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 premier one-make series’ inaugural season. The October 8 – 10 visit to VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) will provide 28 drivers across three classes (Pro, Pro-Am and Pro-Am 991) the opportunity to reach victory lane in two, 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 which highlights driver skill in equal Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars.
Three classes – Pro, Pro-Am and Pro-Am 991 – 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 generates 510 Hp. The Pro-Am 991 class uses of the previous generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racer, the type 991.2.
Pro. 13 Cars.
Having left the three-round weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway back on top of the standings, early-season points leader Seb Priaulx (United Kingdom) gained a 44-point advantage over Kelly-Moss Road and Race teammate Kay van Berlo (The Netherlands). The Brit nudged ahead with two wins at “The Brickyard” while the Dutchman had an off-weekend with a best finish of third-place 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 only 57-points in the No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car. Three victories and two other podium finishes have placed Thompson into the title fight with 150 points (25 points for a victory, 5 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, fourth-place finishes in the other two rounds at Indy give veteran Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia) a solid fourth-place in the 311RS Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car with 159 points. Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas) remains in striking distance in fifth-place with 148-points piloting the No. 53 Team Hardpoint Porsche to five podium results thus far in 2021.
Pro-Am. 10 Cars.
The two-race victories at Indianapolis by Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) and a win there by Curt Swearingin (Chattanooga, Tennessee) has tightened the Pro-Am class contenders as well. The class, designated for drivers 40-years-old or older entering the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup type 992 race car, is a three-car battle with 67 points separating the top-three challengers.
Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) earned seven victories in the first 11-rounds despite missing Round 9 (Indianapolis) due to a conflict. He has driven the No. 99 iFly Kelly-Moss Porsche onto the podium in all but that ninth-round including four-straight wins to start the year and an additional three straight with a second-place breaking the streaks in the middle of the year. It was only at Indy where the silver machine failed to win at least once. That was all it took however for Castro in the No. 65 Team Hardpoint Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car 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. 5 Cars.
Matt Halcome (Dallas, Georgia) has held the Pro-Am 991 class lead – for drivers racing the previous generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, type 991.2 – since Round 2 at Sebring International Raceway in March. He has accumulated 228 points in the No. 55 Goldcrest Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car with five-wins and four other podium results. His Goldcrest Motorsports teammate Grady Willingham (Birmingham, Alabama) in the No. 21 pushed passed the third Goldcrest-entered machine of Jeff Majkrzak (Orono, Minnesota) when Majkrzak moved into the Pro-Am class after the purchase of a type 992 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car prior to Indianapolis. The Alabamian is now in second-place with 168 points (-60 points). While holding the widest margin of any class championship leader, the title chase continues into the final two event weekends for the class which will be ended at the conclusion of the 2021 race season. Majkrzak remains in third-place while Joseph Lombardo (Bath, Ohio) sits in fourth-place having scored his first two professional race victories at Indy driving the No. 92 for Kelly-Moss Road and Race. However, Lombardo will miss VIR because of another commitment providing Craig Conway (Edgewater, Florida) a chance to move into the top-three behind the wheel of the No. 97 Irish Mike’s Racing machine. Both Lombardo and Conway have 105-points entering VIR.
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.
Practice for all classes gets underway Friday, October 8 at 8:00 a.m. ET with Saturday hosting both the 30-minute qualifying session (8:00 a.m.) and 45-minute Race 1 (3:30 p.m.). Sunday will have Race 2 taking the green flag at 12:15 p.m. and checkered at 1:00 p.m. All events can be seen live at PorscheCarreraCup.us with IMSA Radio providing commentary. Following live coverage, events can be found on the Porsche Motorsport North America YouTube channel (youtube.com/porschemotorsportnorthamerica). Additional post race coverage and special programing will also be found here.
Comments before the races
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.”
About the Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands, located an hour south of Miami in the vibrant tranquility of western Caribbean, is a premier destination for travelers, thrill-seeking divers, adventurous epicures, honeymooners and families alike. The trio of islands affords each guest with the ultimate setting to enjoy life’s finest comforts, as the Caribbean’s leading luxury lifestyle destination. Five-star resorts, high-end villas, condos and breathtaking beachfront properties unique to each island offer a myriad of accommodation options for discerning travelers to enjoy. Additionally, the Cayman Islands is frequently heralded as the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean” and offers endless gastronomic experiences to delight even the most seasoned of palates.
The Cayman Islands, world-renowned for impeccable “Caymankind” hospitality also employs best-in-class health and sanitation protocols to keep visitors and locals safe. To learn more about the Cayman Islands, please go to www.visitcaymanislands.com; www.divecayman.ky or call your local travel agent. For the most up-to-date travel guidance and protocols, please visit: https://www.exploregov.ky/coronavirus.
Porsche Carrera Cup North America by the Cayman Islands is the premier one-make race series in the United States and Canada utilizing a combination of the latest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car, type 992, and MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport Cup N3 racing slick to challenge the best road and street race courses on the continent. As with all national Carrera Cups worldwide, the inaugural season of the championship is scheduled to host 16-rounds. Each 45-minute race counts toward a season-long driver and team championship in each of three classes: Pro, Pro-Am and Pro-Am 991.
For more information on Porsche Carrera Cup North America by The Cayman Islands can be found at www.PorscheCarreraCup.us.