Trenton Estep found the streets of Toronto in perfect step with his style. The resident of San Antonio, Texas drove the No. 6 MDK Motorsports-prepared Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car to back-to-back victories in rounds nine and ten of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands. Today’s second race on the temporary street course was shortened to 24-minutes after an incident in a race prior to the Porsche championship event forced extensive track repairs. The compacted event – down by 16-minutes from the 40-minutes scheduled – increased the intensity and battles but the finishing order in the three classes remained the same as on Saturday with Estep leading every lap from pole position, Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) taking his third-straight win in the Pro-Am category and Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) securing his third consecutive win in the Am class and the class championship points lead.
A multicar incident in a race prior to the today’s Carrera Cup round forced a delay of nearly 30-minutes while track officials made facility repairs to the walls of the 1.755-mile temporary circuit laid out around Toronto’s Enercare Centre. While the track repairs were done successfully, it did require 16 minutes to be taken from the Porsche one-make series in order to secure the schedule for the overall event. The delay, nor the compressed run-time, seemed to have any impact on Estep. For the second-straight day, the driver of the No. 6 MDK Motorsports entry was pressured from behind at the green flag by Parker Thompson (Canada) but held-off the driver of the No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche. As he had done the day before, Thompson knew it was critical to make the most of the start and leapt from third on the grid to challenge for the lead entering turn one. Estep maintained the top spot under the pressure and pulled progressively away to an eventual win of nearly seven seconds for his second career Carrera Cup victory.
Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas) followed Thompson into the first turn jumping his Kelly-Moss teammate Kay van Berlo (Netherlands now studying in Miami, Florida) in the No. 3 machine for third-place. Estep was, in part, able to gain on the remainder of the field as Thompson’s attentions were pre-occupied by Dickinson’s repeated attacks from behind. Ultimately, the Canadian was able to pull just out of reach of the Texan. Dickinson, in kind, was able to keep back van Berlo who balanced the desire for the position with lessons learned as the 2021 championship runner-up. Varun Choksey (Atlanta, Georgia) came home just behind in the No. 13 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to close out the Pro class top-five.
Efrin Castro repeated his Pro-Am class victory of the day before in the No. 65 Kelly-Moss Porsche. The 2021 class champion took an impressive sixth-place overall finish ahead of three Pro class contenders. Most importantly, the success drew Castro closer to Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) who leads the Pro-Am points battle. Castro is now within 16-points of his Kelly-Moss teammate. Castro now has five wins on the year – three in a row – while Metni has three total. Toronto-resident Marco Cirone, driving the No. 84 Mark Motors Racing Porsche, made contact with the wall on the opening lap and had to retire the car. However, the result still yielded a fifth-place in class finish and moved him into fourth-place behind Metni, Castro and Justin Oakes (Houston, Texas) in the point standings.
Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) earned his third-straight victory in the Am class – for drivers over 57-years-old – at Toronto. The string, which dates back to the second race at Watkins Glen International, has moved the driver of the No. 42 Topp Racing Porsche into the points lead of the class. John Goetz (Weston, Connecticut) finished in second-place – 13th overall – in the No. 57 Wright Motorsports Porsche adding 20-points to his total, moving seven points ahead of Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) who held the lead of the class points since the first race of the season at Sebring. Kvamme, who missed the weekend in Canada due to family obligations, is currently third in the class title chase with six races remaining.
To the point.
Despite going winless this weekend, Pro class championship leader Kay van Berlo not only retained but added to his points lead after ten rounds. Metni held the Pro-Am lead, but Castro gained on the Texan. Smith jumped from third-place in Am class entering Toronto to a nine-point lead over Goetz who also maintains second-place. Six races remain on the 16-round schedule for the premier Porsche one-make race series.
Van Berlo… 234
Castro … 174
Oakes … 119
Swearingin … 103
Smith … 188
Hanley … 94