Lazare Cruises To Weekend Sweep At VIR
Sunday, August 28, 2016

DANVILLE, Va. (Aug. 28, 2016) – Jesse Lazare has found an even higher gear during the late summer while dominating the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.

Lazare, from Montreal, cruised to his ninth victory of the season in a dominant performance Sunday at VIRginia International Raceway in Round 12 of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Single-Make Series. He swept the two-race weekend and earned his fourth consecutive victory in the No. 21 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche, beating Lucas Catania to the finish by 13.761 seconds.                                                           

The margin of victory was the largest of the season for Lazare.

“At the beginning of the year, we started fresh,” Lazare said. “We had a great season last year, but we had a new car this year. We have to learn everything. We just keep hitting on the last 50 percent of the race; the car feels like it’s on rails. That’s really the difference.

“I know I have to push super hard at the beginning so I can be really good for the last half of the race. I’ve been doing that every race since, and it’s been working great.”

Catania, from Cazenovia, New York, earned his seventh podium finish of the season in the No. 26 NGT Motorsport Porsche. Andrew Longe, from Naples, Florida, earned his second podium finish of the weekend and fifth of the season by finishing third in the No. 47 Wright Motorsports Porsche.

Ricardo Perez, from Mexico City, finished fourth in the No. 02 JDX Motorsports Porsche for his best result since early July at Watkins Glen. Jeff Mosing, from Austin, Texas, finished fifth and completed a weekend sweep of the Platinum Masters class in the No. 01 TOPP Racing Porsche.

Michael de Quesada, from Tampa, Florida, won the Gold Cup class in the No. 31 Alegra Motorsports Porsche. Sebastian Landy, from Great Falls, Virginia, crossed the line first in the class in the No. 49 TPC Racing Porsche but was excluded from the race for a post-race technical infraction.

Unlike Round 11 on Saturday, Lazare led from start to finish today in the 45-minute race. He gradually pulled away from the No. 63 Wright Motorsports Porsche driven by McKay Snow on the start and on a restart after an early caution.

Catania passed Snow for second with an inside move into Turn 1 with 31 minutes remaining. Catania, who spun off on the final lap Saturday pursuing Lazare, again set sail for his rival. He pulled to within .519 seconds with about 25 minutes remaining.

But then Lazare inexorably pulled away, building a gap of 4.478 seconds with 11 minutes remaining.

“I was definitely pushing hard to get Jesse,” Catania said. “I think we had a good fight in the beginning, and then I just started pushing too hard. It got pretty greasy out there. Traffic started to come into play a little bit. I didn’t get the balance I wanted toward the end, and I had a bobble.”

Lazare was able to ease into cruise control with six minutes remaining when Catania spun off track in Turn 11 and made light contact with the tire wall. He returned to the track just in front of Longe, who earlier passed Snow for third.

Catania and Longe then engaged in a tough fight over the final laps for second. Longe ended up just .855 of a second short of Catania at the finish.

“I thought we had it for a little bit,” Longe said. “But just not enough. I’m happy the car is in one piece. Two podiums this weekend, can’t ask for more than that.”

Lazare padded his points lead over Longe to 213-178. Catania is third with 173.

“Every time I’ve been I’ve been with Kelly-Moss and have gotten into the Porsche, it felt absolutely amazing,” Lazare said. “Even when I don’t win, the car feels great. But I just do my best every time, stay out of trouble, try to hit my marks every lap, and it’s been working out great.”

Platinum Masters

2015 Gold Cup and Gold Masters champion Mosing prevailed in a terrific duel with Fred Poordad to grab his eighth class victory of the season.

Poordad, from San Antonio, Texas, finished .782 of a second behind Mosing in the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche. Joe Catania, from Cazenovia, New York, placed third in the No. 24 NGT Motorsport Porsche for his first podium finish of the season.

Mosing started from the class pole. But Poordad passed him entering Turn 1 on the only restart of the race, with 36 minutes remaining.

The duel intensified between the friendly Texas rivals over closing laps. Poordad led Mosing by .9 of a second with 13 minutes remaining, but Mosing pulled right up to the rear bumper of Poordad’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car just three minutes later.

“Initially, I started to fall back a bit,” Mosing said. “I was fighting a bit of push in the car. But as I burned off fuel, the car started coming in a little better, so that’s why I was able to start making a march on those guys toward the end of the race

“I was kind of glad that it stayed these long greens. I tend to conserve the Yokohamas a little bit better for the fight at the end but still try to maintain pace.”

Poordad then built the gap to .9 of a second with eight minutes left. But Mosing once again pulled close and made a decisive pass of Poordad in Turn 12 with four minutes remaining.

“I just tried to assess where he was stronger than me, and I was trying to really make up points where I was stronger than him,” Mosing said. “We knew that from looking at data earlier in the week. So I tried to focus on that, just really go after the spots where I’m better, try to make up time on him. He made a mistake coming out of Oak Tree, and I was able to get alongside him and leave him after that.

“I love racing Poordad. He’s a good gentleman racer. He gives you room for racing.”

Mosing expanded his Platinum Masters championship lead to 215-204 over Poordad with the victory.

Gold Cup

De Quesada’s path toward a first Gold Cup championship became more clear after his victory. He trailed Landy by one point, 187-186, entering this race but left VIR with a 206-190 lead over Michael Levitas in the standings.

This was the fifth victory of the season for De Quesada, whose last win came in early June at Montreal.

Series rookie Phil Bloom, from New York, earned his second runner-up finish of the weekend, tying his season-best result, in the No. 11 Wright Motorsports Porsche.

Levitas, from Baltimore, placed third in the No. 36 TPC Racing Porsche. He also earned the Yokohama Hard Charger Award for gaining the most positions during the race.

Up Next

Rounds 13 and 14 will take place Sept. 14-16 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Both races are 45 minutes each.

ROUND 12 POST-RACE QUOTES:

JESSE LAZARE (No. 21 Kelly-Moss Road and Race, winner): “At the beginning of the year, we started fresh. We had a great season last year, but we had a new car this year. We have to learn everything. We just keep hitting on the last 50 percent of the race; the car feels like it’s on rails. That’s really the difference. I know I have to push super hard at the beginning so I can be really good for the last half of the race. I’ve been doing that every race since, and it’s been working great.” (About confidence level): “Every time I’ve been I’ve been with Kelly-Moss and have gotten into the Porsche, it felt absolutely amazing. Even when I don’t win, the car feels great. But I just do my best every time, stay out of trouble, try to hit my marks every lap, and it’s been working out great.”

LUCAS CATANIA (No. 26 NGT Motorsport, second): “It was redemption, in a sense. I just tried to get a good finish. I was definitely pushing hard to get Jesse (Lazare). I think we had a good fight in the beginning, and then I just started pushing too hard, and the tires started falling off. It got pretty greasy out there. Traffic started to come into play a little bit. I didn’t get the balance I wanted toward the end, and I had a bobble. I hit the wall in the Oak Tree, so that was pretty crazy to still keep my position. Then I was fighting off (Andrew) toward the end. But it feels good to be back up here. NGT Motorsport was great through the whole weekend. My car was awesome. I think everyone did a good job with the heat. It was a good race, too.” (How do you settle yourself after going off track?): “First thing I did was evaluate the car, my temperatures and make sure I could keep going. As a hockey and lacrosse player, I just keep going until I really can’t. The car felt OK, so I put it out of my mind immediately and just kept doing what I was doing. I was able to keep the gap and kept pushing forward. I just tried to forget about it and keep going. I would like to thank New York Spine & Wellness Center and Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists.”

ANDREW LONGE (No. 47 Wright Motorsports, third): “I think we (Lucas Catania and Longe) were both running pretty quick. I think we (Longe) had the better long-run car, to be honest. But we just got held up in the beginning. He made a mistake toward the end, put it into the wall. I thought we had it for a little bit. But just not enough. I’m happy the car is in one piece. Two podiums this weekend, can’t ask for more than that.” (Is securing second place in the championship your goal?): “Yeah. We moved into second. Our goal for the rest of the season is to finish well and finish every race. If we do that and capitalize off our competitors’ mistakes, I think we have a shot at it.”

JEFF MOSING (No. 01 TOPP Racing, winner, Platinum Masters): “I love racing (Fred) Poordad. He’s a good gentleman racer. He gives you room for racing. Initially, I started to fall back a bit. I was fighting a bit of push in the car. But as I burned off fuel, the car started coming in a little better, so that’s why I was able to start making a march on those guys toward the end of the race. I was kind of glad that it stayed these long greens. I tend to conserve the Yokohamas a little bit better for the fight at the end but still try to maintain pace. Just a lot of fun out there. Had some good races with all the guys. Thanks again to Porsche Motorsport North America, IMSA, Yokohama and TOPP Racing.” (About closing laps versus Fred Poordad): “I just tried to assess where he was stronger than me, and I was trying to really make up points where I was stronger than him. We knew that from looking at data earlier in the week. So I tried to focus on that, just really go after the spots where I’m better, try to make up time on him. Once I was able to get close enough to I think get into his head a little bit, he started making a few mistakes. He made a mistake coming out of Oak Tree, and I was able to get alongside him and leave him after that."

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