The Kelly Moss race team continued its dominance in Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands on Saturday at Watkins Glen International. The Madison, Wisconsin-based customer team brought eight Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars to the 3.4-mile, 11-turn track in the Finger Lakes region of New York state. In the hands of Kay van Berlo (Netherlands studying in Miami, Florida), Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas), Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) and Alan Metni (Austin, Texas), the team scored four one-two finishes in rounds seven and eight of the all Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car series on June 24 and 25. The team missed only the Am class wins where Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) won for MDK Motorsports on Friday, June 24, and Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) took the honors for Topp Racing on June 25.
For van Berlo, today’s second race at The Glen ended just the way that Saturday’s 40-minute race did and just as the two races did at the legendary track in 2021… with a checkered flag. Charging from pole position – by virtue of setting the fastest race lap the day before – van Berlo held onto the lead after pressure from teammate Dickinson as well as the second-row starters of Trenton Estep (San Antonio, Texas) in the No. 6 MDK Motorsports Porsche and Parker Thompson (Canada) behind the wheel of the No. 9 JDX Porsche. The points leader held the spot while Dickinson fell in behind. The two pulled away from the remainder of the field in their near-matching Racing for Children’s green and white 500 HP Porsche racers. Van Berlo led Dickinson across the finish line by just over three-seconds. The Kelly Moss teammates were followed by Estep, Thompson and Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia) in the No. 12 311 RS Motorsports Porsche.
The Kelly Moss train continued to roll in the Pro-Am class as well where teammates Castro and Metni swapped their finishing positions from round seven the day before. Today, the No. 65 of Castro was able to get the better of Metni to earn his third victory of the season. The total matches Metni in the No. 99 for the year setting-up a battle between the two much like 2021 when Castro won the title in the final round. The No. 84 Mark Motors Racing Porsche of Marco Cirone (Canada) earned a third-place finish ahead of Matt Halcome (Dallas, Georgia) in the Goldcrest Motorsports No. 55 and Moisey Uretsky (Miami, Florida) in the Accelerating Performance No. 44.
Pedro Torres (Wellington, Florida) crossed under the checkered flag in third-place, but post-race tech inspection found a violation in camber regulations dropping it from the standings.
The Am class saw the Topp Racing Porsche on top with Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) piloting the No. 42 to victory lane for the first time this season. One-time winner John Goetz (Weston, Connecticut) added valuable points to his title hopes finishing in second-place with the No. 57 Wright Motorsports. Class championship leader Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) has won five times in eight rounds – including Saturday’s race – but the No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car only had a third-place finish in it today. Grady Willingham (Birmingham, Alabama) in the Goldcrest No. 21 was fourth with the No. 19 of Tom Balames (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) adding to the Kelly Moss podium total in third-place.
To the point.
A perfect points weekend moved van Berlo to 199 markers, a margin of 47 over Thompson. With 127, Dickinson is 72 points behind in the Pro standings. In the Pro-Am class, Castro’s victory has moved him into second-place, 29 points behind Metni. Oakes falls into third-place, -34 to Metni. Kvamme, with 172 points, is 33 markers ahead of Goetz. Smith is in third-place for the class, a single point off of Goetz.
Kelly Moss is 26 points ahead of JDX Racing in the entrant points. This awards the highest-placing car for each team in the race.
Comments after round 8
Kay van Berlo, No. 3 Kelly Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Pro Class Winner.
“A great weekend. We maximized points which is great… not all weekends are like this. The second race was a little harder than the first race as we had a safety car in the middle. Especially early on I had a little more pressure. As usual I tried to get a good start and I pulled a little bit of a gap to Riley. Then the safety car came out and I knew I had to do it all over again. I managed the tires in the middle just in case we got another safety car but when we didn’t, I began to push again so some good lap times at the end as well. The Kelly Moss Road and Race guys did an excellent job with the car this weekend. Me and Riley have both been really quick, definitely a lot of credit to them. We are at the half-way point, a long way to go but we are looking good at this point. We will try to keep the momentum and keep going."
Rounds nine and ten of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands will run as part of the Toronto Indy weekend on the Toronto, Canada street course, July 15 – 17.
Kay van Berlo (Netherlands studying in Miami, Florida) returned to his winning way in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands today at Watkins Glen International. The current Pro class points leader held the top spot from green flag to the checkered in the No. 3 Kelly Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car. Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) did the same in the Pro-Am class No. 99 Porsche prepared by Kelly Moss while Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) remained at the sharp end of his game in the No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche in Round seven of the Am class. Round eight of the premier one-make race series will begin at 11:05 a.m. ET/8:05 a.m. PT on Saturday, June 25 at the Watkins Glen, New York-area track.
Van Berlo was eager to return to victory lane after missing the top-step of the podium for the first time this season at rounds five and six. He charged to pole position this morning, narrowly ahead of his teammate Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas), and fended off the driver of the No. 53 entering the first corner. The fight was beginning to take shape when an accident in the second-pack of cars forced an extended caution period.
On the first lap, the No. 77 Topp Racing Porsche of Travis Wiley (Austin, Texas) had contact with the No. 11 Deluxe 311 RS Motorsports Porsche of Dimitri Dimakos (Chicago, Illinois). Wiley was turned to the right and made hard contact with the Armco barrier before coming back across the track narrowly missing multiple competitors. After a lazy roll, the No. 77 came to rest on its wheels. Wiley was evaluated and released from the medical center.
The incident forced repairs to the barrier before the green flag wave again. The race resumed with half of the 40-minute race remaining. The Dutchman slowly pulled away from the competition with Dickinson trailing in second-place, two-time winner Parker Thompson (Canada) in third-place driving the No. 9 JDX Racing machine, Trenton Estep (San Antonio, Texas) piloting the No. 6 MDK Motorsports Porsche to fourth and Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia) racing to a top-five in the No. 12 311 RS Motorsports Porsche.
Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) in the No. 99 Kelly Moss Porsche returned to the top-step of the podium and strengthened his lead in the class point standings. He crossed the line ahead of 2021 class champion Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) in second-place with the No. 65 prepared by Kelly Moss. Justin Oakes (Houston, Texas) earned the final podium spot behind the wheel of the No. 47 NOLASPORT Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car.
Mark Kvamme has been the consistent target for drivers in the Am class. The driver of the No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car won the class from pole position and tightened his grip on the title chase for drivers 57-years-old and older. Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) in the No. 42 Topp Racing machine rallied past the sight of his teammate Wiley incident to take second-place. John Goetz (Weston, Connecticut) was able to reward his Wright Motorsports crew for a quick midday engine change to finish in third-place driving the No. 57.
To the point.
Van Berlo added full points for the day to his total (including pole position and fastest race lap) to move to 171 markers at the head of the Pro class. Thompson has 138 while Dickinson holds 107 and 99 points for Estep after seven races. In Pro-Am, Metni adds 25 for a total of 133 ahead of Oakes (112) and Castro (99). Kvamme leads in the Am class with 155 points to Goetz’s 125 and Smith’s 113.
Comments after the round 7
Kay van Berlo, No. 3 Kelly Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Pro Class Winner.
“We are happy to come away with the win here, but the main thing is that Travis is alright. A good race for us; nothing crazy. I covered the inside on the first corner. I added a bit of a gap into the Bus Stop [corner] which put me in a safe position. In the end I got a great restart, and I had a bit of a gap straight-away and didn’t have to defend on the opening lap. Riley and I were pulling away from third and fourth. I took no risks and just tried to maintain the gap. Credit goes to the Kelly Moss guys. You can see that Riley and I were quick this week. I am excited about tomorrow. It is a new day and new chances.”
The Porsche Carrera North America Presented by the Cayman Islands enters the heat of the summer and the championship battles in all three classes are also heating up. Thirty-four of the 500 HP Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars are set to contend for top honors in one of three classes – Pro, Pro-Am and Am – of the premier one-make race series at Watkins Glen International. Rounds seven and eight of the 16-race season are scheduled for June 23 – 25 on the 3.4-mile, 11-turn “Grand Prix” course at the Watkins Glen, New York area track mark the official mid-point of the season. This is the second time the series has joined the famous Six Hours of the Glen endurance racing weekend at the track tucked within the hills of New York’s Finger Lake region.
34 Entries. Pro. 16, Pro-Am. 12, Am. 6
With 16 cars entered in the top class, the race at the front of the field will be among the toughest of the season. An early season string of pole positions and class victories gave Kay van Berlo (the Netherlands currently in school in Florida) breathing room in the championship chase. However, the field closed on his No. 3 Kelly Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car at the most recent race weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca where Parker Thompson (Canada) was able to capture two victories in the No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche. Van Berlo – who won both Watkins Glen rounds in 2021 – holds a 22 point lead over Thompson at the year’s mid-point. The Dutch driver learned in his runner-up bid for the title last season that consistency each round is critical and will be looking to set his ship right after missing the victory podium for the first time this season at Laguna Seca. Kelly Moss teammate Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas) is 56-points behind van Berlo in the No. 53 machine. However, the Texan is coming up to a series of races in which he performed well in 2021 boosting his hopes of closing on the two top-three finishes from last year. Trenton Estep (San Antonio, Texas), the 2018 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA champion, enters The Glen in fourth-place with two podium finishes to-date for the new MDK Motorsports team. T.J. Fischer (Vacaville, California) moves into the top-five in the No. 58 Topp Racing Porsche.
To the Point. Pro Class.
Van Berlo… 143
Twelve cars will be challenging for the Pro-Am class win at Watkins Glen. All will be chasing Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) who remains at the top of the Pro-Am category, a position he is well familiar with having led the championship for drivers 36 years-old and older for the majority of the 2021 season before falling to second at the final race of the year. He has two victories and two second-place finishes to date in the No. 99 Kelly Moss car. However, a Round 6 issue put him within reach of Justin Oakes (Houston, Texas) in the No. 47 of NOLASPORT car who has one win (Long Beach, Race 2) and second and third-place finishes at the season-opening rounds at Sebring. Curt Swearingin (Chattanooga, Tennessee), driving the No. 17 ACI Motorsports Porsche, jumped two places with a second-place finish at the most recent round at Laguna Seca. 2021 class champion Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) follows having scored his second race win of the season just ahead of Swearingin in Round 6 to move the No. 65 Kelly Moss Porsche into fourth-place. Pedro Torres (Wellington, Florida) places at second ACI-prepared Porsche, the No. 16, into the top-five following a third-place finish in the most recent race.
To the point. Pro-Am Class.
Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) has sat atop the Am class points since winning three of the first four races of the year in the 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche. With five competitors chasing him this weekend in the class for drivers 57-years-old and older, he is 25-points – a full race victory – ahead of John Goetz (Weston, Connecticut) in the No. 57 Wright Motorsports entry. Along with Kvamme and Goetz, Robert Hanley (Foxfield, Colorado) – who is not entered this weekend – is one of three drivers to have scored a victory this season. Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas), driving the No. 42 for Topp Racing and Grady Willingham (Birmingham, Alabama) – piloting the No. 21 Goldcrest Porsche – close out the top-five. Six cars are entered for the weekend at Watkins Glen.
To the point. Am Class.
Timing (all times local to track)
Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands.
Thursday, June 23 – Practice 1 – 9:50 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Thursday, June 23 – Practice 2 – 1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Friday, June 24 – Qualifying – 8:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Friday, June 24 – Round 7 – 1:25 p.m. – 2:05 p.m.
Saturday, June 25 – Round 8 – 11:05 a.m. – 11:45 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. 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.