Zach Robichon completed more than 90 minutes of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama racing at Road America on Sunday morning and the view out of his windshield was nothing other than clear racetrack and rolling Wisconsin countryside for nearly all of it.
For the second consecutive day, the Canadian started from the pole position and led every lap in the No. 19 Moorespeed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine en route to a weekend sweep. This time, he beat German driver David Kolkmann to the stripe by 15.075 seconds to take the victory.
While it was two-in-a-row for Robichon, it was four-in-a-row at Road America for Moorespeed, who swept both GT3 Cup Challenge USA races here last year with then-team driver Corey Fergus.
“I can’t say enough about the guys from Moorespeed,” said Robichon, who leads the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama point standings but made his first 2018 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA appearance this weekend. “The car, as we saw this weekend, has been just unbelievable.
“For me to be able to jump in with a new team and a car I’ve never driven, their setup was super easy to drive from the get-go. I think from the second practice session, we had the fastest lap times. Since then, we’ve been refining it a little bit and getting better and better. I actually think the car was better today than yesterday. I can’t say enough about the job they did. All I had to do was turn the wheel and push the gas pedal. They did all the rest.”
While Robichon checked out for the second consecutive day, the battle from second on back was tight throughout Sunday’s 45-minute race. After starting sixth, Kolkmann managed to carve his way forward in the No. 71 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine, taking second place away from Anthony Imperato in the No. 91 Wright Motorsports entry at the halfway point. That’s where the German driver finished.
Also for the second consecutive day, Trenton Estep, who leads the championship standings in the Platinum Cup class for cars built in 2017 and 2018, was embroiled in a race-long battle for podium positions. Estep motored his No. 3 JDX Racing Porsche around Imperato with 13 minutes left in the race and considered a lunge to take second away from Kolkmann on the final lap before settling for a second-straight third-place trophy.
As a result, he now leads Roman De Angelis, who finished fourth in the No. 1 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche by 17 points, 316-299, with 10 of 16 races now complete. It was his ninth podium result of the season.
After finishing a season-best second on Saturday, Imperato held on to finish fifth on Sunday.
In the Platinum Cup Masters class for drivers over the age of 45, Charlie Luck picked up his fourth victory of the season and first since April at Barber Motorsports Park with a flawless performance in the No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche. He beat Alan Metni in the No. 99 AM Motorsports/Kelly-Moss Porsche by 3.742 seconds.
“It feels so, so good,” Luck said. “I had a little dry spell on the No. 1 spot, but this will make four for the year, which I’m so incredibly proud about. Today was just awesome discipline, awesome execution and no mistakes. Just hustle, hustle, hustle every lap, every corner. Man, it was so sweet. I’m so pumped up.”
With the victory, Luck retains the Platinum Masters points lead by 17, 311-294, over Metni. Fred Poordad finished third in Platinum Masters in the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche for his second class podium result of the season.
In Gold Cup for cars built between 2014 and 2016, Victor Gomez IV recovered from a mechanical issue in Saturday’s race to record his seventh victory of the season in the No. 25 NGT Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine.
“First of all, it’s really good to come back to one of my favorite racetracks in America, Road America,” Gomez said. “I want to thank my family for coming and supporting and NGT for doing a fabulous job. They gave me a really fast car. We qualified first for the first race and fortunately I created a good gap in P1. Unfortunately, my fuel pump was a failure and we couldn’t finish the race, but we came back stronger today and brought the points.”
Gomez managed to rebuild a bigger gap in the Gold Cup standings with the win. He now leads No. 52 Kelly-Moss Road and Race driver Kurt Fazekas by 17 points, 327-310. After winning Saturday’s race, Fazekas had a tough run on Sunday with a couple of spins and wound up seventh in Gold Cup.
Bill Smith finished second in the No. 42 Topp Racing Porsche GT3 Cup car, matching his season-best result which he previously achieved in Race #1 at Watkins Glen in June. Smith also earned the Yokohama Hard Charger Award for most positions gained in the Gold Cup class from start to finish in Sunday’s race. Rob Ferriol picked up his sixth podium result of the season in Gold Cup, coming home third in the No. 5 TPC Racing Porsche.
Next up for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama is a pair of races at VIRginia International Raceway on the weekend of Aug. 17-19 as part of the Michelin GT Challenge weekend for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.