Yardley, Sedgwick put new faces on Porsche Carrera Cup North America podiums.

Porsche Carrera Cup North America, Watkins Glen, New York Rounds 7 & 8

Watkins Glen, New York. Returning to the traditional, natural terrain road course of Watkins Glen International has only intensified the 2024 Porsche Carrera Cup North America race season. At the 16-round season’s midpoint, the premier one-make race series on the continent added two new overall winners to the tally for the year. It was Ryan Yardley (New Zealand) who earned his first career victory in the series driving No. 78 Topp Racing Performance Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car to victory on Friday afternoon. In Saturday morning’s second 40-minute race of the weekend, Alex Sedgwick (United Kingdom) led from pole position to checkered flag in the No. 98 PT Autosport JDX Racing Porshe 911 GT3 Cup car to score his first win in Porsche Carrera Cup North America. With two fresh victors at The Glen, there has been six different Pro class winners in the first eight races of the year.

At the seventh round of the Pro-Am class, veteran Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) won in the first race of the weekend while Pedro Torres (Wellington, Florida) claimed victory on Saturday. The Masters class was a battle in both events for the top three but it was Richard Edge (Atlanta, Georgia) who would climb the top step of the podium on both days.

Round 7. Friday. June 21, 2024.
Yardley expertly brought the 34-car field to the green flag with Pro class points leader Loek Hartog (The Netherlands) alongside. Coming to the green Hartog was not able to unnerve Yardley who responded with an expert run into the first of 11 turns at the 3.4-mile “Grand Prix” circuit at The Glen. Hartog continued to push the New Zealander, but Yardley held firm.

The first of two caution periods flew with 15 minutes remaining in the race when Scott Blind (Fenton, Missouri) and Kenton King (San Marino) came together. The race would quickly go back to green but the yellow would fall again only nine minutes later when Angel Benetiz (Miami, Florida) made contact with the wall in turn six. The moment was now set for Yardley. As the green flag restarted the race with seven minutes remaining, Hartog pressured, but Yardley would steel him keeping his No. 78 Topp Racing Performance Porshe ahead of the No. 24 Racing For Children's Kellymoss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racer. The win added Yardley to the list of one-make race winners and the second-place finish kept Hartog ahead in the Pro points. Metni’s return to winning form in the No. 99 Kellymoss entry kept the past class champion in the top four of Pro-Am points. Edge returned to the Masters class for the first time since Sebring’s season opener and did it style with a victory on Saturday.

Round 8. Saturday. June 22, 2024.
Sedgwick won the pole position for both rounds in Miami earlier this year. However, neither time was he able to turn the fastest qualifying time into a race victory. He was committed to remedying that after earning the overall top spot for round eight at Watkins Glen. The pair of Sedgwick and Hartog charged into the first turn in a great example of aggressive but clean racing. However, just behind, the same could not be said for much of the rest of the field. Three cars attempted to occupy the same spot entering the first corner, igniting an incident that would send the race into an immediate caution and eliminate eight cars from the field.

Included in the incident were the No. 82 of Madeline Stewart, No. 85 of Jake Pederson, No. 26 of Roberto Tutino, No. 68 of Chris Bellomo, No. 44 Moisey Uretsky, No. 65 Efrin Castro, No. 5 Angel Benitez, and race one class winner Alan Metni. All drivers visited the infield care center, were evaluated by medical personnel and released.

Only 18 minutes would be left on the clock when the green waved over the field again. And again, Hartog did his best to overwhelm Sedgwick but to no avail. The No. 98 PT Autosport Porsche field by JDX Racing held on to become the sixth winner of the season.

Behind the leading Pro class cars came Pedro Torres who raced to his first Pro-Am class win in the No. 16 ACI Motorsports Porsche ahead of teammate Marco Cirone (Canada) in the No. 84 and Kenton King (San Marino) who rallied to podium in the MDK Motorsports-entered No. 74. The Masters class saw Edge repeat as the winner while Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) and points leader Matt Halcome (Dallas, Georgia) followed in second and third places.

• Pro class winners.
o Race 1.
Ryan Yardley, No. 78 Topp Racing Performance
o Race 2. Alex Sedgwick, No. 98 PT Autosport JDX Racing
• Pro-Am class winners.
o Race 1.
Alan Metni, No. 99 Kellymoss
o Race 2. Pedro Torres, No. 16 ACI Motorsports
• Masters class winners.
o Race 1 & 2.
Richard Edge, No. 18 ACI Motorsports

• On point.
o Pro class.
Loek Hartog, No. 24 Kellymoss
o Pro-Am class. Marco Cirone, No. 84 ACI Motorsports
o Masters class. Matt Halcome, No. 55 ACI Motorsports
o Entrant. MDK Motorsports

• Broadcast. All 2024 races are archived on Porsche Motorsport North America TV: (https://www.youtube.com/c/PorscheMotorsportNorthAmerica).

• Online. Porsche Carrera Cup North America: www.PorscheCarreraCup.us

• Next Up. August 2 – 4, Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Rounds 9 and 10.

Ryan Yardley, No. 78 Topp Racing Performance, Pro Winner, Race 1.

“It was a great hit to convert the pole into a win here at Watkins Glen. Awesome race. The car was mega. Massive thank you to everyone at Topp Racing and TCS Fuels for a fast car. The start of the race was pretty tough, there with some pressure from behind. Then I settled in, and we had a nice little gap. Managed one restart and held the lead there and that was it. A bit of a relief but I am ready for the rest of the season.”

Alex Sedgwick, No. 98 PT Autosport JDX Racing. Pro Winner, Race 2.
“We’ve had lots of thirds. We’ve had lots of seconds. But this is our first win. I am super happy. Really hard race. Loek pushed me really, really hard. I was managing the tires, managing the gap. We have the first one out of the way and hopefully we can keep it rolling. It is going to be a great second half of the year. [The series] is pretty wild. Look at qualifying where half a tenth makes a difference in position. You have to be perfect in this series. You have to be at the top of your game.”

Pedro Torres, No. 16 ACI Motorsports. Pro-Am Winner, Race 2.
“I am happy that both Efrin [Castro] and [Alan] Metni are OK. It is my first win, but I wish they would have been there. Still, a win is a win. I don’t know how I didn’t’ crash [at the start] as they were all going around me. We got lucky. It was great. The team has done an unbelieve job this week.”

Richard Edge, No. 18 ACI Motorsports. Masters Winner, Race 1 and 2.
“It feels wonderful. I had a great weekend. The beginning of race two was a little chaotic and I almost got collected with the chaos in turn one. I actually hit my teammate, Marco Cirone, but we got away with it. We both got through the mess and continued on. It was a great race. I just focused on hitting my marks and got a clean pass on Scott Blind and then focused on finishing the race. Hats off to the whole team.”

• To the point.
Current Porsche Carrera Cup North America Championship Point Standings.

• Broadcast. Races air live at PorscheCarreraCup.us, on the IMSA YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/@imsaofficial, on the Peacock streaming app and at IMSA.tv. All are archived on the Porsche Motorsport North America YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/c/PorscheMotorsportNorthAmerica.

• On the web. www.PorscheCarreraCup.us.

  • Image courtesy of Porsche Motorsport North America.