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Wdmp 220429 06966 2022 05 04

JDX Racing’s Thompson Sweeps Porsche Carrera Cup at WeatherTech Raceway

Parker Thompson Breaks Kay van Berlo’s Victory Stranglehold on the Pro Class

MONTEREY, Calif. – Parker Thompson became the first Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands driver other than Kay van Berlo to post an overall and Pro class win in the 2022 season, and the JDX Racing driver did it one better by sweeping the weekend’s two races at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

The double victory allowed Thompson (No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, type 992) to close within 22 points of van Berlo (No. 3 Kelly-Moss) with five rounds and 10 races remaining on the calendar.

Pro Class: The victory in Saturday’s 40-minute feature didn’t come easy for Thompson as the second-year series driver had to fend off multiple attacks by race polesitter Trenton Estep (No. 6 MDK Motorsports) and Riley Dickinson (No. 53 Kelly-Moss). Starting on the outside of Row 1 in Sunday’s race, Thompson charged deep into the first two turns of the 2.338-mile, 11-turn track and nosed ahead of polesitter Estep into the second corner. From there, as he did in Race 1, Thompson managed the Michelin tires, the track and the competition to stay ahead for the full 40-minute feature. Dickinson crossed the finish line in second place.

Pro-Am Class: In only his second weekend in the class, Canada’s Mark Cirone (No. 84 Mark Motors Racing) was able to claim victory in the category for drivers 35-56 years old in Race 1. Cirone drove a heads-up race battling with series veterans Alan Metni (No. 99 Kelly-Moss), who finished second, and Curt Swearingin (No. 17 ACI Motorsports), who took third. On Sunday, Efrin Castro returned to his winning ways with a clean victory in the No. 65 Kelly-Moss Porsche. Swearingin finished a second-best second, with Pedro Torres (No 16 ACI Motorsports) in third.

Am Class: Veteran racer Mark Kvamme has found a natural home in his first year of Porsche one-make racing. The class polesitter ran up front all day on Saturday in the No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche to claim his fourth Am win of the season in the class for drivers 57 and older. On Sunday, Robert Hanley (No. 4 JDX Racing) earned his first victory by holding off Kvamme. Hanley’s victory was more impressive considering an accident in Race 1 forced the team to make an extensive rear suspension repair in time to make the grid for the second race.

To the point: The weekend results tightened the points battle in each class, as well as the Entrants’ title chase. Van Berlo retains the Pro class lead with 143 points over Thompson’s 121. Despite an uncharacteristic 12th-place finish for Metni in Race 2, the 2021 class runner-up holds the Pro-Am championship lead with 108 points, 13 more than Justin Oakes (No. 47 Nolasport). Kvamme is 25 points ahead of John Goetz (No. 57 Wright Motorsports) in the Am class.

Next up: Porsche Carrera Cup North America will now take a break until resuming at Watkins Glen International from June 23-26.

Parker Thompson, No. 9 JDX Racing, Pro Class Winner, Races 1 and 2: “Turn 2 at WeatherTech Laguna Seca treated the No. 9 JDX Motorsports Porsche pretty well this weekend. It seems like we could make that outside line work really well. We made all of our passes there this weekend. Today was a little different than yesterday’s race. Both the Kelly-Moss cars (Thompson and van Berlo) were on their new Michelins; we were on our one-run qualifying tires. I had to earn my money on the first eight laps of the race. I had to keep Riley behind me, but our car was hooked up so good. It was a rocket ship. I just had to keep it on track but, if I kept it on the black stuff, we were going to win that race.”

Marco Cirone, No. 84 Mark Motors Racing, Pro-Am Class Race 1 Winner: “This is our second event. We were really concerned because we were almost a year behind on this new car. My team did such a great job of preparing the car and making it right for me. This car is a lot different (than other Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars he has driven) and this one is for the team. They did all the work and they deserve all the credit.”

Efrin Castro, No. 65 Kelly-Moss, Pro-Am Class Race 2 Winner: “Today is a wonderful day. I came in first place, which is something I needed to do after yesterday’s mistake. I was able to bounce back and, by the grace of God, we came away with the victory. The team did an excellent job with the setup of the car. I couldn’t be more thankful to Kelly-Moss for the work that they do. This was a win a needed to accomplish this weekend.”

Mark Kvamme, No. 43 MDK Motorsports, Am Class Race 1 Winner: “This track is really brutal. The tire degradation is amazing. I’d say by Lap 10 I barely had any tire. Michelin makes a great tire, but it is like sandpaper out there. So, it was survival there the last 10 laps. It was a good race. … I was able to get a little bit ahead because Goetz got stuck behind another car, so I was able to play with my line a little bit.”

Robert Hanley, No. 4 JDX Racing, Am Class Race 2 Winner: “We had a tough day yesterday. This is how JDX Racing bounces back. It was a very good day. (After the repair for damage sustained in Race 1,) I have complete trust in the team and the work that they do. They did everything they needed to do to make sure the car was right, and it was perfect. The bigger challenge was that when we arrived here today, we had overcast skies and we thought we would have lower temperatures for the day. So, we went a little bit higher on tire pressures. When the skies cleared, that meant we were a little overinflated. I had to manage that the last four or five laps as it became more pronounced as temperatures and pressures increased. We were able to manage pace. It was a big step for me to come and join this series this year. It is a new race car, a new team for me. My son, Daniel, is my car chief so we are able to do this together. I am a proud dad.”