Moorespeed scored a pair of second-place finishes Friday in a weekend podium sweep at the season-ending IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
A day after his breakout victory in Thursday’s first 45-minute race of the weekend, 17-year-old Riley Dickinson wrapped up his first season of auto racing competition with a second-place Platinum Cup and overall finish Friday.
Dickinson also set the fastest race lap and started from the pole in the No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on Friday
Ferriol scored a Gold Cup second-place finish to close out the season with eight-straight top-two finishes in the No. 5 Moorespeed Porsche 991 GT3 Cup.
Dickinson led the 27-car field to the green at the start of Friday’s 45-minute race. Heading into the quick Road Atlanta Turn 1, outside front-row starter Roman De Angelis took an aggressive line and was able to get by for the lead.
As the race progressed, Dickinson stayed in hot pursuit of De Angelis and set the fastest race lap of 1:23.034, which is also a new track record, on lap 27. Dickinson took the checkered flag on the rear bumper of the De Angelis to cap a podium-perfect weekend an outstanding first year racing cars.
"It was my bad on the start, I need to look at the data, but it was my fault that he got by me," Dickinson said. "It was a good race between me and Roman. A very competitive way to finish out the year. I am sure it was fun to watch as well. The car was coming to me as the race went on. I can’t thank the Moorespeed team enough for a great year, looking forward to 2020!"
Thursday’s victory was Dickinson’s first in the competitive IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup series and he raced hard to the finish Friday trying to make it two wins in a row. The strong weekend showing moved Dickinson to third place in the final 2019 Platinum Cup championship point standings.
"Riley never gave up," Moorespeed President David Moore said. "Roman just beat us today, but that is today. Riley was right there, they both had issues with traffic. They race hard against each other and that is what we like to see. Riley had a good weekend with a pole, win and second place run today."
Successfully navigating the start of the last race of the season, Ferriol was in an exciting battle for the overall top-10 with several Platinum Cup Masters competitors. Running consistent lap times and keeping the Yokohama tires under him, Ferriol took the checkered flag second in Gold Cup and 13th overall.
"Crazy at the start," Ferriol said. "It is tough when you’re at the head of the Gold field and you are mixed with Platinum Masters cars going from a rolling start. You don’t have the power to gap them into Turn 1. I had a good race with three Platinum cars throughout the 45-minutes, which is fun when they have 50 extra horsepower and ABS brakes. It was a clean run and we had a good finish. I would have liked to have won, but I can be happy and not satisfied at the same time."
Ferriol’s eight-race top-two streak dates back to early August and includes victories at Road America and VIRginia International Raceway.
"Rob was dealing with Platinum cars as he was running in the top-10 overall, but that is part of running in the Gold Cup," Moore said. "He gave it everything he had and did a great job today for another second-place finish."
Joining the team just prior to June’s doubleheader in Montreal, Ferriol finished on the podium 10 times in his 12 races with Moorespeed. His full-season record of 13 podium finishes in the year’s 16 races was enough to give Ferriol championship runner-up honors in the final 2019 Gold Cup point standings.
The 2020 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama season begins at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, March 13 – 15.