Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA Road America Sunday Notebook
Sunday, August 6, 2017

It was a fairy tale ending for Corey Fergus Sunday at Road America. As the checkered flag dropped on the second 45-minute sprint race in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama competition for the weekend, it heralded another victory for the No. 00 Moorespeed/US LED/Byers Imports driver, making it a clean sweep in front of family, friends and partners.

The Platinum Cup competition is always steep, and never infallible, as proven by all the different drivers that have swapped out for the top step of Victory Podium each weekend. Sunday brought Fergus his third series win in 2017 and his continuing hope to make his place on that step a more permanent position.

But it wasn’t smooth sailing on the 4.048-mile, 14-Turn winding road course, the longest track on the series schedule, as pressure from the No. 24 of Jake Eidson in the Kelly-Moss Road and Race entry dogged his footsteps, looking for an opening throughout the entire race.

Starting in fourth position on the grid, Eidson made quick work of moving up in position at the drop of the green, overtaking the No. 49 of Sebastian Landy and the No. 63 of McKay Snow to move into second place by Lap 2. At the beginning of Lap 3, he made a dramatic move to overtake Fergus for the lead, but IMSA officials ruled that he was in violation of track limits and he was forced to surrender the lead. Eidson kept a very narrow gap on Fergus throughout the rest of competition, but was unable to challenge thereafter, and finished second in his 911 GT3 Cup Platinum entry.

And while Snow in his Wright Motorsports/Snow Racing entry and Landy in his Alex Job Racing/Forto Strong Coffee car were shuffled back to third and fourth place respectively, they were far from being counted out, as the two began a heated battle for position, running side-by-side several times looking to gain or keep the advantage.

It was a mechanical issue that Snow ultimately succumbed to, as a brake light issue forced him to pit for repairs and take him out of contention on Lap 11. He was able to make repairs and rejoin the race, but he surrendered his position to Landy, who firmly held on to it to take third place.

The Masters Classmen decided that it should be a drag race to the finish, rather than a gentlemanly sports car sprint. Jeff Mosing in the No. 01 TOPP Racing/Mosing Motorcars entry and his TOPP teammate David Baker in the No. 56 Apex Capital Corp car enjoyed a thrilling race, with a lot of close quarters. The two ran in lockstep throughout the race, pushing each other hard with class points leader Baker holding onto the lead by strength of will.

Hard charging Mosing stuck himself to Baker’s bumper like glue until the very last lap of the race, when Baker made a slight bobble on the last turn on the last lap, giving Mosing the advantage and the victory, with Baker crossing the line in second-place. The two friends were still thrilled at the outcome, and gave the most spirited performance on the podium yet seen in series competition.

Mark Kvamme in the No. 43 JDX Racing entry started the race in 15th position, and saw immediate gains on Lap 1 as he moved up to 13th, but a wobble off track saw him lose positions and he ended his day just one lap back, but in third place in Platinum Masters.

And with perfect weather conditions, and not a single full-course caution event of the race, Gold Cup points challenger Roman De Angelis resumed his winning streak. The No. 78 entry for Bestline Auto/Mark Motors ran a flawless race, making up for dealing with his mechanical issues from Saturday’s sprint.

Starting in ninth position overall, the young driver kept his race craft consistent and steadily gained two positions throughout the race, taking the Gold Cup victory for cars from years 2014 – 2016.

As always, it was a party behind him, with Kurt Fazekas in his No. 52 entry for Kelly-Moss Road and Race setting the pace for the rest of the Gold Class. But on Lap 3, a quick spin off track pushed him down the field to lose position to the No. 45 entry of Charlie Luck of Wright Motorsports.

Luck’s outlook was bright, until the storm that was Fred Kaimer in the No. 23 NGT Motorsport/Race Deck entry swirled up behind him and the pressure was on.

Kaimer, who started in 20th position was supremely motivated Sunday and proceeded to crowd Luck’s mirrors, taking his opportunity on Lap 9, moving into second place in class. But he wasn’t quite finished with taking home second place. His hard charging ways and ultimate 11th place finish overall earned him the Yokohama Hard Charger Award for improving the most positions in Gold Cup competition.

Kaimer’s teammate Victor Gomez IV in the No. 25 NGT Motorsport/Mapfre/Porsche Center of Puerto Rico entry had trouble on the race start, dropping back from his 13th place starting position, but like Kaimer, he put on the speed and deftly navigated Gold traffic to move up through the field, ultimately overtaking Luck on Lap 15 and sealing his third-place finish.

A very special checkered flag signified the end of competition for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama at scenic Road America Sunday. In celebration of Jens Walther’s last IMSA race, teams, drivers and officials signed an honorary checkered flag for the president and CEO of Porsche Motorsport North America and presented it to him on the podium in honor of his departure from his current role.

Walther will be succeeded by Dr. Daniel Armbruster, beginning Sept. 1, who was also in attendance for his first IMSA race weekend and the presentation. Armbruster enjoyed his first Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge experience Sunday by giving the command to start engines, and waving the Green Flag for Round 2 of series competition.

Next on the schedule for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama are Rounds 11 and 12 at the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR, at VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia, Aug. 25 - 27.

Delayed television coverage will be provided on major network affiliates in numerous U.S. markets by Sinclair Broadcast Group July 15, and the broadcast will be available on YouTube 24 hours after it airs on television.

For more information about Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, visit www.imsa.com, and follow hashtags #GT3USA and #GT3CAN @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.