecutive day in Gold Cup, Chris Bellomo finished third in Platinum Masters, and Riley Dickinson battled hard for a fifth-place finish overall and in Platinum Cup.
"All in all, it was a good weekend for the team," Moorespeed President David Moore said. "We were hoping for more, but can still walk out of here with several trophies for the guys. Riley battled hard today. Rob drove really well and ran the same pace as Sebastian Carazo, but they got split up by the Platinum Cup cars early and by the time there was space he held the gap but couldn’t catch up. Chris fit in really well and just became like family. He’s beating himself up because he had second today, but I reminded him that he got two podiums in his maiden IMSA weekend and there’s nothing to be ashamed about, that’s for sure."
Ferriol earned his 11th podium in 14 tries this season in Gold Cup competition, piloting his No. 5 Moorespeed/GridRival Porsche 911 GT3 Cup to a second-place finish on Sunday in Monterey. The 64 points earned throughout the weekend leaves Ferriol squarely in second place in the season long point standings with two races remaining.
"We rolled the dice a little bit and made a change for today’s race," Ferriol said. "The variable was, we weren’t sure what the track was going to do after the IndyCar race. They put a lot of rubber down and we weren’t sure what that was going to do for us. We had a lot of unknowns that we were faced with and the car gave us what she gave us. Second was what we had. I drove 30 laps as hard as I could. We can be happy with the podium and happy with the P2 and still be upset that we missed the win at the same time."
Bellomo spent the length of the 45-minute race solidly in second place of the Platinum Cup Masters. That became a third-place finish when, with just over three minutes remaining in the race, Bellomo spun his No. 63 Moorespeed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in Turn Two. At nearly the same time, two cars came together in a separate incident and brought out a race-ending full course caution. The podium finish comes on the heels of Bellomo’s second-place finish on Saturday, his series and Moorespeed debut.
"It was a good day and a great weekend," Bellomo said. "Just to be in this atmosphere, at this track, with all the fans was a great environment. The race couldn’t have worked out better for the first 27 or so laps, I was really happy with that. I made a few mistakes on the last couple of laps. Going into Turn Two, I went in under heavy braking a little too aggressively and the car spun on me, the yellow came out and that was that. It all happened so quickly but I was really happy with the way the car was setup, the way my coach Robert Orcutt and I prepared, the way David worked with us and set the car up in a way that he thought I could handle. It was really good progress for me."
Dickinson started the race second but was caught on the outside of the Turn Two hairpin and side by side a Platinum Cup rival for the following three corners when he ran out of racing room and was forced off the pavement. That cost the 17-year-old four more positions and left him to fight back from seventh place on the opening lap. Though noticeably quicker, Dickinson’s No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche GT3 was unable to clear his competitors until 10 minutes remaining in the race. He was closing the gap to fourth place before the race finished under yellow.
"Riley had some unfortunate situations that cost him early on and he had to battle back," Moore said. "The guys aren’t going to just lay over, but he moved his way back and showed that he belongs up front. He learned a lot today and we’ll take what he learned and apply it the next time out. I doubt that you’ll see the same results given the same conditions. He’ll persevere and be on top."
It was a rough and tumble race for Dickinson.
"I got a great initial start and held it on the outside, and did it all clean," Dickinson said. "I was still side by side going into Turn Five and on the exit I had to go off track to avoid an incident. Later in the race there were several incidents where drivers that I had to work through didn’t race with the standards of on track behavior that is set by the series. Even though I’m a bit disappointed with how the weekend ended, I’m pleased with my drive and the entire Moorespeed team."
Moorespeed returns to action for the season finale doubleheader at Road Atlanta, October 9-11. This weekend’s races from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, including all five podiums, can be seen on NBC Sports Network on Wednesday, September 25 at 4:00 p.m. EDT.