Moorespeed driver Riley Dickinson made a pass for a podium finish with three corners to go to cap a late charge to the front of the field in Sunday’s second and final race of the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA by Yokohama doubleheader at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR).
Improving on a frustrating fourth-place finish in Saturday’s first race, Dickinson passed three cars in the final three laps Sunday to bring the No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup across the finish line third overall and second in the Platinum Cup class.
Running in the top three in the first half of the 45-minute race, Dickinson rebounded from a mid-race miscue battling for the lead, which set the stage for the charge to the finish.
"It was definitely a little bit hair raising in the car," Dickinson said. "I had to force the issue for sure, but I was a little bit upset with myself for the mistake I made earlier in the race. I had a little bit of extra ‘umph’ to go and make that move. It was for the podium, so in my mind all bets were off."
Dickinson persevered through mistakes and team tactics from the competition in both weekend races and never lost his focus.
"There’s no quit in this kid," said Moorespeed President David Moore. "Riley was pushing hard today, doing the best he could, but the race leader was doing a great job defending. Riley just pushed it a little too hard in one spot. It would have been really easy to quit at that point, but he didn’t. He got back up behind the wheel, we got back to the podium and earned some good points."
Dropping to sixth after the mid-race run off course, Dickinson made the most of a late restart with three laps to go. He moved up three positions in the final laps, including the late pass for the podium as the checkered flag was set to wave.
"It was a good result to finish it off with," Dickinson said. "Overall, we had a great weekend. The Moorespeed team prepped the car amazingly. It felt great, but mistakes on my end were what cost us. We are going to go look over the data, see what we need to learn from and move on."
Rounds five and six of the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup season take place at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in two weeks.
"Now we are going to the next event at Road Atlanta, which is Riley’s favorite race track in the whole world," Moore said. "We will do a little reset. We will look at the data and the video, learn from it, build on it, and go to the next event and do what we can to come out on top next time."
Dickinson and Moorespeed won their first race together at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta last year in the opening race of 2019’s season-ending doubleheader.
"We’re headed to Road Atlanta and we feel pretty good," Dickinson said. "That’s one of my favorite tracks right now. We will learn from this weekend, move on from it, and go get them at Road Atlanta at the next race."
The Grand Prix at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta weekend schedule includes 45-minute IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup sprints Saturday, September 5 at 9:40 a.m. EDT and Sunday, September 6 at 8 a.m. EDT. Both races will be streamed live on www.IMSA.tv.
– The VIR event was closed to fans to comply with Virginia COVID-19 safety protocols and social gathering policies. "We didn’t have fans at the track but IMSA did a great job making sure we had a great event," Dickinson said. "I can’t thank them enough for making everything possible."
– This weekend’s doubleheader was the first event Moorespeed and Dickinson ran with the support of the Hill Country Region of the Porsche Club of America. Based in Austin like Moorespeed, the region has always been a strong team supporter and now sees its logo prominently displayed on the hood of the No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Funding is being raised through a raffle that awards three lucky Hill Country members a full day of driver coaching with Dickinson, with 100% of the proceeds donated to the 18-year-old driver to defray fuel and tire costs and other expenses.