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.