Porsche Junior driver Laurin Heinrich (Germany) concluded his North American debut with a victory in the 311RS Motorsports No. 12 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. It was the young German’s first weekend of competition in the Porsche Carrera North America Presented by the Cayman Islands. He charged from pole position to the top step of the podium in the premier one-make championship’s final round held today at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The win in the second race of the weekend on the 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course in Braselton, Georgia by the 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup Germany champion was also the first win for 311RS Motorsports, one of the founding teams of the all-Porsche 911 GT3 Cup series in 2021.
Second place overall in the 40-minute race went to Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas) in the No. 53 Kelly Moss Porsche. As Heinrich was in an invitational class, the Pro class win went to Dickinson. It was his second career win in the series, the first coming at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Porsche Sports Car Together Fest in round 14 of the 16-race championship. The performance awarded the second-year driver third place in the championship.
Parker Thompson (Canadian-native living in Indianapolis, Indiana) drove to third-place overall, second place in Pro class, behind the wheel of the No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche. In combination with yesterday’s win, Thompson will be crowned the 2022 Pro class champion and the Al Holbert Cup awarded to the series’ overall champion.
Third place, with his highest finish in the series, was Dimitri Dimakos (Chicago, Illinois) in the No. 11 311RS Motorsport race car. It was the first time the 311RS Motorsports program has placed two cars on the Carrera Cup podium.
Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) won the Pro-Am class race, as he did in race one yesterday, in the No. 65 Kelly Moss Porsche. However, the sweep of the weekend was not enough for the 2021 Pro-Am champion. Just as it did last year, the championship came down to Castro and Kelly Moss teammate Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) in the No. 99. While Castro did everything, he needed to win the title, so did Metni, who finished in third place to take the Drivers’ championship by a single point. Marco Cirone (Canada) placed the No. 84 Mark Motors Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car between the two title contenders to earn the runner-up spot on the weekend.
Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) opened the year with a victory, and he closes it the same way. In that time, he has captured a total of 10 wins in the class for drivers 57 years of age and older. The success led to his first championship in series. Chasing down the No. 43 MDK Motorsports entry was the Bob Mueller (Solana Beach, California) in the Goldcrest Motorsports No. 28. Third place went to John Goetz (Westcon, Connecticut) in the No. 57 Wright Motorsports Porsche. Goetz will finish in second place of the Am championship.
Kelly Moss locked their second Porsche Carrera Cup North America Entrants championship yesterday in round 15.
Comments after race 2
Laurin Heinrich, No. 12 311RS Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“It has always been a dream of mine to come here and race in North America. Now to get to come here at the end of my first season as a Porsche Junior is just an amazing experience. I knew I had all the tools with my team, 311RS Motorsports, to win the race. We were really unlucky yesterday, but the team did an amazing job to make the Deluxe Corporation Porsche really fast again. Today I knew it was really straight forward, I just needed to push as hard as I can again. That is what I did and in the end it was enough. It was a dream of mine to win a race in the U.S. Thank you to the team.”
Pro Class Winner.
Riley Dickinson, No. 53 Kelly Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“What an unbelievable year for the series as a whole. I feel that Porsche Carrera Cup, from start to finish was, hands down the most entertaining championship that was on track throughout the course of the year. That is a testimony to everything Porsche Motorsport North America has done behind the scenes and at the forefront in making sure this championship is successful. If this is any indication of what years to come is going to look like it is great stuff. A huge thanks to everyone at Porsche for all their hard work. For me, a huge thank you to everyone at Kelly Moss at the track and back home at the shop. I can’t thank them enough. I am proud to represent them and my partners like Race for Childrens and Porsche Austin. I would not be able to do what I am able to do on the weekends without everyone, my friends and family, for their support. I am very much looking forward to what 2023 is going to bring.”
Pro-Am Class. Winner.
Efrin Castro, No. 65 Kelly Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“We did everything we had to do. I want to give a big thanks to the team. They supported me so much this year. It was amazing working with Kelly Moss. It came down to the wire. I am a big believer in whose destiny it is going to win the championship is going to win it. I did everything possible. Alan [Metni] is a great guy and a great racer and I am very happy for his championship win. The race was a very tough race to compete. I found a rhythm and a pace and I kept my position and came home in first place. That is all I could have done.”
Am Class. Winner.
Mark Kvamme, No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“I was very focused. Goetz is the guy I was racing against [in the championship]. I got a really good start and he, unfortunately, got stuck in the melee a little bit and got pushed down to P6. About two-thirds into the race I was just focused on that sticker [for a race win]. I had Mueller right behind me the whole time. He was driving really, really well. I would gap him, and he would close, and I would gap him, and he would close. I really just focused on hitting my points. I was praying for no yellows. It was really great race.”
Parker Thompson (Canadian-native living in Indianapolis, Indiana) drove a flawless race to earn his fifth win of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands season today at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. His victory at the Braselton, Georgia-track moved the No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car to within five points of the Pro class championship leader Kay van Berlo (native of the Netherlands studying in Miami, Florida) with one race remaining to be run. In the Pro-Am class, Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) won his eighth race of the season on the 2.54-mile, 12-turn circuit. It moved his No. 65 Kelly Moss Porsche to within nine points of leader and teammate Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) in the No. 99. The Am class also saw the title contenders finish one-two with John Goetz (Weston, Connecticut) piloting the No. 57 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to a second victory of the year just ahead of championship leader Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio). Goetz trails the No. 43 MDK Motorsports machine by 11 points.
Kelly Moss wrestled home their second-consecutive Porsche Carrera Cup North America Entrants championship. Despite JDX adding 25 points to the team’s total raising it to 285 points, van Berlo’s second-place finish moved the Madison, Wisconsin-based Kelly-Moss operation out of reach with 325 points. 25 points are available for a win, 20 points for a second place in all classes.
Porsche Junior driver Laurin Heinrich (Germany) made his North American debut in the No. 12 311RS Motorsports Porsche. In the Invitational class, the 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup Germany champion won the overall pole position and lead from the green flag until the race’s midpoint when the car spun off into the uphill right hand turn one. It was unable to finish.
The season’s final 40-minute race to decide all champions will go green on Friday, September 30 at 10:55 a.m. ET/ 7:55 a.m. PT.
Comments after Race 1
Pro Class Winner.
Parker Thompson, No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“That feels pretty darn good. I will only be able to enjoy it for 15-20 minutes and then I have to go back into the hauler. We have a race to go out and win tomorrow. All to play for tomorrow. Road Atlanta in 2021 was not my or JDX Racing’s strongest track. So, to come here and get a trophy with the number one on it was exactly what we needed to do. I could not be prouder of my team.”
Pro-Am Class. Winner.
Efrin Castro, No. 65 Kelly Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“It was a very exciting race. A lot of action. I had to fight to get that position. I was able to do that with five minutes remaining. With the win that was most I could have done. Metni did his job finishing P2. I am grateful for the win and let’s see what tomorrow brings. This is so much fun. I am just going to do my routine tonight and just be ready for tomorrow.”
The 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands season ends with rounds 15 and 16 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, September 29 – 30. The premier one-make series has enjoyed remarkable growth in its second season in all areas. This weekend that continued success includes on-track action with 35 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars entered for the Braselton, Georgia track. Championships in its three classes and the Entrants title are all undecided as practice begins on Wednesday, September 28. The 2.54-mile, 12-turn race course with its long straights, sweeping corners, technical turns and elevation changes cut through the red Georgia clay northeast of Atlanta plays host to the final two 40-minute races of the series’ second year. With four drivers capable of capturing the Pro class title, two in the Pro-Am category and three in the Am class – all racing the same type 992 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car directly based on the road-going Porsche 911 GT3 – who will stand at the front of the Celebration of Champions to receive the impressive list of awards and trophies all comes down to this weekend.
Seven months ago, the sophomore year for the premier single make race series opened at Sebring International Raceway. This weekend it will close. In that time 47 drivers have taken part in at least one of the 42 class races across 14 event weekends. Twelve drivers have at least one race victory in their class.
Al Holbert Cup
September 30 is historically significant for Porsche in North America. Not only will it see the crowning of champions in each category of the one-make championship but also the awarding of the Al Holbert Cup to the overall champion of the series. The Al Holbert Cup recognizes Holbert’s commitment, inspiration and leadership in the formation and organization of Porsche motorsports in North America. The silver cup carrying his name has been crafted as a timeless and traditional trophy to commemorate each Pro class champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America starting with this inaugural season in 2021. This award recognizes the true racing spirit of Al Holbert conveying his professional driver’s skill, engineer’s precision and a racer’s passion. The unique award represents a link between the past, present and future of Porsche. Holbert was a storied racer and one of the all-time leaders in IMSA race victories (63) and pole positions (27).
Making the award even more poignant, it will be presented on the same day the affable leader died in a small aircraft accident in 1988, 34 years ago, Friday.
Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich makes North American debut
The top Pro class talent of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America will have a firsthand look at the competition they could face at the peak of the international Porsche one-make ladder, the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, at Road Atlanta. Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich (Germany) will take the wheel of the 311RS Motorsport No. 12 Porsche for the final two rounds of the year. Having recently completed the Supercup season with a third-place finish in the championship, Heinrich – who was named as a Porsche Junior in December, 2021 – will run in the special Invitational class. Like NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon (Charlotte, North Carolina) did at the most recent two rounds at Porsche Sports Car Together Fest earlier this month, Heinrich will be eligible for podium results within the Pro class but will not be eligible for championship points.
As a result of offering his seat to Heinrich, this marks the first Porsche Carrera Cup North America event not to include GRAND-AM GT Champion, Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia).
35 Entries. Pro. 15, Pro-Am. 13, Am. 7
Fifteen, nearly half, of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars entered this weekend are in the Pro class. The intense competition at the sharp end of the field comes with overall championship implications as four drivers are still eligible for the Pro class title.
The early favorite for the title, Kay van Berlo (the Netherlands currently studying in Florida), did not disappoint from the start sweeping not only rounds one and two at Sebring but three and four on the Long Beach street course as well. Since that time, he added back-to-back victories at Watkins Glen International (rounds seven and eight) for a total of six wins, most in the class, for the year behind the wheel of the No. 3 Kelly Moss Porsche. He has three more podium finishes, seven pole positions and seven fastest race laps. The 2021 runner-up has 270 points coming to Georgia. However, four wins, three pole positions and one fastest race lap for Parker Thompson (Canadian resident living in Indianapolis, Indiana) in the No. 9 JDX Racing machine bring the talented former open-wheel driver into contention. The winner of twin races at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (rounds five and six) and single trips to victory lane at Road America (round 12) and Indianapolis Motor Speedway (round 13) have combined for 259 points for Thompson – who finished in third-place in the class last year. Forty points back from van Berlo is first year contender Trenton Estep (San Antonio, Texas). The driver of the No. 6 MDK Motorsports Porsche has three wins (rounds nine and 10 at Toronto as well as round 12 at Road America), three pole positions and two fastest laps. Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas) is the last driver in the Pro class with a victory and the last driver with a shot to take the title from his Kelly Moss teammate. Dickinson scored his first win in the series at the most recent round at Indianapolis in the No. 53. The 2021 fourth-place championship finisher has three fastest race laps and one pole position.
With a theoretical 56 points available (25 x 2 for race wins, 2 x 2 for pole position wins and 1 x 2 for fastest race lap in each session) to a single driver over the course of a normal weekend, all four drivers are still in the hunt for the title.
To the Point. Pro Class.
Van Berlo… 270
Echoing the thrilling battle to the last corner of the inaugural 2021 season, Kelly Moss teammates Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) and Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) are again the final contenders for the Pro-Am title. Last year, Castro – then racing for another team – made a late season charge on the early year dominance of Metni. While the balance between Metni’s No. 99 and Castro’s No. 65 has been more consistent this year, the two enter the final two races of the season with Metni again the leader. As in 2021, Castro, who has seven wins to Metni’s three, again must overcome the point gap to his teammate to repeat as the Pro-Am class champion. With only a 14-point deficit, we could see the positions swap in round 15 on Thursday. While technically out of title contention, Marco Cirone (Canada) could play foil for victories. The Canadian, who sits third in the standings, has three wins in the No. 84 Mark Motors Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car and is 70 points behind Metni’s 252. Curt Swearingin (Chattanooga, Tennessee) remains winless in 2022 but has three consecutive podium finishes in the No. 17 ACI Motorsports entering the finale. While unable to win the title, adding a victory would bring the year to strong close for the Tennessee-based race team. Closing out the top five is the 2021 Pro-Am 991 class champion Matt Halcome (-110 points). The resident of Dallas, Georgia is looking for his first win in the category this year driving the popular Scooby Doo Mystery Machine livery at his home event. The Pro-Am class is for drivers between the ages of 36 and 57.
To the point. Pro-Am Class.
Midway through the season, the general opinion was that Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) would march away with the Am championship in the No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche. However, the nine-time race winner missed rounds nine and ten at Toronto opening up the opportunity for John Goetz (Weston, Connecticut) and Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) to close on Kvamme. When Smith missed Road America due to an injury sustained at home, that flipped the top-three in the class for drivers age 57 and older. Entering the final race weekend, Kvamme holds 272 points, Goetz is 16 points behind in the No. 57 Wright Motorsports Porsche. Smith has raced the No. 42 Topp Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car to third-place, 31 markers out of the lead. The three are the only drivers with a chance to secure the Am championship in the seven car class.
To the point. Am Class.
Smith … 214
Of a possible 42 class wins, Kelly Moss has won 17. Those victories have come at the hands of four drivers in two classes: van Berlo, Dickinson (Pro class) and Metni, Castro (Pro-Am). Despite the 40 percent win rate, the program owned by Victoria Thomas and husband Andy Kilcoyne can still be overtaken for the Entrants Championship in the final two rounds. JDX Racing has four wins and is 35 points behind the 2021 champions. With three victories, MDK Motorsports is 38 points off the lead in their first season of Porsche Carrera Cup North America competition. Of the 19 teams which have entered at least one car in one weekend this year, those three are the only entrants with a mathematical shot at the trophy. Points are awarded only to the highest placing team car overall, regardless of class.
To the point. Entrants.
Kelly Moss… 300
JDX Racing… 265
MDK Motorsports… 262
Topp Racing… 179
311RS Motorsports… 156
Timing (all times ET)
Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands.
Wednesday, September 28 – Practice 1 – 9:45 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.
Wednesday, September 28 – Practice 2 – 1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 29 – Qualifying – 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Thursday, September 29 – Round 15 – 5:00 p.m. – 5:40 p.m.
Friday, September 30 – Round 16 – 10:55 a.m. – 11:35 a.m.
Where to Watch
Live timing and scoring of each Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands session can be found at www.PorscheCarreraCup.us. The races will be broadcast live on the official series web site – www.porschecarreracup.us – and on the Peacock Streaming App. as well as on IMSA.TV. IMSA Radio provides play-by-play commentary.
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 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.