Riley Dickinson closed out the second annual Porsche Sports Car Together Fest with his first win in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands. The native of New Braunfels, Texas bettered a field of 33 of the best Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car drivers in the world to earn his debut victory in the series at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Included on that stout entry list was NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon (Charlotte, North Carolina) who made his first two starts in the premier one-make racing series piloting the No. 24 Hendrick Performance Group machine. The four-time NASCAR Cup champion nearly had a top ten finish in class on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course at “The World Capital of Racing”. 2021 class champion Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) won his seventh Pro-Am class race of the season in the No. 65 Kelly Moss Porsche while Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) raced the No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to is fourth-straight Am class win.
The all-Porsche race series now travels to Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta to decide the second recipient of the Al Holbert Cup awarded to the overall champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America. The final two 40-minute races of the season will decide the champions in each of the three classes with rounds on September 29 and 30.
In earning his inaugural victory in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America, Riley Dickinson became the fifth driver to win in the two-year-old series. Despite being among the youngest drivers in the championship at age 20, Dickinson has been a threat for every Carrera Cup North America race since the series debuted in 2021. The driver of the No. 53 earned his breakout win today at “The Brickyard”. He leapt into the lead from third-place on the opening laps and staved off his Kelly Moss teammate van Berlo for the remainder of the 40-minute race. Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain regular Matty Graham (Great Britain) earned his first podium in North America after finishing fourth in his debut yesterday in the No. 91 MDK Motorsports Porsche. Today’s fourth-place went to TJ Fischer (Vacaville, California) in the No. 58 Topp Racing Porsche while Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia) brought home fifth-place for the 311 RS Motorsports No. 12 program.
For the first time since the green flag for race one at Sebring International Raceway, Kay van Berlo (Netherlands studying in Miami) entered a 2022 Carrera Cup North America race not as the points leader. That honor went to Parker Thompson (native of Canada living in Indianapolis, Indiana) who, by virtue of his win in Saturday’s Carrera Cup feature, entered round 14 with an 11 point lead. However, that changed shortly into the race as the driver of the No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche was out of the race with a damaged car. That same incident took out Trenton Estep (San Antonio, Texas) who had to park the No. 6 MDK Motorsports Porsche with substantial damage as a result of contact with the road course’s first turn tire wall. Estep, who entered the day in third-place held on to the position despite finishing 33rd in the race.
Riley Dickinson, No. 53 Kelly Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“I can’t thank everyone at Kelly Moss enough for everything they do. I am still out of breath. I am going to enjoy this one a little bit. I have always said: everything happens for a reason. It all makes sense today. Winning my first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is that reason. This is a surreal moment.”
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Hendrick Performance Group Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“I wanted to do some fun things, make some passes. I made a pass on the white flag lap. That made my whole weekend. I think we ended it on a positive note. All week I have been happy I am here, having a great time with Ray [Evernham], Steve Bardahl, my dad, , Jon Edwards and the whole team. I must say that yesterday, I thought ‘man, I am getting beat out here’ and I don’t like that. If I am going to be in an environment like this, I want to be competitive. But today turned the corner for me. So, I hope I get to do another one one day.”
For the fourth time in five Porsche Carrera Cup races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2021 Pro-Am champion Efrin Castro stood on the top of the podium. The driver of the No. 65 bettered his main rival Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) who finished just behind his Kelly Moss teammate in second place driving the No. 99. Third went to Curt Swearingin (Chattanooga, Tennessee) behind the wheel of the No. 17 ACI Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
Efrin Castro, No. 65 Kelly Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“I want to give thanks to the Man Above for this victory. I also want to give thanks to my team at Kelly Moss for such an amazing job. All the Pro-Am drivers come, and they fight and they make me push my limits. This is one of the best series in Pro-Am. The field is full of talented drivers. I am blessed to be racing against them.”
Kvamme continues to be a juggernaut at the front of the Am class charging to his ninth win of the season. Despite the two Porsche Sports Car Together Fest class victories, his competition for the title are staying close. John Goetz (Weston, Connecticut) raced to a second-place finish in the No. 55 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Third-place went to Bill Smith (Dallas, Texas) in the No. 42 Topp Racing Porsche.
To the point.
The weekend had a dramatic impact on the points standings tightening an already narrow gap between first and fourth. With van Berlo scoring no points on Saturday; Thompson and Estep scoring none on Sunday and Dickinson taking a win on Sunday, the four title contenders for the Pro class championship are now separated by only 47 points. With a theoretical 56-points available (25 x 2 for race wins, 2 x 2 for pole position wins and 1 x 2 for fastest race lap in each session) to a single driver over the course of a normal weekend, all four drivers are still in the hunt for the title. Van Berlo remains in the lead with 270 points, ten more than Thompson (260), 40 ahead of Estep (230) and 47 points beyond Dickinson. Metni has retained the lead in Pro-Am despite Castro’s two Indy victories. The two Kelly Moss drivers are separated by 24 points, less than one victory, 257-233. In the Am class, Kvamme added to his margin with two wins. He now holds a 16 point margin over Goetz and 58 over Smith: 272-256-214. Kelly Moss strengthened its grasp on the Entrant Championship going to the finale.
Parker Thompson (Indianapolis, Indiana) earned his fourth win of the 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands season today in the Race 1 of the Porsche Sports Car Together Fest. The native Canadian held the lead from the pole position to the end of the 40-minute race in the No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the premier one-make race series.
NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon (Charlotte, North Carolina but grew-up in nearby Pittsboro, Indiana) came out of retirement today here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to try his hand behind the wheel the No. 24 Hendrick Performance Group car. The one weekend program was headed by longtime crew chief Ray Evernham.
Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) scored the Pro-Am class victory in the No. 65 Kelly Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to win his third Carrera Cup victory at The Brickyard in the two years of the event. Mark Kvamme (Columbus, Ohio) continued to strengthen his position in the Am class taking the victory in the No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche capturing the victory on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course winds its way through the infield before crossing the “Yard of Bricks” start-finish line.
Sunday’s second 40-minute race will conclude on-track competition for the celebration of the Porsche culture at 1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT tomorrow, Sunday, September 4.
Behind Thompson’s green to checker run, title contenders and Kelly Moss teammates Kay van Berlo (Netherlands studying in Miami, Florida) in the No. 3 and Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas) driving the No. 53, raced as hard as two teammates could race including several moments of contact in the heat of battle. When the 40-minute race came to a close, it was championship leader van Berlo who nosed out Dickinson. Fourth-place went to series newcomer Matty Graham (Great Britain) in the No. 91. While the young Brit was making his first North American start, he has already won three times in the Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain this season. Fifth-place went to Trenton Estep (San Antonio, Texas) in the No. 6 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Estep, with three wins on the season, is deep in the fight for Pro class title chase.
Jeff Gordon, who last raced in 2016, briefly stepped out of retirement to experience the Porsche 911 GT3-based race car in competition. With limited seat time in the car, Gordon made a strong showing against the field of experienced hands of the rear-engine racing machine. He finished 15th in his first race in the series.
Parker Thompson, No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“Really good day for points. We got the win, pole this morning, I’d say that is a pretty good day for the JDX crew. My hat is absolutely off to this JDX team. We are on a budget. We are doing whatever we can. We are a one car team up against these Goliaths in a KMR and an MDK and it just shows how hard this team works. Everyone works so hard to put that number 9 at the front. Without this group of people, I couldn’t win races at the World’s Capital of Racing. It is pretty cool to be an Indianapolis resident and to get to kiss the bricks three times. We are going for four tomorrow. “
Pro-Am Class. Winner.
Efrin Castro, No. 65 Kelly Moss Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“Indianapolis has been good to me. The race was fun… being with the fast kids and staying with them. It was a lot of fun to keep my pace with them and that helped me create gap back to the Pro-Am class. I am thrilled for win. It was something I have been working hard for. I want to thank Porsche for hosting such a great event and my team Kelly Moss for setting up a great car for me. We are going to make the championship very interesting to the end.”
Am Class. Winner.
Mark Kvamme, No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“Indianapolis! This is an amazing track and an amazing facility. The Porsche Sports Car Together Fest is a lot of fun to see all of these avid fans. We had a lot of fun out there and I was able to get a P1 along the way. I was around Gordon the whole race. It was a lot of fun. He is a very good driver, obviously, and he drove very fair too. He did an exceptional job.”
Round 15 and 16 of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands will crown the class champions as part of the Petit Le Mans weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, September 29 and 30.