Dutch Driver Sweeps Weekend at Long Beach to Remain Perfect in 2022
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Kay van Berlo continued his perfect season in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands by taking the overall and Pro class wins in both races at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Driving the No. 3 Kelly-Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, van Berlo won Saturday over Parker Thompson (No. 9 JDX Racing) in a race that ended under a full-course caution and Sunday’s finale by 0.249 seconds over Trenton Estep (No. 6 MDK Motorsports). Both 40-minute races were incident-filled on the tight street course, with nearly half the total laps run under yellow.
Van Berlo won from the overall pole position on Saturday. In the Pro-Am class, Alan Metni added to the Kelly-Moss tally with his second win of the 2022 season in the No. 99 Porsche. Wright Motorsports driver John Goetz piloted the No. 57 to the Am class win.
Sunday’s race came down to a last-lap shootout when a late caution was lifted in time for one final lap of the 1.968-mile, 11-turn circuit before time expired. However, van Berlo would not relinquish the lead to Estep. Justin Oakes piloted the No. 47 Nolasport Porsche to the Pro-Am class win while Mark Kvamme earned his third win of 2022 in the No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche in the Am class.
Pro Class: Van Berlo continued adding to his success at Long Beach. The talented Dutchman, who is studying business at the University of Miami in Florida, has earned every pole position, led every lap and set fastest race time all but once in the young second season of the top level of Porsche one-make racing in North America.
Pro-Am Class: Metni’s win on Saturday was his second of the season, while Oakes won the class pole for both races and captured his first win on Sunday despite heated pressure from the remainder of the Pro-Am class (designated for drivers 36-57 years old). Oakes held off 2021 Pro-Am class champion Efrin Castro (No. 65 Kelly-Moss), who rallied after a frustrating race on Saturday.
Am Class: Goetz and Kvamme split the wins in the class for drivers 57 and older. It was an up-and-down weekend for both, as neither driver finished on the podium in the race where he didn’t win.
To the point: By virtue of a nearly flawless performance to this point in the season, Kay van Berlo and Kelly Moss lead the Pro and team title chase. Van Berlo, the 2021 class runner-up, has tallied a remarkable 111 points (of a possible 112) after four races. Kelly-Moss holds a perfect 100 points for four overall wins in four races. Metni remains atop the Pro-Am standings, 15 points ahead of Oakes. Kvamme holds a 17-point edge on Goetz in the Am class.
Where to Watch: Replays of both races can be found on Porsche Motorsport North America TV presented by Deluxe.
Next up: Rounds 5 and 6 of the Porsche Carrera Cup will take place at the legendary WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca from April 29-May 1. Both races stream live on IMSA.com/TVLive, the first at 2:50 p.m. ET Saturday, April 30 and the second at 11:40 a.m. Sunday, May 1.
Kay van Berlo, No. 3 Kelly-Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: “Super happy. My main goal for the season is to consistently score points. That is what I missed out on last season. At Sebring, we nearly maximized in terms of points, and this weekend we did. The car was on rails, absolutely spot on. Getting pole position at a street track is super important. You put yourself into a safe position for the races. Still a lot can go wrong. I had a little more pressure the second race. Early on, I was able to create a gap just to make sure when I was catching traffic, I could use it to my favor. Obviously, the last-lap restart puts a little more pressure on you, but the goal was the same: keep it clean, get a good run away and make no mistakes. At the street courses it is harder to overtake than any of the other tracks, and if you make a mistake, you put yourself in a risky position. That is what I tried to cover this weekend.”
Justin Oakes, No. 47 Nolasport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: “Quite an emotional rollercoaster. Qualifying on pole, leading the whole first race and then getting caught up in a little kerfuffle there at the end. So happy we were able to pull it together for Race 2 and in such a commanding way. I feel real good about our pace here. Basically, to have four sessions at this track and to be able to put a significant gap on my competitors is a major achievement.”