Reigning Pro Class Runner-Up off to Great Start in 2022
SEBRING, Fla. – Kay van Berlo successfully swept the first two rounds of the 16-race Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands season. The second-year Pro class driver of the No. 3 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car charged from pole position to victory lane in both 40-minute season-opening rounds Thursday at Sebring International Raceway.
Rookie driver Mark Kvamme was also a green-to-checkered winner for the Am class in both rounds, piloting the No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche. Kelly-Moss teammates Alan Metni in the No. 99 and Efrin Castro in the No. 65 split the Pro-Am class victories.
Pro Class: The compressed two-day schedule was witness to twin, 40-minute races on the same day. Despite hot, sunny conditions that saw temperatures near 90 degrees, there were no yellow-flag caution periods in either event. The pressure was hard at the front of the grid between Kelly-Moss teammates van Berlo – the 2021 Carrera Cup North America runner-up – and Riley Dickinson in the No. 53 along with JDX Racing’s Parker Thompson in the No. 9. The trio finished on the podium in both races, with Thompson in second place for Race 1 and Dickinson moving to the second step of the podium in Race 2.
Pro-Am Class: Castro looked set to pick up where he left off last year when charged to the class championship against rival Alan Metni. The driver of the pink and black Porsche won the Pro-Am class pole position for both rounds and ran to perceived victories each time. However, postrace inspection found a technical compliance issue with the No. 65 resulting in a disqualification for the first race. Metni was elevated to the Round 1 win followed by Justin Oakes and Jeff Mosing. In Race 2, with the technical issue fixed, Castro did not miss any speed charging to a commanding lead from the start. He would take the win, with Metni and Oakes close behind.
Am Class: First year-Carrera Cup team MDK Motorsports immediately set the standard in the new Am class with Kvamme earning win in both rounds. In the morning race, Kvamme was followed across the line by Bob Mueller in the Octavio entry and Robert Hanley of JDX in third place. Vernon McClure and John Goetz filled out the podium in Race 2.
To the point: With the clean sweep, van Berlo accumulated 55 points and leads the Pro class standings by 17 over Dickinson and 18 ahead of Thompson. In the Pro-Am standings, the competition is tighter with Metni leaving Sebring with 45 points, eight more than Oakes, 16 up on Mosing and 20 over Castro. In Am class, Kvamme holds 50 points, 21 points beyond McClure and Goetz.
Next Up: Rounds 3 and 4 of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America will be held at the grandfather of North American street courses: Long Beach, California, from April 8-10.
Kay van Berlo, No. 3 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: “This is the strongest start of my career. Quickest in Practice 1, Practice 2, double pole in qualifying and then two wins. It couldn’t be any better. I am really happy with all the points. No crazy things this weekend. I couldn’t wish for a better weekend.”
Efrin Castro, No. 65 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: “The week was phenomenal. The car was great from the start. Unfortunately, in Race 1 there was a slight mistake. There was a part that wasn’t updated so I lost that win, but we recovered and I won Race 2. I can’t be happier. The car was amazing. It was actually faster at the end. I can’t thank Kelly-Moss enough for the great job they do. Once the race weekend started, I felt like I was at home, and everything just came back. I had the speed, and they are taking me higher.”
Mark Kvamme, No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: “It has been a great day. The team did a fabulous job. We are a brand new team, first time on the grid. To get pole position and two firsts, that’s fantastic. We are going for the gold. I am loving the (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup type) 922. It is a great car. I’ve done a lot of single-make series and Porsche is the best. It is great competition, tight racing, good racing. The guys take it really seriously and I just love racing Porsches.”