JDX Racing earned two class victories in today’s sixth round of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands. With the overall win in both of the 40-minute races for the premier one-make series, Parker Thompson (Canada) led the veteran team at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. His teammate, Robert Hanley (Foxfield, Colorado), charged to his first career victory in the Am class at the Monterey, California-area track. Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) returned to the Pro-Am class victory podium for Kelly Moss.
Starting on the outside of Row 1, Thompson charged deep into the first two turns of the 2.338-mile, 11-turn track nosing ahead of polesitter Trenton Estep (San Antonio, Texas) into the second corner. From there, as he did in race one on Saturday, Thompson managed the Michelin tires, the track and the competition to stay ahead for the full 40-minute feature. Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas) crossed the finish-line in second-place after pressing Thompson from behind the wheel of the 510 hp No. 53 for much of the event. Points leader Kay van Berlo (Netherlands, now living in Miami, Florida) was part of the one-two-three finish claiming third-place in the No. 3, just behind his Kelly Moss teammate. The top-five was completed by Estep, No. 4 MDK Motorsports Porsche and Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia) driving the No. 12 311RS Motorsports machine.
Efrin Castro returned to his winning ways after a difficult race one here in Monterey. The 2021 Pro-Am class champion drove to a clean win in the No. 65 Kelly Moss Porsche. Curt Swearingin (Chattanooga, Tennessee) earned his second podium of the weekend in the No. 17 ACI Motorsports Porsche. The second-place finish was the season-high for Swearingin after two third-places finishes. ACI teammate Pedro Torres (Wellington, Florida) was in third-place for the Chattanooga-based race team, his highest of the year.
Robert Hanley earned his first victory in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Am class bettering class points leader and race one winner Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) in the No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche. John Goetz (Weston Connecticut), who finished in second-place in Saturday’s first race, took the final step of the podium, driving the No. 57 Wright Motorsports Porsche to third-place. Hanley’s victory was made even more impressive after an accident in Race 1 forced the team to do extensive rear suspension repair in time to make the grid for this morning’s race.
To the point.
The weekend tightened the points battle in each of the three classes as well as the Entrants’ title chase. Van Berlo retains the Pro class championship lead with 143 points over Thompson’s 121. Dickinson holds third-place with 87 markers, two up on Estep who sits in fourth-place with 85. TJ Fisher (Vacaville, California) breaks into the top-five in points with 60 points captured in the No. 58 Topp Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Despite an uncharacteristic 12th-place finish for Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) as a result of contact on track in Race 2, the 2021 class runner-up holds the Pro-Am class championship lead with 108 points in the No. 99 Kelly Moss machine. Justin Oakes (Houston, Texas) was also involved in the same incident but earned a fourth-place finish in class keeping the No. 47 Nolasport machine in second-place points with 95. Swearingin’s two-podium weekend closed the gap on the leaders with the Tennessean in third-place with 83 points. Castro holds fourth-place with 79. With 130 points, Kvamme is 25-points ahead of his nearest rival, Goetz. Hanley’s win and three earlier third-place finishes, has him in third-place of the Am category, one point ahead of Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) with 94. For Entrants, JDX’s strong Monterey showing closed the Jeremy Dale-owned operation to within 13 of Kelly Moss, 137-124.
Comments after the race
Parker Thompson, No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Pro Class Winner.
“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.”
Efrin Castro, No. 65 Kell Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Pro-Am Class 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.”
Robert Hanley, No. 4 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Am Class 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.”
Parker Thompson (Canada) took top honors in Round 5 of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands today at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. In the process, the young Canadian and his No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car became the first combination to better championship points leader Kay van Berlo (Netherlands living in Miami, Florida) in the second season of the premier Porsche one-make championship. Marco Cirone (Canada) also became a first-time winner in the Pro-Am class driving the No. 84 Mark Motors Racing Porsche. Things remained consistent in the Am class where class points leader Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) earned his fourth-win in five races.
The victory in the 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 (San Antonio, Texas) and Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas). Estep, who started from the pole position, was overcome on the opening lap by the Canadian driver. Estep retook the lead while Dickinson pressured from behind. After several exchanges of position and near misses, Thompson was able to draw away slightly but never comfortably in the race that stayed green throughout its entirety. Estep will start from pole position in tomorrow’s second and final race of the weekend.
In only his second weekend in the Pro-Am class of Carrera Cup, Canada’s Mark Cirone was able to claim victory in the category for drivers 35 – 56-years old. It was the first win for Mark Motors Racing in the series as well. Cirone drove a heads-up race battling with series’ veterans Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) in the No. 99 Kelly Moss Porsche – who finished in second-place – and Curt Swearingin (Chattanooga, Tennessee) who drove the No. 17 ACI Motorsports Porsche to his second, third-place finish of the season.
As a veteran racer, Mark Kvamme has found a natural home in his freshman year of Porsche one-make racing. The class polesitter ran up front all day in the No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. The class win was the points’ leaders fourth of the season in the class for drivers 57-years-old and older. He bettered championship rival John Goetz (Weston, Connecticut) driving the No. 57 Wright Motorsports Porsche and Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) in the No. 42 Topp Racing machine to the class win.
To the point.
Thompson’s win closed his championship gap to van Berlo but the Canadian remains 27 points behind his rival of last year. By virtue of his pole position (two points) and fastest race lap (one-point), Estep moves into third-place with 71-markers. Six points back is Thompson with 65. The two entered today’s race tied. Metni moved to 104 points in the Pro-Am category, 59-points ahead of Justin Oakes (Houston, Texas). Kvamme further strengthened his lead in the Am class with 110 points to Goetz with 88 and Smith with 83.
Comments after the race
Parker Thompson, No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Pro Class Winner.
“That was probably my most intense battle for a win in sports cars. Usually, the fight lasts one or two laps, but we lasted the full 40-minute race grinding away on one-another. Awesome race. The key was to get out in the lead early. The clean air onto the splitter really makes a difference. That gives you just that little bit of an advantage to control the race and that is exactly what we did. Trenton is quick. He would have gotten by had he had the pace so that little advantage we had at the front is what tipped the balance towards us.”
Marco Cirone, No. 84 Mark Motors Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Pro-Am Class 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. Tomorrow is going to be a little bit harder, a little more aggressive. I expect tomorrow to be clean but slightly more aggressive.”
Mark Kvamme, No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Am Class Winner.
“This track is really brutal. The tire degradation is amazing. I’d say by lap ten I barely had any tire. Michelin makes a great tire, but it is like sandpaper out there. So, it was survival there the last ten laps. It was a good race. I am hoping for tomorrow morning, for race two, there will be a little more rubber on the track so we have a little more traction. Today, 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 and I hope that will help me tomorrow.
MDK Motorsports captured two of the three class pole positions for tomorrow’s Round 5 of the 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands season. Trenton Estep (San Antonio, Texas) grabbed his first career pole position setting a blistering lap of one-minute, 24.925-seconds in the No. 9 MDK Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. The lap was the only sub-1:25 time around the 2.238-mile, 11-turn WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca of the day. Estep’s teammate Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) was the quickest in the Am class, lapping the No. 43 Porsche at 1:27.703. 2021 Porsche Carrera Cup Pro-Am class champion Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) returned to the front of the category with the No. 65 Kelly Moss machine turning a time of 1:26.247. Race 1 of the weekend at the Monterey, California-area track will take the green flag at 11:50 a.m. PT (2:50 p.m. on the East Coast) on Saturday, April 29.
Estep broke the one-minute, 25-second barrier with less than four minutes remaining in the 30-minute session. It came immediately following a red flag, the only break in the session. The first year series driver snapped the qualifying streak of Pro class points leader Kay van Berlo (Netherlands living in Miami, Florida). Van Berlo had won the pole position – and each race – in the first four rounds of the premier one-make championship. The driver of the No. 3 Kelly Moss entry will take the green flag for the 40-minute race from fourth-position overall. Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas) will start in second-place on the outside of Row 1 in the No. 53 Kelly Moss entry just ahead of his championship rival Parker Thompson (Canada). Thompson, currently 40-points behind van Berlo in the title chase, will see the green flag from third-place, inside Row 2, on the grid.
The fastest lap by each driver in qualifying sets the grid for the first race of the weekend. The second fastest lap by each driver acts as the qualifying time for the second race to be run on Sunday. Should a driver better their second best time during the race, the faster of the two will act as the qualifying time.
32 identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars will start tomorrow’s 40-minute race. Round 6 is scheduled for Sunday, May 1 at 8:40 a.m. California time, just ahead of the Monterey Sports Car Championship’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship feature event.
Comments before the race
Trenton Estep, No. 6 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Pro Class and Overall Pole Sitter.
“This is special. Really, really special. This is an awesome accomplishment as a team, it is such a team effort. I see how much work and effort goes into this by the crew. To earn a pole in Pro and in Am is a super accomplishment and I am really happy for the team. Thankfully, we were able to put a lap together. I did a little better job with tire management on the second tire set. I was able to manage the gap and the car was there when I needed it to be. The race is going to be a completely different mindset. This is my first pole here in Carrera Cup and the tire is very different than anything I am used to. That being said, I had the opportunity to test here. We did a couple of race runs and we focused on tire management. Tire degradation is everything here at Laguna. Hopefully it stays cool and what we learned today will transfer to tomorrow.”
Efrin Castro, No. 65 Kelly Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Pro-Am Class Pole Sitter.
“I am starting in a good position tomorrow. The team did a fantastic job with the setup. I was pushing all the way to the end. We lost three or four laps because of the traffic but I was able to get two laps that set me up for the pole. The track was very dusty but overall, it wasn’t that bad. The temperatures were cool enough that it gave us a lot of horsepower. We were trying to find a gap. We would get one and then we would lose it because a car spun and then the red flag. So, a couple of incidents made it difficult for us to get a good lap in.”
Mark Kvamme, No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Am Class Pole Sitter.
“It was a great session. I beat the second-place car by 5/1000ths of a second. That is about two inches over the entire lap. It was tough. Qualifying is all about positioning. By being on the inside of the row, I will be able to have the advantage going into Turn 1 and Turn 2. By staying up front you have a better chance to stay out of the melee. What I really tried to do was to have as few laps on those qualifying tires as I could going into the race. These tires at the end of this race will be just shattered. The Michelins are a phenomenal tire, but this track is just so brutal on them. The team is just doing a fabulous job, really gelling.”
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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.
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Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by The Cayman Islands.
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.
More on Porsche Carrera Cup North America by The Cayman Islands can be found at www.PorscheCarreraCup.us.