The winning pairing of Moorespeed and its now 18-year-old driver Riley Dickinson finally kicks-off its second season of IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA by Yokohama competition this weekend in the long-awaited season-opening Saturday/Sunday doubleheader at Road America.
Moorespeed and Dickinson participated in the originally scheduled season-opening race in St. Petersburg, Florida in March, but that event was cancelled after Friday morning practice as the motorsports world united in just a matter of a few days for an industry-wide pause in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a nearly four-month delay, sports car racing in North America began a safe and responsible return to competition earlier this month and IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA gets its chance this weekend. When Moorespeed and its competitors take the green flag for opening practice at Road America this Friday morning at 9:45 a.m. CDT, it will be 137 days since the one-and-done St. Petersburg session.
"We are blessed to be able to get back to work," said Moorespeed President David Moore. "Racing, as a global industry, certainly has not been exempt from loss and hardship. We’ve all lost family and friends. Our hearts go out to them. Many teams and workshops have closed their doors permanently leaving too many without jobs. However, getting back on track is putting people back to work, so they can provide for their families."
All IMSA competitors follow stringent safety procedures and social-distance protocols in what has been a successful return to competition this month. Road America has even taken the proper steps in safely opening the track to race fans this weekend.
"I would like to give a huge thank you to everyone at IMSA and NASCAR for what they have done to get our season resumed in 2020," Dickinson said. "It’s going to be pretty cool to see all the fans scattered around the fence lines this weekend."
This weekend’s Road America IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup doubleheader features twin 45-minute sprint races Saturday at 12:45 p.m. CDT and Sunday at 9 a.m. CDT. The races can be seen live on IMSA.tv and will be featured on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) Tuesday, August 11, in a one-hour show at 4 p.m. EDT.
Moorespeed and Dickinson return this year after a successful 2019 campaign that ended on a high note. Dickinson scored his first race win form the pole in the opening 45-minutes sprint of the season-ending doubleheader at Road Atlanta last October. He ended the year with seven podium results in 16 races and third in the Platinum Cup championship standings.
Dickinson’s breakout Road Atlanta win came a day before he finished second in the final race of 2019 on Friday, October 11, the last time an IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup race was run. When the field takes the green for this Saturday’s first sprint at Road America, it will 295 days since the Road Atlanta finale. Dickinson is more than ready to go racing.
"Even though we are officially going to start our season in July, this year is still going to be as action packed as ever," Dickinson said. "I can’t wait to get the 2020 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama season underway!"
Road America has been a great track for Moorespeed in recent years. The team swept the Platinum Cup races in 2017 and 2018 and scored a fifth-straight win in Gold Cup competition in the first sprint of last year’s doubleheader.
"Moorespeed has had tremendous success over the years at Road America," Moore said. "One of our all-time favorites. The people and town of Elkhart Lake are true fans and racers and hold a special place in our hearts."
Dickinson and the Moorespeed team had a productive test at Road America two weeks ago in preparation for this weekend’s races.
"The test we had a couple weeks ago went very well," Dickinson said. "It felt great to not only jump back into my Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup car, but also being at the track surrounded by our team. During the test, we were able to get quite a bit done over the course of both days. After we got the rust knocked off in the first session, we were able to quickly pick-up where we left off at St. Pete back in March. The team and I were able to gain valuable knowledge during the test, and we are confident it will transfer over to the race weekend."
A three-day weekend schedule, IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA action at Road America begins with the 45-minute practice session at 9:45 a.m. CDT Friday morning. A 30-minute practice Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. CDT sets the stage for qualifying later that afternoon at 4 p.m. CDT. Saturday’s first race is schedule to go green at 12:45 p.m. CDT with the weekend’s second and final 45-minute sprint set for Sunday at 9 a.m. CDT.
– Dickinson is the 2020 recipient of the prestigious IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship after topping a four-driver shootout last November at Barber Motorsports Park as part of the North American Porsche Young Driver Academy. Dickinson, who was presented with the scholarship honor in a press conference with Haywood, Moore and IMSA President John Doonan in January at the Rolex 24 Roar test at Daytona International Speedway, wears a one-of-a-kind OMP race suit this season. The special OMP design features prominently the title of Hurley Haywood Scholarship winner across the chest, complete with Haywood’s signature.
– Moore began his motorsports career at Road America and this weekend honors one of the main teams and drivers he worked with more than 20 years ago. "This week we are paying tribute to our old Speedvision World Challenge GT Porsche race team, Toad Hall Motor Racing, for my life-long friend and driver Peter Kitchak," Moore said. "Peter and I won a lot of races together for many years and Road America was definitely at the top of the list. We’ve passed the torch to Riley this year after he finally met Peter and ran with him at our pre-season test at our home track COTA in February. Riley has a new fan and mentor, and if not for COVID-19, Peter would be there with us I’m sure."