Lazare, from Montreal, drove to a 6.921-second victory in the No. 21 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche. The win was his series-leading sixth of the season but his first since Round 6 at Montreal.
Third-year series driver Lazare, 19, padded his lead in the Platinum Cup championship to 22 points over Lucas Catania with seven rounds remaining in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)-sanctioned Single-Make Series.
“Honestly, the car felt like it was on new tires every lap throughout the whole race,” Lazare said. “I just hit my marks, braked properly and kept the distance and brought home the win.”
Round 10 starts at 11:15 a.m. (CT) Sunday on the 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit. The race is 45 minutes.
Jake Eidson, from Littleton, Colorado, finished second today in his first career start in the series in the No. 95 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car fielded by Kelly-Moss Road and Race. It was the first one-two finish of the season for the team, based in nearby Madison, Wisconsin.
Andrew Longe, from Naples, Florida, finished third in the No. 47 Wright Motorsports Porsche. It was the third podium finish in the last four starts for Longe.
Catania, from Cazenovia, New York, finished fourth in the No. 26 NGT Motorsport Porsche. McKay Snow, from Lehi, Utah, rounded out the top five in the No. 63 Wright Motorsports Porsche.
Jeff Mosing, from Austin, Texas, won the Platinum Masters class in the No. 01 TOPP Racing Porsche. Sebastian Landy, from Great Falls, Virginia, won the Gold Cup class in the No. 49 TPC Racing Porsche.
Lazare wasted no time driving to the front. He tried to pass pole sitter Longe in Turn 1 after the green flag, but Longe parried the move.
But Lazare finished the job two turns later, powering past Longe at the exit of Turn 3. Lazare never trailed thereafter.
“The car felt great from the out lap, and I had a great run into the first corner and I knew I had the outside,” Lazare said. “There’s a lot more grip to brake out there, and I definitely got the advantage there and took the lead early.”
Lazare turned sizzling laps on the warm day early to build a gap over Eidson, who passed Longe for second exiting Turn 1 six minutes into the race. Lazare’s lead swelled to 5.174 seconds at the halfway point of the race.
Both Lazare and Eidson then turned nearly identical lap times for the next few trips around the picturesque, fast circuit. Then Lazare found a higher gear with 12 minutes remaining, expanding his lead to 7.192 seconds with 12 minutes remaining.
That lead grew to 9.081 seconds with five minutes remaining. Lazare’s pace then relented over the closing laps as he cruised to a comfortable victory.
Eidson made an impressive rookie showing with the second-quickest lap of the race, as he and Lazare were the only drivers to break the 2-minute, 14-second mark during the race. Open-wheel veteran Eidson was making his first-ever start in a Porsche and just his second sports car start.
“My goal was to finish on the podium,” Eidson said. “Jesse, he knows these cars, and he’s really quick. It’s nice to have him as a teammate and a benchmark, and I can learn off of him. It’s a great race and a great finish. I couldn’t really ask for much more. Great results for the team, as well. Kelly-Moss one-two, and overall I am really happy and looking forward to tomorrow.
“I am still really new to all this. But I like the car, it’s a lot of fun to drive, and apparently it likes me, too.”
Longe pulled to within one point of Catania in a tight duel for second in the standings with his third-place finish.
2015 Gold Cup and Gold Masters champion Mosing earned his fifth Platinum Masters victory of the season and finished eighth overall.
Mosing expanded his championship lead to three points over Fred Poordad, who finished second in the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche. David Baker, from Colleyville, Texas, finished third in the No. 56 TOPP Racing Porsche.
“I was looking for a top-10 (overall) finish,” Mosing said. “I had (driver coach) Eric Foss talking to me the whole time, trying to conserve the Yokohamas for something at the end. It worked, but we probably should have initiated a little bit sooner.
“Hats off to TOPP Racing for giving me just a fantastic car that was fast through the whole stint. And thanks to Porsche Motorsport North America and to IMSA and Yokohama for putting on such a great series.”
Poordad, from San Antonio, started on the class pole. But Mosing passed him early in the race and pulled away to a 5.378-second victory.
Still, the race was filled with excitement and tension for Mosing. He was locked into a stirring race for seventh through 10th place overall for most of the second half of the race, challenging for spots with fellow Platinum Cup drivers Ricardo Perez, Anthony Imperato and Mike Hedlund.
Platinum Masters competitor Joe Catania, from Cazenovia, New York, earned the Yokohama Hard Charger Award for advancing the most positions throughout the race in his No. 24 NGT Motorsport Porsche.
Landy earned his fourth class victory of the season, tying him in that category with championship leader Michael de Quesada. Landy finished 2.431 seconds ahead of teammate Michael Levitas, from Baltimore, in the No. 36 TPC Racing Porsche.
Series rookie Philip Bloom, from New York, recovered from an early spin after contact from de Quesada to finish third in the No. 11 Wright Motorsports Porsche.
Landy started from pole but lost the top spot to de Quesada early in the race. But Landy soon made the pass for the lead. De Quesada then spun in Turn 7 and continued four minutes into the race, giving Landy some breathing room.
De Quesada’s race ended about 10 minutes later after the front of his car made contact with the rear of Bloom’s car entering Turn 5. The damage forced de Quesada to retire from the race, credited with a fourth-place finish in class.
Round 10 will start at 11:15 a.m. (CT) Sunday. The race is 45 minutes.
ROUND 9 POST-RACE QUOTES:
JESSE LAZARE (No. 21 Kelly-Moss Road and Race, winner): “The car felt great from the out lap, and I had a great run into the first corner and I knew I had the outside. There’s a lot more grip to brake out there, and I definitely got the advantage there and took the lead early. Honestly, the car felt like it was on new tires every lap throughout the whole race. I just hit my marks, braked properly and kept the distance and brought home the win.” (This is your third straight win at Road America. Is this track your favorite?): “It’s definitely in my top three. It’s just a perfect Porsche track. All the elevation and the long turns. It’s not the widest track, so you can take advantage of the whole track. It’s really nice to drive.”
JAKE EIDSON (No. 95 Kelly-Moss Road and Race, second): “My goal was to finish on the podium. Jesse (Lazare), he knows these cars, and he’s really quick. It’s nice to have him as a teammate and a benchmark, and I can learn off of him. It’s a great race and a great finish. I couldn’t really ask for much more. Great results for the team, as well. Kelly-Moss one-two, and overall I am really happy and looking forward to tomorrow.” (You have extensive open-wheel background. How much sports car racing have you done in the past?): “This is my first Porsche race. I have only run one other MX-5 Cup race, so I am still really new to all this. But I like the car, it’s a lot of fun to drive, and apparently it likes me, too.”
ANDREW LONGE (No. 47 Wright Motorsports, third): “It was a great day. We had a great morning qualifying, on pole. We have some things to work on, and we know what we need to work on as a team, and we will be in there tomorrow. It was very clean racing. Jesse (Lazare) and Jake (Eidson) got in front of me, but we all have respect for each other. We know what we need to do to get to the front tomorrow.” (How were the Yokohama tires today?): “The Yokohamas were great. I was blown away by how much longevity they have. Even at the end of the race, we were running consistent times and were very predictable. It’s a fantastic tire.”
JEFF MOSING (No. 01 TOPP Racing, winner, Platinum Masters): “Fred (Poordad) was actually struggling a bit with setup early on. Running a little bit wide, I don’t know if the tire pressures were off a little bit. I was able to get past him, and I had the Gold guys hounding me pretty hard. I was really trying to get up and get out. I was looking for a top-10 (overall) finish. I had Eric Foss talking to me the whole time, trying to conserve the Yokohamas for something at the end. It worked, but we probably should have initiated a little bit sooner. Hats off to TOPP Racing for giving me just a fantastic car that was fast through the whole stint. And thanks to Porsche Motorsport North America and to IMSA and Yokohama for putting on such a great series.”
SEBASTIAN LANDY (No. 49 TPC Racing, winner, Gold Cup): “It was a little bit wild at the beginning. It was unfortunate that Michael (de Quesada) had that incident. I think it would have been a good race between us even though I wasn’t happy that he got by me at the time. From then on, I was just trying to keep my head down and keep it clean. It was super hot out there and super slick, but the Yokohama tires held up great. So it’s just a matter of keeping it clean, keeping it on the track and trying to not run out of gas, which wasn’t something I expected. I’m glad we ended up finishing on the top step. Really happy for Forto Strong Coffee and TPC Racing to get the win here, and hopefully we can do the same tomorrow. Hopefully we can have a good race tomorrow and get more points.”
JOE CATANIA (No. 24 NGT Motorsport, Yokohama Hard Charger Award winner): “Hard Charger is my favorite because number one, it shows you are improving, which is what I have to thank NGT for and the coaching and their patience with coaching old guys like me. But two, it’s just nice to stay competitive with the field, and that’s really all my goal is. So I am very happy to have it. Great place to be and a lot of fun to race with the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.”
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