A new chapter of PCA Club Racing history is underway as the inaugural weekend of the PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series kicked off with two sprint races Saturday as part of the PCA Club Racing weekend hosted by the Peachstate Region at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia.
Jason Hart led from flag to flag in both races – which had no yellow flags in either event – to claim the dual victories in the No. 47 NOLAsport Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
The races marked a new beginning as the first spec series for the Cayman GT4 Clubsport and as PCA’s new semi-professional racing series.
The car has been in development for nearly a year. Each of the 20 Cayman GT4 Clubsport cars on track this weekend were tested by a team from Porsche Motorsport at the legendary Nürburgring in Germany.
The Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport is a 385-horsepower, mid-engine racer, which features a sealed engine and transmission and a spec Pirelli tire. It is Porsche’s first mid-engine race car.
Hart qualified on pole and drove to victory in the inaugural race of the PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series.
He led the 16-lap sprint by as much as 13.706 seconds before taking a 13.5-second victory in his US LED-sponsored NOLAsport Cayman GT4 Clubsport over David Baum, representing Western Michigan PCA Region in the No. 24 Autometrics Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
“The car is really good,” Hart said. “We’re very happy with how it was delivered as-is from Porsche. We’re just making small millimeter tweaks here and there to get the balance where we want it. The races were great today.”
Baum started sixth in the field and meticulously climbed his way into second position. Rene Robichaud, from the Ohio Valley PCA Region, finished third overall in the No. 89 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche.
Robichaud also was the top Masters Class competitor, a division for racers age 57 or older.
Roger Halvorsen, representing the Connecticut Valley PCA Region, finished second in Masters in the No. 23 Musante Motorsports Cayman GT4 Clubsport. William Slowikowski, from Central New York PCA Region, rounded out the Masters class podium with a third-place finish in the No. 50 Dawes Motorsport Porsche.
Hart once again wasted little time in showing his dominance in the second sprint of the day. He led the 18-lap race by more than four seconds after just three laps. He continuously built a gap over the rest of the field to take an 8.718-second victory over NOLAsport teammate Keith Jensen, representing the Maverick PCA Region, in the No. 51 Porsche.
“Most impressive was my teammate Keith,” Hart said. “He came from pretty far back in the practice sessions and came all the way up to the front with me. I couldn’t ask for anything better than having my teammate right there with me.”
Robichaud took another third-place finish with an exciting drive after starting sixth.
Positions two through six had tough battles throughout the approximately 30-minute sprint race. At one point Jensen, Baum, Adam Merzon, Frank Selldorff and Robichaud were all within 1.5 seconds of each other crossing the start-finish line.
“I thought P2 to P6 were tight the whole race,” Robichaud said. “It was fun to watch five cars like a serpent going through the whole track, lap after lap after lap. But then mistakes started to seep in, and I made fewer mistakes and took advantage.”
Robichaud made a move on the front stretch to take fourth position and regained a podium position with a pass of Baum a short time later. He was once again the top Masters finisher.
Ed Lane, from the Florida Crown PCA Region, earned a second-place Masters finish in the No. 66 Autometrics Cayman GT4 Clubsport. Halvorsen picked up his second podium finish of the day, finishing third in the Masters class.
The third and final race of the weekend will be an 80-minute endurance race starting at 1:10 p.m. Sunday.
Sprint 2 Post-Race Quotes
JASON HART (No. 47 NOLAsport, winner): “The car is really good. We’re very happy with how it was delivered as-is from Porsche. We’re just making small millimeter tweaks here and there to get the balance where we want it. The races were great today, but most impressively was my teammate Keith (Jensen). He came from pretty far back in the practice sessions and came all the way up to the front with me. I couldn’t ask for anything better than having my teammate right there with me.”
KEITH JENSEN (No. 51 NOLAsport, second): “I started in 12th and finished in fourth, so it was a really fun race. I got behind Rene (Robichaud), who is a very good driver. I was fortunate to be in the second spot in the second race because I had a couple of good lap times in the first one and thankfully I was in front of Rene for that race. He drove really well, but I was able to keep him behind me.”
RENE ROBICHAUD (No. 89 Kelly-Moss Road and Race, third, first Masters): “I ended up in third position in both Sprints 1 and 2 and the Masters winner. In the first sprint I started in second, so I ended up losing a position, but it was my fault. I made a mistake and ran out of talent. In the second race I was in sixth, and my talent came back. I worked my way up the food chain to the last podium position of the overall. I thought P2 to P6 were tight the whole race. It was fun to watch five cars like a serpent going through the whole track, lap after lap after lap. But then mistakes started to seep in, and I made fewer mistakes and took advantage. Kelly-Moss is the reason I made it to P3 because they set up the car. They know how to make the car fun to drive and easy to drive. The car is super to race fast. It’s so safe because you sit low in this big, engineered roll cage, and it’s fantastic.”
ED LANE (No. 66 Autometrics, second Masters): “I had a very good race after a very poor start. A bunch of cars got ahead of me in the beginning, but I was able to pass about four cars, which made for a very exciting race.”
ROGER HALVORSEN (No. 23 Musante Motorsports, third Masters): “I’m very honored to be in this series, and I can’t tell you how happy and proud I am to have my family here on this day when I was able to get a podium.”
2016 PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East Schedule
April 1-3 Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia
April 15-17 NOLA Motorsports Park, Avondale, Louisiana
June 3-5 Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, New York
June 24-26 VIRginia Motorsports Park, Danville, Virginia
Sept. 3-5 Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Oct. 21-23 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
About PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East
The PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series, which debuts in 2016, highlights the spirit of PCA Club Racing and the skills of its drivers at major road racing venues east of the Rocky Mountains. The series provides a bridge for Porsche racers to climb to the professional ranks through this semi-professional racing series.
Drivers will compete in a separate group in the new track-only Cayman GT4 Clubsport race car. The 385-horsepower, mid-engine racer, which features a sealed engine and transmission and a spec tire, is developed by Porsche Motorsport North America and based on the successful street-legal Cayman GT4 sports car. Drivers are awarded with a podium at the end of every points race, and an individual champion will be crowned at the end of the season. A Masters Championship also is conducted. Points are awarded by finish in class.
Source. LST Marketing