Texan Becomes Fourth Driver to Win in Pro Class
TORONTO – The Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands made its Canadian debut this past weekend at the Indy Toronto. Since its introduction in 2021, the championship has become a premier one-make series, regularly drawing the largest fields of Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, type 992, race cars on the globe.
While the series is in its second season of competition, this was the first time the three classes that make Carrera Cup have been able to cross the border to fulfill its North American title. Carrera Cup was supporting the IndyCar Series for the second time this season, the 17 entries facing the 1.755-mile, 11-turn temporary circuit that winds through the streets of the metropolitan city of Toronto. In the end, not every car made it out unscathed, but the series had a new winner, Texan Trenton Estep. Championships in all three classes tightened on the street course as the series enters its last three race weekends.
Estep has made himself a regular at the front of the Pro class in the No. 6 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car all season but was yet to reach victory lane. It took the series’ first foray outside of the United States before an American could break the stranglehold championship points leader Kay van Berlo (from the Netherlands, now studying in Miami) had on the series entering the weekend. The only other driver to win this season was Canada’s own Parker Thompson. The driver of the No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche has two victories – both coming at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Taking pole-to-checkered victories in both Saturday’s full 40-minute round and Sunday’s shortened 24-minute race, Estep joins only three other drivers who have ever won in the history of the all-Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race series. In addition to van Berlo and Thompson, 2021 Pro champion Seb Priaulx, who is now racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship in a Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR-19, have won in the championship that debuted in 2021.
Sunday’s second race was shortened to 24 minutes after an incident in a race prior to the Porsche championship event forced extensive track repairs. The compacted event increased the intensity and battles but the finishing order in the three classes remained the same as on Saturday. Estep led every lap from pole position, even with an intense battle for the remaining podium positions raging behind. Efrin Castro (No. 65 Kelly-Moss Porsche) earned his third straight win in the Pro-Am category while Bill Smith (No. 42 Topp Racing Porsche) secured his third consecutive win in the Am class.
To the Point: Despite going winless this weekend, Pro class championship leader van Berlo (No. 3 Kelly-Moss) not only retained but added to his points lead after 10 rounds. Thompson retains second place while Estep jumped over Riley Dickinson for third in the overall standings. Alan Metni (No. 99 Kelly-Moss) held the Pro-Am lead, but Castro gained on the Texan and trails by just 16 points. Smith jumped from third place in Am class entering Toronto to a nine-point lead over Bill Goetz. Mark Kvamme fell to third from the lead after missing the Canadian rounds.
Where to Watch: Replays of both races can be found on Porsche Motorsport North America TV presented by Deluxe: https://www.youtube.com/c/PorscheMotorsportNorthAmerica.
What’s Next: Six races remain on the 16-round schedule. The next doubleheader race weekend takes place Aug. 4-7 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.