The Doubleheader Round Will Play a Pivotal Role in Determining the Champions
The Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands has come down to a three-man charge for the Pro class championship entering the penultimate weekend of the one-make series’ inaugural season.
The visit to VIRginia International Raceway this weekend will provide 28 drivers across three classes (Pro, Pro-Am and Pro-Am 991) the opportunity to reach victory lane in a pair of 45-minute races. The 3.27-mile, 17-turn Alton, Virginia-area track is among the most beautiful natural-terrain road courses in North America as well as one of the most challenging. Now deep within the final third of calendar, Rounds 12 and 13 of the 16-race schedule promise intense competition in the series that highlights driver skill in equal Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars.
The three classes comprise the inaugural season of North America’s first Porsche Carrera Cup. Both the Pro and Pro-Am classes campaign the newest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car, the type 992, exclusively. The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, type 992, is based on the current-generation Porsche 911 GT3 road car, the rear-engine, normally aspirated race car generating 510 horsepower. The Pro-Am 991 class uses of the previous-generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racer, the type 991.2.
Pro Class (13 Cars): Having left the three-round weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway back on top of the standings, points leader Seb Priaulx gained a 44-point advantage over Kelly-Moss Road and Race teammate Kay van Berlo. The Brit nudged ahead with two wins at the “Brickyard,” while the Dutchman had an off weekend with a best finish of third in the last race of the Porsche Sportscar Together Fest.
Priaulx has three wins and seven pole positions in the No. 15 Porsche while the No. 3 of van Berlo has scored five wins and one pole position through 11 rounds. Canada’s Parker Thompson gained the most at Indianapolis. He enters VIR trailing Priaulx by 57 points in the No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche. Three victories and two other podium finishes have placed Thompson into the title fight with 150 points (25 points for a victory, five points for a pole position) remaining up for grabs for the season.
The trio has pulled away from the remainder of the top five, but potential race winners run deep into the class. A third-place finish at Indianapolis coupled with two fourths give veteran Leh Keen a solid fourth in the 311RS Motorsport Porsche with 159 points. Riley Dickinson remains in striking distance in fifth place with 148 points piloting the No. 53 Team Hardpoint Porsche.
Pro-Am Class (10 Cars): Two victories at Indianapolis by Efrin Castro and a win there by Curt Swearingin has tightened the Pro-Am class as well. The class, designated for drivers 40 or older entering the Porsche 911 type 992, is a three-car battle with 67 points separating the challengers.
Alan Metni earned seven victories in the first 11 rounds despite missing the first Indianapolis race due to a conflict. He has driven the No. 99 iFly Kelly-Moss Porsche onto the podium in every other race, including four straight wins to start the year. It was only at Indy where Metni failed to win at least once. That was all it took for Castro (No. 65 Team Hardpoint Porsche) to move within 39 markers of Metni. A win in race three at Indianapolis by Swearingin strengthened his third-place position in the No. 17 ACI Motorsports Porsche – he trails Castro by 28 points.
Pro-Am 991 Class (5 Cars): Matt Halcome has held the class lead since Round 2 at Sebring International Raceway in March. He has accumulated 228 points in the No. 55 Goldcrest Motorsports Porsche with five wins and four other podium results. His Goldcrest Motorsports teammate Grady Willingham in the No. 21 pushed past the third Goldcrest machine of Jeff Majkrzak when Majkrzak moved into the Pro-Am class. Willingham is now in second place with 168 points.
Entrant: Kelly-Moss Road and Race has held the top spot in the Entrant Championship since the season-opening round. With eight victories and 10 podium finishes, the Madison, Wisconsin-based program has earned a 62-point lead over JDX Racing and 77 points ahead of 311 RS Motorsports.
On Track: Practice for all classes gets underway at 8 a.m. ET Friday, with Saturday hosting both the 30-minute qualifying session (8 a.m.) and Race 1 (3:30 p.m.). Sunday will have Race 2 taking the green flag at 12:15 p.m. Both races will stream live on IMSA.com/TVLive.
Brian Blocker, Series Manager, Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands: “Each week, we are seeing the competition in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands becoming more and more intense. No one is letting off the throttle right now. You can feel the energy and competitive spirit when you walk into the paddock; it is palatable. It makes for great racing, a great show for fans of sports car racing. The drivers and the teams absolutely love racing at VIR, and it is easy to see why. It is a beautiful track that rewards bravery. This is a track custom made for our brand of Porsche one-make racing, and I think we will see that here on Saturday and Sunday. The fans are going to get a great show.”