GT3 Cup Challenge USA Circuit of The Americas Saturday Notebook
Saturday, May 6, 2017

Hard on the heels of an exciting twilight race at Circuit of The Americas on Friday evening, teams and drivers in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama series switched gears and strategy to take the green flag for Race 2 in full sun and much warmer temperatures Saturday.

Corey Fergus from Columbus, Ohio representing the hometown team of Moorespeed was the first to the green flag in his No. 00 US LED/Byers Imports entry, but was overtaken by Trenton Estep in the No. 3 JDX Racing/Hertz entry on Lap 1 in nearly a repeat of his performance yesterday. Fergus retook the lead on the same lap, which was the beautiful beginning of a heated battle for the race and Platinum Cup lead on the 3.4-mile circuit as part of the Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown. 

The 17-year-old Estep from San Antonio, Texas challenged Fergus all the way around the circuit in his 911 GT3 Cup car, with multiple lead changes – usually within the same lap. But it was ultimately Fergus who grabbed the lead for the last time on Lap 9 and held it through the checkered flag for his first series win. It’s the second win for the Austin-based Moorespeed and this time in front of their home crowd.

A full-course caution period on Lap 3, caused by the No. 99 of Alan Metni of Kelly-Moss Road and Race spun in Turn 3 and had contact with the wall, causing the field to pack up for another suspenseful restart. 

While Anthony Imperato in the No. 91 Henry Repeating Arms entry of Wright Motorsports was also involved in an intense battle with Estep, switching from third to second and back to third place before the restart gave the No. 24 of Jake Eidson and Kelly-Moss Road and Race the momentum to overtake Imperato and stake his claim on the third step of the podium in Platinum competition.  

An incredible duel between McKay Snow in the Snow Racing No. 63 of Wright Motorsports and the No. 49 Forto Strong Coffee car of Sebastian Landy and Alex Job Racing lasted the duration of the race, with plenty of lead changes and clean passing. Landy ultimately overtook both competitors and settled into fourth overall, with Imperato rounding out the Top-5. 

Local hero Jeff Mosing in the No. 01 TOPP Racing/Mosing Motorcars entry finished his two-race sweep with another Platinum Masters victory in front of the hometown crowd. 

But the category that awards drivers 45 years of age and older for their racecraft, proved that they were certainly not lacking, as Mark Kvamme of JDX Racing made a bold move in his No. 43 car to gain four positions on the very first lap and fall into step with Mosing. 

The No. 80 of Tom Haacker and Kelly-Moss Road and race steadily gained ground to hold onto his third in class position, until the No. 56 of David Baker and TOPP Racing/Apex Capital Corporation swept under both competitors on Lap 15 to seal his fate as second-place Platinum Master. Kvamme was relegated to third in class when the checkered flag dropped.  

Victor Gomez IV in the No. 25 of NGT Motorsport/Mapfre faced a false start penalty at the beginning of the race and had to serve a drive-through penalty, leaving the door open for David Ducote in his No. 6 Kelly-Moss Road and Race entry to cruise to an uncontested Gold Cup Victory. 

Fred Kaimer of NGT Motorsport/Race Deck and Kurt Fazekas of Kelly-Moss Road and Race rounded out the Gold podium, with Kaimer taking the Yokohama Hard Charger Award for gaining the most positions throughout the race in the Gold category. It is the tire manufacturer’s ninth consecutive season as the official tire provider and presenting sponsor of the series.

Next Event:

The next stop on the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama series calendar is in the Northeast on June 28 – July 2 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. as part of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen in conjunction with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Follow IMSA on Facebook and @IMSA on Twitter with the hashtag #GT3USA for updates on the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.