The Iconic Circuit Will Play Host to Thirty-One Entries This Weekend
The Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands continues its debut season tour stopping at Watkins Glen International for Rounds 5 and 6 this weekend. Hosted by the top road courses in the United States, the 16-race schedule nears its midpoint and the one-make race series continues to gain momentum.
Thirty-one Porsche race cars, based on the iconic road-going Porsche 911 GT3 road car – 22 type 992 in the Pro and Pro-Am classes and nine type 991.2 in the Pro-Am 991 category – are entered. The twin 45-minute events on the 3.4-mile, 11-turn “Grand Prix Course” race in support of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s fabled Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
Porsche Carrera Cup North America: Watkins Glen International Entry List
Entering Round 5, Seb Priaulx has led the Pro class standings since the first qualifying session in March. The popular young driver from Guernsey, United Kingdom, has climbed to the top spot with 97 points by virtue of a victory (Round 1, Sebring) and podium finishes in each round. His lowest finish in the No. 15 Kelly-Moss Road & Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car has been a third place (Round 3 at Circuit of The Americas). In addition, Priaulx has won the pole position at each round in which qualifying has been held, providing an additional 15 total points to his tally.
Chasing closely behind, with 90 points, is Priaulx’s Kelly-Moss teammate Kay van Berlo, who has scored more victories (two) than anyone in the Pro class driving the No. 3 Porsche to wins at Round 2 (Sebring) and Round 4 (COTA). The pair of the drivers from the Wisconsin-based program hold a comfortable lead over Parker Thompson, who drove the No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to victory lane in Round 3 (COTA) and is the only other driver in class with a win. He holds 65 points in hand entering Round 5.
However, with only four races down and 12 rounds remaining, every lap can change the order, keeping the title in constant motion. Riley Dickinson, in the No. 53 Team Hardpoint EBM Porsche is currently in fourth place with podiums in Rounds 2 and 4. Current fifth-place runner Leh Keen piloted the 311RS Motorsport Porsche No. 12 to a third-place finish in the opening race.
The Pro-Am class, for driver 40 and older who are campaigning the current type 992 generation of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, is securely in the hands of Alan Metni. His No. 99 Kelly-Moss Porsche has a full house with 100 points, the result of four race wins. Efrin Castro has driven the No. 65 Team Hardpoint EBM Porsche to second in the current point standings, just ahead of Curt Swearingin in the No. 17 ACI Motorsports Porsche.
The Pro-Am 991 class – for drivers racing the previous-generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, type 991.2 – is led by Matt Halcome, who has earned the class win at the last three rounds driving the No. 55 Goldcrest Motorsports machine. His 95 points better Goldcrest teammate Jeff Majkrzak, who has 69 markers in the No. 29. Grady Willingham has driven the No. 21 Goldcrest-prepped machine to third place entering Watkins Glen. Kurt Hunt (No. 24 ACI Motorsports Porsche) is the only driver to have a victory in the class besides Halcome.
Michelin Tire Update: Michelin will introduce a new rear tire for this weekend’s races. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup N3 R is a minor evolution of the previous version and has been designed and built to maximize the rear tire’s performance in the global Porsche Carrera Cup series.
Schedule Update: On June 18, Porsche Carrera Cup North America was named the headline event of the Porsche SportsCar Together Fest at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course from Sept. 10-12. The one-make series will be joined by other steps on the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid, including the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama and select racing run groups of the Porsche Club of America.
Indianapolis adds to an impressive list of first-season tracks for Porsche Carrera Cup North America which also includes Sebring International Raceway, Circuit of the Americas, Road America, VIRginia International Raceway and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, in addition to Watkins Glen International.
Full race coverage of the Watkins Glen events can be found live at www.PorscheCarreraCup.us with IMSA Radio’s John Hindhaugh and Jeremy Shaw providing commentary. Following live coverage, events can be found on the Porsche Motorsport North America YouTube channel (youtube.com/porschemotorsportnorthamerica).
Brian Blocker, Series Manager, Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands: “When I think back to the tracks we targeted for our first season of Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands, there were some on a very short list of absolute musts for our customers and partners. Watkins Glen International was on the short list of that short list. This track provides us with everything we look for. It is fast, demands driver and team precision, and it has a long history of Porsche success. The Glen rewards talent and commitment. Those are the attributes we are looking for in everything we do with the series and at Porsche. That is why I am not surprised by the large 31 Porsche entries we have here, including 22 of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup type 992 race cars. Everyone is bringing their ‘A’ game this weekend and I think we will see the best competition thus far this season.”