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De Angelis Closes Out Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA Season with Nail-Biting Victory at Road Atlanta

Eighteen-year-old Canadian driver Roman De Angelis capped a phenomenal season of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama competition with his 11th victory in a close battle during the 2019 season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

Driving the No. 79 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine, De Angelis took the lead in Turn 1 on the opening lap of the 45-minute race from polesitter and Thursday’s race winner Riley Dickinson. However, De Angelis would spend the next 45 minutes keeping Dickinson’s No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche in his mirrors.

Dickinson got particularly close in the final few laps of the race, but De Angelis managed to hold him off to win by 0.536 seconds. It was De Angelis’ 15th podium result in the 16-race season. He wrapped up the Platinum Cup class title for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars built between 2017 and 2019 in Thursday’s race at Michelin Raceway. Last month, he won the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama Platinum Cup championship also.

“With the role that I’ve had with Kelly-Moss, coming into the second season with them and my third season in Porsche Cup, it was pretty evident that we were looking to win a championship that we weren’t able to get last year,” De Angelis said. “Everything kind of aligned this year and I felt really comfortable in the Porsche Cup car, so I’m looking forward to see what’s up next.

“Today was a difficult race. I didn’t really have the pace for Riley. He was hounding me the whole time, but I guess I was able to push a bit harder than he was and come away with it.”

The back-to-back podium results by Dickinson were his sixth and seventh podiums of the year and moved him up to third in the final Platinum Cup standings to finish out his rookie GT3 Cup Challenge USA campaign. Max Root finished third in the No. 7 Wright Racing Porsche to wrap up second place in the Platinum Cup standings.

In the Platinum Masters class for drivers 45 years of age and older, Alan Metni secured his second consecutive championship with his eighth victory of the season in the No. 99 AM Motorsports/Kelly-Moss Porsche. Whereas it took until the season-ending weekend at Michelin Raceway for Metni to get the Platinum Masters lead in 2018, this year, he took it with a victory in April’s season-opening race at Barber Motorsports Park and never relinquished it for the remainder of the year.

“I enjoyed getting to celebrate it with my family,” Metni said. “My wife and daughter came and watched me race and I was happy to see them. They surprised me. I didn’t know they were coming until I saw my daughter this morning. Look, the team did great. I like to say we’re one of the hardest-working teams in motorsports. I always think the race is won in the training and we trained our (tails) off.”

Fred Poordad finished second in both the Platinum Masters race and the season championship in the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche. Vernon McClure followed suit in the No. 36 TPC Racing Porsche, finishing third in the Platinum Masters race Friday morning as well as the season championship.

In the Gold Cup class for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machines built between 2014 and 2016, Sebastian Carazo topped off a dream season with his 12th victory. Like De Angelis, Carazo also clinched his title on Thursday, but he maintained his perfect record of podium finishes in every race with his 16th trophy of the season.

“Today’s race was mostly about just getting a good gap in the first couple of laps and then conserving the car and the tire towards the end of the race,” Carazo said. “I expected to do a good season this year, but I didn’t expect it to be that great.”

Rob Ferriol finished second in the No. 5 Moorespeed Porsche, followed by Curt Swearingin in the No. 17 ACI Motorsports Porsche. Ferriol also took second in the final Gold Cup season standings, while Swearingin was third in Gold Cup.

The final Yokohama Hard Charger Award of the season went to Wayne Ducote in the No. 61 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche as the Gold Cup driver who improved the most overall positions from start to finish in the race. Ducote started 26th and finished 22nd.

Source. IMSA

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