Trenton Estep found the streets of Toronto in perfect step with his style. The resident of San Antonio, Texas drove the No. 6 MDK Motorsports-prepared Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car to back-to-back victories in rounds nine and ten of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands. Today’s second race on the temporary street course was shortened to 24-minutes after an incident in a race prior to the Porsche championship event forced extensive track repairs. The compacted event – down by 16-minutes from the 40-minutes scheduled – increased the intensity and battles but the finishing order in the three classes remained the same as on Saturday with Estep leading every lap from pole position, Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) taking his third-straight win in the Pro-Am category and Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) securing his third consecutive win in the Am class and the class championship points lead.
A multicar incident in a race prior to the today’s Carrera Cup round forced a delay of nearly 30-minutes while track officials made facility repairs to the walls of the 1.755-mile temporary circuit laid out around Toronto’s Enercare Centre. While the track repairs were done successfully, it did require 16 minutes to be taken from the Porsche one-make series in order to secure the schedule for the overall event. The delay, nor the compressed run-time, seemed to have any impact on Estep. For the second-straight day, the driver of the No. 6 MDK Motorsports entry was pressured from behind at the green flag by Parker Thompson (Canada) but held-off the driver of the No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche. As he had done the day before, Thompson knew it was critical to make the most of the start and leapt from third on the grid to challenge for the lead entering turn one. Estep maintained the top spot under the pressure and pulled progressively away to an eventual win of nearly seven seconds for his second career Carrera Cup victory.
Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas) followed Thompson into the first turn jumping his Kelly-Moss teammate Kay van Berlo (Netherlands now studying in Miami, Florida) in the No. 3 machine for third-place. Estep was, in part, able to gain on the remainder of the field as Thompson’s attentions were pre-occupied by Dickinson’s repeated attacks from behind. Ultimately, the Canadian was able to pull just out of reach of the Texan. Dickinson, in kind, was able to keep back van Berlo who balanced the desire for the position with lessons learned as the 2021 championship runner-up. Varun Choksey (Atlanta, Georgia) came home just behind in the No. 13 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to close out the Pro class top-five.
Efrin Castro repeated his Pro-Am class victory of the day before in the No. 65 Kelly-Moss Porsche. The 2021 class champion took an impressive sixth-place overall finish ahead of three Pro class contenders. Most importantly, the success drew Castro closer to Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) who leads the Pro-Am points battle. Castro is now within 16-points of his Kelly-Moss teammate. Castro now has five wins on the year – three in a row – while Metni has three total. Toronto-resident Marco Cirone, driving the No. 84 Mark Motors Racing Porsche, made contact with the wall on the opening lap and had to retire the car. However, the result still yielded a fifth-place in class finish and moved him into fourth-place behind Metni, Castro and Justin Oakes (Houston, Texas) in the point standings.
Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) earned his third-straight victory in the Am class – for drivers over 57-years-old – at Toronto. The string, which dates back to the second race at Watkins Glen International, has moved the driver of the No. 42 Topp Racing Porsche into the points lead of the class. John Goetz (Weston, Connecticut) finished in second-place – 13th overall – in the No. 57 Wright Motorsports Porsche adding 20-points to his total, moving seven points ahead of Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) who held the lead of the class points since the first race of the season at Sebring. Kvamme, who missed the weekend in Canada due to family obligations, is currently third in the class title chase with six races remaining.
The first trip to Canada for the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands provided the one-make series its first winner from the United States in its short history. Texan Trenton Estep (San Antonio, Texas) drove the No. 6 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car from pole position to victory lane on a temporary circuit here on the streets of Toronto, Ontario. Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) earned his fourth Pro-Am class victory for Kelly-Moss while Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) secured the win for Topp Racing in the Am category despite a late race incident.
Trenton Estep has made himself a regular at the front of the Pro class all season but was yet to reach victory lane. He has proven particularly skillful on the two street circuits on the 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup North America schedule earning the pole position for today’s 40-minute feature in Toronto and, earlier in the year, a second-place starting position in the MDK Motorsports-prepared Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car at Long Beach. It took the premier one-make race series first foray outside of the United States before an American could break the stranglehold championship points leader and today’s runner-up Kay van Berlo (Netherlands now living in Miami) has had on the series this season. Van Berlo has earned six victories and two additional podium finishes in the first nine races in the No. 3 Kelly-Moss Porsche. The only other driver to win this season is Canada’s own Parker Thompson. The driver of the No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche has two victories – both coming at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Thompson made a first lap push to jump from third-place on the grid into the lead. However, having passed van Berlo before turn one, Thompson was not able to complete the pass on Estep, going long into the run-off area. He would fall to the back of the field but, despite the 1.786-mile, 11-turn temporary circuit being notoriously difficult to pass on, charged back to finish just outside the top-five in sixth place.
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 (Great Britain), who is now racing in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in a Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR-19, have won in the championship that debuted in 2021. Today was the 25th Porsche Carrera Cup North America race run.
Estep will lead the field to the green flag on Sunday with van Berlo close beside. Thompson and Dickinson will make-up row two. Castro and Smith are their respective class pole position winners. The grid for race two is based on the fastest race one lap or the second-fastest qualifying lap from Saturday morning’s 30-minute timed session.
Echoes of 2021 are bouncing off the walls of downtown Toronto as Efrin Castro has resumed the hunt for the top-slot currently held by Alan Metni (Austin, Texas). The Kelly-Moss teammates (Castro in the No. 65, Metni in the No. 99 prepared by the Madison, Wisconsin-based race shop) took the inaugural season’s championship down to the last race of the season where Castro was crowned champion. Castro started from pole position in the class and fought-off Toronto-resident Marco Cirone in the Mark Motors Racing No. 84 to take his fourth class victory of the year. Metni, ever the competitor, took the fight head-on earning a third-place finish in the 40-minute feature.
Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) and John Goetz (Weston, Connecticut) were primed to battle it out in the category for drivers over 57-years-old. With points leader Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) absent from the weekend, it gave the two drivers in second (Goetz) and third-place (Smith) the opportunity to close the 33 and 34-point margin, respectively, on the Ohioan. When Goetz brought the No. 57 into pit lane for attention by the Wright Motorsports crew and never returned, that left Smith the clear path to the winner’s circle. However, that nearly unraveled as the No. 42 Topp Racing Porsche went wide entering the turn immediately before the pit entry. He was able to extricate the orange 500 HP Porsche from the tire barrier and cross the finish line in pit lane to take his second, consecutive race win in the class.
T is for Texas; T is for Toronto
Three drivers from Texas earned top-five finishes in Canada. Along with Estep who is a native of San Antonio, Kelly-Moss driver Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas) finished in third-place after a race-long battle with his teammate, van Berlo. Travis Wiley kept the Texas majority in the top-five as the Austin-resident earned fourth-place in the No. 77 prepared by Topp Racing. Varun Choksey (Atlanta, Georgia) overcame serious pressure from Wiley to give Wright Motorsports a fifth-place result in the No. 13. In the Pro-Am class, Texan Metni finished in second-place while the Am category was won by the Lone Star State’s Bill Smith of Texas.
To the point
Despite going winless this weekend, Pro class championship leader Kay van Berlo not only retained but added to his points lead after ten rounds. Metni held the Pro-Am lead, but Castro gained on the Texan. Smith jumped from third-place in Am class entering Toronto to a nine-point lead over Goetz who also maintains second-place. Six races remain on the 16-round schedule for the premier Porsche one-make race series.
Van Berlo… 234
Castro … 174
Oakes … 119
Swearingin … 103
Smith … 188
Hanley … 94
Rounds 11 and 12 of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands will be held at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, August 6 (round 11) and 7 (round 12).
The Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands will make its Canadian debut this weekend at the Indy Toronto. Since its introduction in 2021, the championship has become the premier one-make series in the world 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, it is the first time the three-classes that make Carrera Cup have been able to cross the border to fulfill its North American title. The twin 40-minute races will take to the streets of Toronto on Saturday, July 16 and just prior to the IndyCar feature event on Sunday, July 17. Supporting the IndyCar Series for the second time this season, the 17 entries will face the 1.755-mile, 11-turn temporary circuit that winds through the streets of the metropolitan city of Toronto.
Four drivers on the entry list are Canadian citizens. Parker Thompson, who is currently second in the Pro class driver standings, is a native of Red Deer, Alberta. Jeff Kingsley of the Toronto suburb of Ajax is making his first start of the season subbing for Mark Kvamme in the No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Thomas Collingwood, entered in the No. 69 BGB Motorsports Porsche is from St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador. Marco Cirone will be behind the wheel of the Mark Motors Racing No. 84 on the city streets of his Toronto hometown.
TAG Heuer, a founding partner of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America, will present the TAG Heuer Pole Award to the overall pole position winner at Toronto. This is the first time that the luxury watchmaker has provided the award to the driver who sets the fastest time in Saturday morning’s 30-minute qualifying session.
17 Entries. Pro. 10, Pro-Am. 5 Am. 2
Ten Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars headline the Porsche Carrera Cup North America in Toronto. The top-four challengers for the Pro class title will face one-another, the cement-lined walls of the street course and the increased pressure of the closing stages of the championship. Kay van Berlo (the Netherlands currently in school in Florida) has driven the No. 3 Kelly Moss machine to six victories in eight starts – including the two most recent rounds at Watkins Glen – to draw 47 points ahead of Canadian Parker Thompson in the No. 9 JDX Racing 911 GT3 Cup car. Thompson’s two wins have given him a 25-point margin over third-place driver of the No. 53 Kelly Moss Porsche Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas). Trenton Estep (San Antonio, Texas) has the No. 6 MDK Motorsports Porsche in fourth-place. Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia) drove back into the top-five with his performance at the Glen in the No. 12 311 RS Motorsports Porsche. However, the road racing champion will not make the trip to Canada giving TJ Fischer (Vacaville, California) in the No. 58 Topp Racing Porsche a clear shot at reclaiming the position he held entering rounds seven and eight. Making his first start in 2022 is Jeff Kingsley subbing for Am class points leader Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) in the No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche. The entry moves into the Pro class by virtue of Kingsley’s age.
Van Berlo controlled the pole positions, fastest race laps and took both wins at Long Beach, California, the only other street circuit on the Carrera Cup schedule.
To the Point. Pro Class.
Van Berlo… 199
Five Pro-Am class cars are entered for Saturday and Sunday’s races. Leading the class is Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) with three wins in the No. 99 Kelly Moss machine – including a round on the streets at Long Beach. Narrowing the gap to Metni is his Kelly Moss teammate and 2021 class champion Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) in the No. 65. Castro also has three victories including round eight giving him momentum coming to Toronto. The two leaders will gain substantially on their nearest competitors as positions three through five have not entered to race in Toronto. Only five points behind Castro is Justin Oakes (Houston, Texas) but the one-time winner is not coming to Canada. Fourth-place points holder Curt Swearingin (Chattanooga, Tennessee) and fifth-place Matt Halcome (Dallas, Georgia) will also not race this weekend.
To the point. Pro-Am Class.
Since debuting in the series at Sebring, Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) has controlled the leading edge of the Am class. However, family obligations will keep the winner of five races away from the two rounds in Canada. This will give his nearest challenger, John Goetz (Weston, Connecticut) driving the No. 57 Wright Motorsports Porsche, an opportunity to close the 33 point margin to Kvamme. Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) will be Goetz’s in-class competition. The pilot of the No. 42 Topp Racing Porsche enters the weekend 34 points out of the class championship lead.
To the point. Am Class.
Smith … 138
Hanley … 94
Timing (all times local to track)
Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands.
Friday, July 15 – Practice 1 – 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Friday, July 15 – Practice 2 – 1:10 p.m. – 1:40 p.m.
Saturday, July 16 – Qualifying – 9:10 a.m. – 9:40 a.m.
Saturday, July 16 – Round 9 – 3:35 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Sunday, July 17 – Round 10 – 1:35 p.m. – 2:15 p.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. IMSA Radio will again provide play-by-play commentary. The races will be broadcast live on the official series web site – www.porschecarreracup.na – and on the Peacock Streaming App.
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.