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Porsche Carrera Cup North America battles tighten entering Road America

As the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands approaches the final three weekends of its sophomore season, the battles have tightened across all championships. From August 4 – 7, the premier one-make championship will contest rounds 11 and 12 of 16 at Road America. Thirty-four Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars come to “America’s National Park of Speed” attempting the set themselves apart in the twin 40-minute races. With only six rounds remaining, both races on the 4.048-mile, 14-turn track are critical to championship aspirations in the Pro, Pro-Am and Am classes. Proving that the season is far from over, the most recent pair of races, held on the city street circuit in Toronto, Canada, saw a new winner, Trenton Estep (San Antonio, Texas), a surge in Pro-Am by Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) and a massive, three position shake-up in the Am class.

Road America is the home track for Kelly Moss. The Madison, Wisconsin-based team brings eight cars, spread across all three classes, to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin with a 31 point lead in Team Championship. Making that impact even greater, the operation owned by husband-wife duo Andy Kilcoyne and Victoria Thomas has the top spot as well as fourth-place in the Pro class (Kay van Berlo and Riley Dickinson respectively), holds a one-two grasp on the Pro-Am class with Alan Metni and Castro and has two Am class contenders (Vernon McClure and Tom Balames).

The park-like setting of Road America belies its daunting speed and high-commitment corners. It is not a place for the weakhearted. Dedication and a deep breath are often the final factor in deciding a win or a loss. Car control and good fortune often mean the difference between a night of celebration or a night of rebuilding the 500 hp Porsche for the next round. It is that thin line that makes the tree-lined track a favourite of drivers and fans alike.

The Entry.

34 Entries. Pro. 14, Pro-Am. 12 Am. 8

Pro Class.

A grid of 14 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars are entered for Road America in the Pro class, the top category of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America. While four consecutive wins to open the season – plus two more at Watkins Glen International – made Kay van Berlo (the Netherlands currently studying in Florida) the undeniable favorite, recent success by the competition have drawn the field back up to the rear bumper of No. 3 Kelly Moss Porsche. Van Berlo holds a 52-point margin on Parker Thompson (Canada) who has two wins thus far in the No. 9 JDX Racing entry. The two-top placeholders flipped wins here in 2021 with van Berlo victorious in Race 1, Thompson in Race 2. With a potential for a single entrant to earn 56 points each weekend (25 per win, two per pole position and one per fastest race lap), even van Berlo is not safe atop the standings.

With two victories in the No. 6 MDK Motorsports Porsche in Toronto, Estep moved himself into third-place in the Pro class as the Texan comes to Wisconsin. The success moved him around Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas) who has hounded his Kelly Moss teammate with the No. 53 all season. The young driver is yet to score his first win in the series but has been a constant at the sharp end of the field. After sitting out Toronto, Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia) returns to defend his top-five spot in the Pro class. The veteran driver of the No. 12 311 RS Motorsports Porsche is 155 markers back from van Berlo and is in search of his first win in the series.

To the Point. Pro Class.

Van Berlo… 234

Thompson… 182

Estep… 171

Dickinson… 161

Keen… 79

Pro-Am Class.

With 12 Pro-Am class cars entered for the weekend’s races, class leader Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) hopes to use the local knowledge of his Kelly Moss team to set the No. 99 apart. However, his major competition – as it was in 2021 when the two charged into the final round with the championship to be decided between them – is teammate Castro. The driver from the Dominican Republic has jumped several spots in the standings after difficult open races in the first three stops. However, the trend has been broken with Castro’s No. 65 Kelly Moss Porsche scoring four wins – the last three consecutively – in five starts. The two are separated by only 16 points now. Metni won both rounds here in 2021. Justin Oakes (Houston, Texas) is in third-place despite missing both Toronto races. WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Race 1 winner Marco Cirone (Canada) sits in fourth driving the No. 84 Mark Motors Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, type 992. Fifth-place, down one spot after missing Toronto, is Curt Swearingin (Chattanooga, Tennessee) in the No. 17 ACI Motorsports Porsche.

To the point. Pro-Am Class.

Metni… 190

Castro… 174

Oakes… 119

Cirone… 106

Swearingin… 103

Halcome… 94

Am Class.

The greatest swap for position at the last round was in the Am class. Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) had led the class from the first pole position at Sebring. But Kvamme – who has won five of ten races held thus far in the No. 43 MDK Motorsports machine – sat out Toronto. That opened the door for Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) to jump from third place to the lead after winning both races on the Canadian streets in the No. 42 Topp Racing Porsche. John Goetz (Weston, Connecticut) held onto second place in the No. 57 Wright Motorsports Porsche as Kvamme slipped 16 points back to the Smith. Goetz is nine behind the Texan.

To the point. Am Class.

Smith … 188

Goetz… 179

Kvamme… 172

Hanley … 94

Willingham… 83

Timing. (all times ET)

Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands.

Thursday, August 4 – Practice 1 – 2:20 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Friday, August 5 – Practice 2 – 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Friday, August 5 – Qualifying – 2:35 p.m. – 3:05 p.m.

Saturday, August 6 – Round 11 – 9:50 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Sunday, August 7 – Round 12 – 9:20 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Source. Porsche

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