With perfect racing weather, the PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series completed two exciting 30-minute sprint races at Road America in scenic Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on Sunday.
With sun and temperatures in the mid-70s all weekend, the weather couldn’t be better for the Chicago PCA Region’s The Road America Challenge (TRAC). Cayman GT4 Clubsport drivers competed on the iconic 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course, and Jason Hart and Keith Jensen swept the Pro and Championship classes, respectively.
Polesitter Hart, representing the Maverick PCA Region, won in the Pro class in the No. 51 NOLAsport Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. His fastest lap time was 2:21.742, which was also his fastest lap of the day.
Jensen, representing the Maverick PCA Region in the No. 32 NOLAsport Porsche entry, placed first in the Championship class, leading Adam Merzon by 14.085 seconds. Jensen’s outstanding qualifying performance on Sunday afternoon earned him a second place starting position behind Hart.
The battle for second and third was fierce, but ended with Merzon, representing the Connecticut Valley PCA Region in the No. 7 DeMan Motorsport entry, beating Rene Robichaud, representing the Ohio Valley PCA Region in the No. 89 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Cayman GT4 Clubsport, by .904 of a second.
“Adam (Merzon) and I had the best race,” Robichaud said. “We swapped places twice, so there were four passes. If you’re a fan, you got to see some really close racing; it was door-to-door on the corners.”
“It was very clean racing; we both gave each other room,” Merzon said. “It was a fun race.”
In the Masters class, which is designated for drivers ages 57 and older, Rene Robichaud, representing the Ohio Valley PCA Region, placed first. John Frank, representing the Connecticut Valley PCA Region, placed second and Roger Halvorsen, also representing the Connecticut Valley PCA Region, rounded out the podium for the Masters class in third.
Later in the afternoon in the second race of the day, Hart once again took first place in the Pro class. Jensen swept the competition by winning Sprint 2 and continues to lead the Championship class in points this season.
Rounding out the podium for the Championship class was Billy Stevens, of the Maverick PCA Region, in second place and David Baum, representing the Western Michigan PCA Region in the No. 24 Autometrics Motorsports entry, in third. Stevens finished ahead of Baum by a slim margin of .463 of a second. Road America is Stevens’ first race since the season opener at Road Atlanta in early April.
“This is my first race back, and I had a really great start,” Stevens said. “These guys are fast! I didn’t expect to be on the podium this soon, so I’m glad that I am.”
Halvorsen improved to a first place finish in the Masters class after placing third in Sprint 1. This is his first win in the series competition. Frank and newcomer Dan Weyland, representing the Rocky Mountain PCA Region, finished in second and third, respectively.
“I think as the series goes on, you can see that everything has been refined,” Halvorsen said. “The comradery amongst the group has really built and I’m really excited to be a part of this series.”
Cayman GT4 Clubsport drivers will compete in the 80-minute endurance race on Monday, Sept. 5 at 11 a.m. to wrap up the weekend at Road America.
Sprint 1 Post-Race Quotes:
KEITH JENSEN (winner, Championship): “It’s great to have my family here at this race! Qualifying was awesome on Saturday. In the first five laps of our third practice session, I was in second place so I pitted and I waited about 10 minutes. I wasn’t sure how much time was left, but then I heard ‘Adam (Merzon) just beat you by .003!’ They asked me if I had it in me and I went out one more time. I knew I had one lap to get it done and I beat myself by .40 and I got extremely close to Jason (Hart) so I was happy about that!”
ADAM MERZON (second, Championship): “I have to say, Rene (Robichaud) and I had a great race. I think we had about four passes, but it was very clean racing; we both gave each other room. It was a fun race.”
RENE ROBICHAUD (third, Championship, winner, Masters): “I got two podiums – position three in the Championship class and first place in the Masters class so I’m delighted with that. Adam (Merzon) and I had the best race. We swapped places twice, so there were four passes. If you’re a fan, you got to see some really close racing; it was door-to-door on the corners.”
JASON HART (winner, Pro): “Road America is a fantastic track for these cars. They handle really well here. It’s a blast to drive here. I have to thank NOLAsport for having me in the car and US LED for jumping on board to sponsor me!”
JOHN FRANK (second, Masters): “I passed position two in the breaking zone of Turn 5 and was lucky enough to make it stick. It’s great to be here at Road America. It’s my first time at this track and I’m thrilled to be here with the Clubsport series.”
ROGER HALVORSEN (third, Masters): “It’s wonderful to be here at Road America. It’s my first time here and this facility is magnificent. I think as the series goes on, you can see that everything has been refined. The comradery amongst the group has really built and I’m really excited to be a part of this series.”
Sprint 2 Post-Race Quotes:
KEITH JENSEN (winner, Championship): “It was a great race. There were four of us going into Turn 5 and I broke at the right spot, so I thought, and I came no closer than 30 feet to the apex. I started downshifting at the exit of the corner while my friend Billy (Stevens) passed me. Billy was in front of me for the next two turns and I was able to pass him again in Turn 8. It was a great race and a lot of good driving!”
BILLY STEVENS (second, Championship): “This is my first race back. I had a really great start. I came around Turn 1 in third place and then Keith (Jensen) made a mistake so I passed him in Turn 5. But then he got me back in Turn 8. I raced around with the guys and I had a bunch of fun. These guys are fast! I didn’t expect to be on the podium this soon, so I’m glad that I am.”
DAVID BAUM (third, Championship): “I didn’t qualify very well earlier today but I raced better during this sprint. Four of us – running second through fifth – were all running close together and having a good race. I’m happy I got up on the podium.”
JASON HART (winner, Pro): “I had a great time out here with US LED and NOLAsport. I have to give everything to the NOLAsport crew for working so hard to find a setup that’s so comfortable to drive, yet still fast. If anybody wants to try a GT4CS, the NOLAsport No. 47 is going to be for rent for the rest of the year. If someone is looking for a fast car, we’ve got one!”
ROGER HALVORSEN (winner, Masters): “First place – finally! It feels really good. I couldn’t have done it without everyone around me. My driving has improved so much, and the whole Musante Motorsport team has done a great job. The Clubsport racing crew is also doing a sensational job.”
JOHN FRANK (second, Masters): “Another great race at Road America. After Roger (Halvorsen) made a great pass on me, I brought it home in one piece. We’ll see what happens tomorrow in the endurance race.”
DAN WEYLAND (third, Masters): “I’m new to this series and new to the podium. I couldn’t believe it – I love it! I love this track. I’ve been racing here for a long time in a lot of different cars. I love this series and it’s been a great day. Two races in one day. What could be better?”
Source. LST Marketing