Competitors in one of Porsche’s 20 global single-make Cup Challenge series have completed 10 of their 16 races for the 2016 championship, and battles for the points lead in all categories are heating up.
Jesse Lazare, the top returning driver from last season, has taken a commanding lead in the Platinum Cup standings over the rest of the field in the No. 21 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche. Lazare, from Montreal, leads Lucas Catania, from Cazenovia, New York, by 26 points, 173-147. Catania led through the first six rounds in the No. 26 NGT Motorsport entry before relinquishing it after Round 7 at Watkins Glen.
Round 11 is scheduled to start at 5:10 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Aug. 27. Round 12 will begin at 11:05 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 28. Both rounds are 45 minutes. There will be two practices Friday, with qualifying at 10:05 a.m. Saturday.
Racing is divided into two classes – Platinum Cup, featuring the 2014-2016 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which is based on the current seventh generation of the street car, and Gold Cup, which is comprised of the previous iteration (model years 2010-2013) of the race car. A Masters Championship is also conducted in the Platinum class. Each class is awarded with its own podium at the end of every race and individual champion at the end of every season. Points are awarded by finish in class.
The multi-class structure of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)-sanctioned series teaches drivers essential skills for an eventual career in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship or professional GT races worldwide.
Only four drivers have claimed an overall victory this season, including Lazare with seven. Catania, Wright Motorsports driver Andrew Longe and Pfaff Motorsports’ Chris Green have each earned one victory apiece. But consistent finishes in all 10 rounds from Catania and Longe, from Naples, Florida, have kept them within 26 and 29 points of Lazare in the standings, respectively, a gap easily bridged with six rounds left.
Green, from Montreal, has run only a partial season in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche and is tied for fourth place with Ricardo Perez in the No. 02 JDX Racing Porsche.
Jeff Mosing, also a standout in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, has been at the top of the Platinum Masters leader board for most of the season in the No. 01 Porsche fielded by Texas-based TOPP Racing. He is locked in a tight battle with fellow Masters competitor Fred Poordad.
Texas resident Mosing has six wins this season, including a sweep of the last two rounds at Road America. Fellow Texan Poordad has two wins and has yet to finish outside of the top five in class in the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche. The duo has split class wins since the opening two rounds at Sebring International Raceway, where Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama competitor Marco Cirone swept the weekend.
Competition in the Gold Cup class is also tight, with the top three drivers all in championship reach and within six points of each other.
Michael de Quesada, from Tampa, Florida, has led the class in his first season in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama since sweeping the opening weekend at Sebring in the No. 31 Alegra Motorsports Porsche. De Quesada leads the Gold Cup class with 170 points, followed by Sebastian Landy, from Great Falls, Virginia, with 167 and Michael Levitas, from Baltimore, with 164.. Landy swept both rounds at Road America to power into title contention in the No. 49 TPC Racing Porsche.
Philip Bloom, from New York, continues to stay in the hunt in his first season in the series. Bloom is fourth with 142 points in the No. 11 Wright Motorsports Porsche.
Practice: 9:40-10:10 a.m. (ET) and 4:55-5:35 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26
Qualifying: 10:05-10:25 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27
Round 11 (45 minutes): 5:10-5:55 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27
Round 12 (45 minutes): 11:05-11:50 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 28
Driver Autograph Session: 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27. Location TBD
Source. LST Marketing