Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands – Road America – Round 11 of 16
• Thompson leads all 40-minutes for third win of season.
• Second Pro-Am win for Cirone, Kvamme back up front of Am.
• Championship battle tightens as Thompson scores full points in Race 1.
• Van Berlo cuts through field from 31st to fourth-place overall.
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Parker Thompson (Canada) won his third Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands victory of the season today at Road America. The driver of the No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup lead the full 40-minute race for the one-make championship under constant pressure by Toronto winner Trenton Estep (San Antonio, Texas). Marco Cirone (Canada) won his second Pro-Am race of the season in the No. 84 Mark Motors Racing Porsche while Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) returned to his winning ways taking the class victory from the Am pole position in the No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche. The 4.048-mile track in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin will host the second race of the weekend, round 12 of the 16, on Sunday, August 7 at 8:20 a.m. CT. The teams are planning for wet weather in race two with rain forecasted to begin in the early hours of the night and last throughout the day.
Parker Thompson (Canada) knew he had an opportunity to make a statement in the point standings entering today’s 40-minute race. With his primary championship nemesis, Kay van Berlo (Netherlands now studying in Miami, Florida) forced to start at the back of the field in 31st position as a result of a technical violation in qualifying, Thompson knew he could close on the Dutchman. A good start was critical so he could remain ahead of Estep who entered the race third in the Pro class standings behind van Berlo and Thompson. Thompson and Estep charged deep into turn one at the end of the long uphill front straightaway of Road America where the No. 9 nosed just ahead of Estep and never relinquished the lead from there. The win by Thompson was the sixth of his career. Michael McCarthy (Clearwater, Florida) in the No. 7 was the highest finisher for the Wisconsin-based Kelly-Moss team with a third-place result.
Despite the back of the field start by van Berlo and his teammate Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas), the pair of Kelly-Moss-prepared Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars were not accepting defeat to fight another day. Instead, the pair of green and white machines began to cut through the field. Five-minutes into the race, the championship points leader was already up 15 spots. It took just over 30-minutes for van Berlo to break into the top-ten. If not for the race’s only yellow flag stealing 15-minutes of racing from his pursuit, van Berlo – who would finish in fourth-spot – would have likely gotten on the podium. As it was, the result kept his point tally above what should have been expected. The caution hurt Dickinson as well. The fourth-place points runner brought home seventh-place.
The front row of the grid for race two will be a replay of today with Thompson leading the field to the green flag tomorrow. The Canadian earned the pole position by setting the fastest race lap (two-minutes, 10.032 seconds) in race one. Estep will start in second place, McCarthy in third. Van Berlo will take the green from fourth-place, outside of row two.
Parker Thompson, No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“The No. 9 team came into this weekend knowing this is one of our strongest tracks. We know we have the pace here to win races. I am just so happy to come through for the JDX Racing crew. They deserve this win. It is out third of the year. We would like to have more but, at the same time, three in this series is a lot. This is probably the most competitive series in America. To get a win here at Wisconsin is amazing but we have one more race tomorrow. We stay fully focused going into tomorrow. We are starting on pole and now we just have to keep it. That is my mindset going into tomorrow.”
Marco Cirone won his second Pro-Am class race of the season (the first coming in race one at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca) behind the wheel of the No. 84 Mark Motors Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Ongoing pressure by class points leader and pole winner Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) in the No. 99 Kelly-Moss machine, Cirone held-off Metni to deny the No. 99 its fifth victory of the year. Matt Halcome (Dallas, Georgia) piloted the No. 55 Goldcrest Porsche to a podium result. It was the 2021 Pro-Am 991 class champion’s best result thus far in 2021. Metni will start from the class pole position in tomorrow’s round.
Marco Cirone, No. 84 Mark Motors Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“It was action filled. Alan Metni can really drive that car. I got lucky at the beginning and got by a couple of cars but he was behind me, hounding me, the entire time. My team gave me a fantastic car. I have to thank Mark Motors and Parker Thompson. He has been helping me some as a coach. Great to be back in Carrera Cup.”
Mark Kvamme quickly found speed after missing the Canadian rounds due to family obligations. He piloted the No. 43 from pole position to his sixth win of the year. The win put him back to within two points of John Goetz (Weston, Connecticut) in the No. 57 Wright Motorsports Porsche. Both of the Am class drivers passed Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) who missed the weekend due to an injury sustained at home. Bob Mueller (Solana Beach, California) returned to the podium in the No. 28 Goldcrest Motorsports-prepared machine in third-place.
Mark Kvamme, No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“It was an early race, so it was still pretty dirty. It has rained here in awhile so when you exit The Kink a huge cloud of dust comes up. I am back in the pack, so I am literally going through a smoke screen every time going through there. I had to miss Toronto, so I am fighting for every single point I can get now.”
To the point.
The fight through the field was worth it to van Berlo in the points. The 2021 Pro class runner-up now has 248 points to maintain the lead in the standings. However, the victory, pole position for today’s race and tomorrow’s as well as the fastest race lap gives Thompson 28 points thus far. He is now only 38 back from van Berlo with 210 markers. Estep used the 20 points from today’s second-place to maintain third-place with 191 points.
Where to Watch.
Replays of both races can be found on Porsche Motorsport North America TV presented by Deluxe: (https://www.youtube.com/c/PorscheMotorsportNorthAmerica).
Round 12 of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands will take the green flag tomorrow, Sunday, August 7 at 8:20 a.m. local time (9:20 a.m. ET/6:20 a.m. PT).
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. The second season of the championship is scheduled to host 16-rounds at eight venues. Each 40-minute race counts toward a season-long driver and team championship in each of three classes: Pro, Pro-Am and Am.
More on Porsche Carrera Cup North America by The Cayman Islands can be found at www.PorscheCarreraCup.us.
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- Image courtesy of Bob Chapman, Autosport Images.