Kay van Berlo (Netherlands living in Miami, Florida) continued his perfect season in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands with today’s victory at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. The 40-minute race – Round Four of the 16-round season for the premier one-make series on the continent – was the closing event of the 47th annual Grand Prix of Long Beach today. The race came down to a last lap shootout when a late caution was lifted in time for one final lap of the 1.968-mile, 11-turn circuit before time expired. However, van Berlo would not relinquish the lead giving the No. 3 Kelly Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car the overall win in the Pro class. Justin Oakes (Houston, Texas) piloted the No. 47 Nolasport Porsche to the Pro-Am class win while Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) earned his third win of 2022 in the No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in the Am class.
Van Berlo continued to add to his success with his fourth victory of the season. The talented Dutchman who is studying business at the University of Miami in Florida, has earned every pole position, led every lap and set fastest race time all but once in the young second season of the top level of Porsche one-make racing in the United States and Canada. He brought the 500+ horsepower Porsche down to the green flag side-by-side with his teammate, Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas), who was challenging to break van Berlo’s hold on the season. However, the Texan carried too much speed into the corner allowing van Berlo to pull into a comfortable lead. Dickinson would finish 13th in class. Top title contenders Dimitri Dimakos (Chicago, Illinois) and Varun Choksey (Atlanta, Georgia) would also drop out early after early race contact which damaged both cars.
Trenton Estep (San Antonia, Texas) rewarded his MDK Motorsports team after a herculean effort by the crew to repair the No. 6 following heavy damage in Saturday’s Race 1. Estep is a veteran Porsche one-make participant but is in his first-year of Porsche Carrera Cup North America finished in second-place after a hard battle with Topp Racing’s TJ Fischer (Vacaville, California). Fischer crossed the line in third-place at his home race. Parker Thompson (Canada) pushed late in the going but would finish just off the podium in fourth-place driving the No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia) continued his top-five performances taking fifth-place in the No. 12 311RS Motorsports Porsche.
Having earned the pole position for both races, Justin Oakes (Houston, Texas) maintained that position despite heated pressure from the remainder of the Pro-Am class – designated for drivers 36 – 57 years old. Oakes, driving the No. 47 Nolasport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, held off 2021 Porsche Carrera Cup North America Pro-Am class champion Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) in the No. 65 Kell Moss machine who rallied after a frustrating race on Saturday. Jeff Mosing (Austin, Texas) earned his second podium of the weekend driving the No. 56 Topp Racing Porsche to third-place, one spot lower than his run in Round 3 the day before.
MDK Motorsports returned Mark Kvamme to the top step of the class for drivers 57-years-old and above. The veteran racer drove the No. 43 to its third win of the season ahead of Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) in the No. 42 Topp Racing car in second-place and Robert Hanley (Foxfield, Colorado) in the No. 4 of JDX Racing.
To the point.
By virtue of a nearly flawless performance to this point in the season, Kay van Berlo and Kelly Moss lead the Pro and Team title chase. The 2021 class runner-up has tallied a remarkable 111 points including an addition 25 points for today’s race win and 3 more for pole position and fastest race lap. Kelly Moss holds a perfect 100 points for four overall wins in four races. Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) remains firmly in the Pro-Am standings with 84 points following a fourth-place finish in Round Four. Oakes moves into second-place (69 points) by virtue of his win today, three-points ahead of Mosing. Kvamme holds 85 points for the lead in the Am class.
Rounds 5 and 6 of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands will take place at the legendary WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on the Monterey, California Peninsula, April 28 – May 1.
Kay van Berlo, No. 3 Kelly Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“Super happy. My main goal for the season is to consistently score points. That is what I missed out on last season. At Sebring we nearly maximized in terms of points and this weekend we did. The car was on rails, absolutely spot-on. Getting pole position at a street track is super important. You put yourself into a safe position for the races. Still a lot can go wrong. I had a little more pressure the second race. Early on I was able to create a gap just to make sure when I was catching traffic, I could use it to my favor. Obviously, the last lap restart puts a little more pressure on you, but the goal was the same: keep it clean, get a good run away and make no mistakes. At the street courses it is harder to overtake than any of the other tracks and if you make a mistake, you put yourself in a risky position. That is what I tried to cover this weekend.”
Justin Oakes, No. 47 Nolasport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“Quite an emotional rollercoaster. Qualifying on pole, leading the whole first race and then getting caught up in a little kerfuffle there at the end. So happy we were able to pull it together for Race Two and in such a commanding way. I feel real good about our pace here. Basically, to have four sessions at this track and to be able to put a significant gap on my competitors is a major achievement.”