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Estep earns first Porsche Carrera Cup North America pole position with record lap of Laguna Seca

MDK Motorsports captured two of the three class pole positions for tomorrow’s Round 5 of the 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands season. Trenton Estep (San Antonio, Texas) grabbed his first career pole position setting a blistering lap of one-minute, 24.925-seconds in the No. 9 MDK Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. The lap was the only sub-1:25 time around the 2.238-mile, 11-turn WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca of the day. Estep’s teammate Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) was the quickest in the Am class, lapping the No. 43 Porsche at 1:27.703. 2021 Porsche Carrera Cup Pro-Am class champion Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) returned to the front of the category with the No. 65 Kelly Moss machine turning a time of 1:26.247. Race 1 of the weekend at the Monterey, California-area track will take the green flag at 11:50 a.m. PT (2:50 p.m. on the East Coast) on Saturday, April 29.

Estep broke the one-minute, 25-second barrier with less than four minutes remaining in the 30-minute session. It came immediately following a red flag, the only break in the session. The first year series driver snapped the qualifying streak of Pro class points leader Kay van Berlo (Netherlands living in Miami, Florida). Van Berlo had won the pole position – and each race – in the first four rounds of the premier one-make championship. The driver of the No. 3 Kelly Moss entry will take the green flag for the 40-minute race from fourth-position overall. Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas) will start in second-place on the outside of Row 1 in the No. 53 Kelly Moss entry just ahead of his championship rival Parker Thompson (Canada). Thompson, currently 40-points behind van Berlo in the title chase, will see the green flag from third-place, inside Row 2, on the grid.

The fastest lap by each driver in qualifying sets the grid for the first race of the weekend. The second fastest lap by each driver acts as the qualifying time for the second race to be run on Sunday. Should a driver better their second best time during the race, the faster of the two will act as the qualifying time.

32 identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars will start tomorrow’s 40-minute race. Round 6 is scheduled for Sunday, May 1 at 8:40 a.m. California time, just ahead of the Monterey Sports Car Championship’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship feature event.

Trenton Estep, No. 6 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Pro Class and Overall Pole Sitter.
“This is special. Really, really special. This is an awesome accomplishment as a team, it is such a team effort. I see how much work and effort goes into this by the crew. To earn a pole in Pro and in Am is a super accomplishment and I am really happy for the team. Thankfully, we were able to put a lap together. I did a little better job with tire management on the second tire set. I was able to manage the gap and the car was there when I needed it to be. The race is going to be a completely different mindset. This is my first pole here in Carrera Cup and the tire is very different than anything I am used to. That being said, I had the opportunity to test here. We did a couple of race runs and we focused on tire management. Tire degradation is everything here at Laguna. Hopefully it stays cool and what we learned today will transfer to tomorrow.”

Efrin Castro, No. 65 Kelly Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Pro-Am Class Pole Sitter.
“I am starting in a good position tomorrow. The team did a fantastic job with the setup. I was pushing all the way to the end. We lost three or four laps because of the traffic but I was able to get two laps that set me up for the pole. The track was very dusty but overall, it wasn’t that bad. The temperatures were cool enough that it gave us a lot of horsepower. We were trying to find a gap. We would get one and then we would lose it because a car spun and then the red flag. So, a couple of incidents made it difficult for us to get a good lap in.”

Mark Kvamme, No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Am Class Pole Sitter.
“It was a great session. I beat the second-place car by 5/1000ths of a second. That is about two inches over the entire lap. It was tough. Qualifying is all about positioning. By being on the inside of the row, I will be able to have the advantage going into Turn 1 and Turn 2. By staying up front you have a better chance to stay out of the melee. What I really tried to do was to have as few laps on those qualifying tires as I could going into the race. These tires at the end of this race will be just shattered. The Michelins are a phenomenal tire, but this track is just so brutal on them. The team is just doing a fabulous job, really gelling.”

Source. Porsche

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