Thirty-Four Competitors Battled at Sebring under IMSA Sanctioning
Sebring, Fla. – Porsche Carrera Cup is widely recognized as one of the most competitive motorsport formats in the world. With the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars – both the newest type 992 and previous generation 991.2 – forming the classes, the one-make championship is a battle between equal race cars.
The difference? The driver and team. This generates the kind of strong competition that was witnessed at Sebring International Raceway last weekend when Porsche Carrera Cup North America made its competition debut with a pair of 45-minute races. The parity across each of the field’s three classes – Pro, Pro-Am and Pro-Am 991 – was proven as battle for positions raged from front to back, with the Pro and Pro-Am 991 classes having different winners in both rounds. Seb Priaulx (No. 15 Kelly-Moss Road and Race) won Round 1 on Thursday and teammate Kay van Berlo (No. 3 Kelly-Moss) took the top step of the Pro podium on Friday. Only Alan Metni swept the weekend in Pro-Am class driving the No. 99 Kelly-Moss Road & Race entry.
While Priaulx leaves the first weekend with a 10-point lead in the overall standings ahead of van Berlo, the difference is a result of Thursday qualifying where the driver from Guernsey, United Kingdom, set the first- and second-quickest lap times to give him pole position for both rounds. Each pole position is worth five points.
Metni put 50 points in the bank on the opening weekend to establish himself as the clear target for his fellow Pro-Am class drivers – competitors 40 and older – for the remainder of the season. The Texan is ahead of Thomas Collingwood (No. 69 BGB Motorsports), who finished fourth on Thursday and second on Friday to capture 34 total points.
Pro-Am 991 – for drivers campaigning the previous-generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car, type 991.2 – is a tie at the top as both Kurt Hunt (No. 24 ACI Motorsports) and Matt Halcome (No. 55 Goldcrest Motorsports) traded first and second places in the two events. Hunt drove to victory in Round 1 and Halcome in Round 2.
Kelly-Moss Road & Race sits atop the Entrants Championship standings, having earned victory and pole position points for a total of 50 markers. 331RS Motorsport (37), Team Hardpoint EBM (32), JDX Racing (31) and BGB Motorsports (23) are second through fifth after the first two rounds of the 16-race schedule.
The 3.74-mile, 17-turn circuit in central Florida hosted 34 entries of the iconic Porsche 911 GT3 road car. Split with 23 of the type 992 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car – making their first appearance in customer racing teams’ hands this weekend – and 11 of the previous generation 991.2 models, the competition was heated amidst the three classes. Pro and Pro-Am use the newest car – the first 23 delivered in the world – while the Pro-Am 991 category uses the previous-generation car that set the standard for one-make racing worldwide since 2017.
Dr. Daniel Armbruster, president and CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America, said: “The narrow point spread and close competition this entire weekend shows we are on the right path with the plan and implementation of Porsche Carrera Cup North America. However, motorsport is about more than numbers; it is about people. We want to thank everyone that put so much effort making the first weekend into what I believe we would all consider an early success. The initial feedback we have received from drivers, entrants, mechanics and our marketing partners gave us a clear indication that our approach is the correct one. We will go back and reflect on what we learned and what we can do better. Then we will return to work with a unified goal to fine-tune every aspect for Rounds 3 and 4.”
Porsche Carrera Cup North America returns to action May 20-23 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.