Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA VIRginia International Raceway Sunday Notebook
Sunday, August 27, 2017

They say home is where the heart is, and for Sebastian Landy, his heart and his right foot were clearly at home at VIRginia International Raceway as he completed a two-race sweep Sunday morning to take his second Platinum Cup victory of the weekend on the 3.27-mile, 17-turn cruise through the rolling hills of Alton, Virginia.

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama driver from Great Falls, Virginia claims VIR as his home track, and was thrilled to once again see the top step of the overall and Platinum Cup podium in his No. 49 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry for Alex Job Racing and Forto Strong Coffee.

But the Sunday morning drive was not without mishap for some of the series competitors, who mixed up the action and the finishing order as the race progressed.

While Landy ultimately took home the victory, it was Trenton Estep in the No. 3 JDX/Hertz Racing entry who came tantalizingly close to his second win of the season, only to falter due to issues with a rear tire. 

Estep, who started third behind Pole Sitter McKay Snow and Anthony Imperato gained immediate ground on Lap 1, taking advantage over the No. 91 of Imperato with Wright Motorsports and Henry Repeating Arms to move smoothly up to second-place in class. Estep held his ground and patiently began to reel in the No. 63 of Snow with Wright Motorsports and Snow Racing.

Snow faltered and spun off-track on Lap 11, dropping seven positions and conceding the lead to Estep, who proceeded to grow a strong gap on Landy and the No. 24 of Jake Eidson for Kelly-Moss Road and Race.

And while it looked like smooth sailing for Estep, a rear tire going down just five minutes before the end of the 45-minute sprint race ended his day early, giving the advantage over to Landy.

Eidson had a brilliant, smooth drive throughout the race, but he didn’t have enough juice to catch Landy in the last few minutes, and was relegated to a second-place finish in Platinum and overall.

Just behind Eidson, the Moorespeed duo of Corey Fergus in the No. 00 entry and the No. 19 of Will Hardeman enjoyed a spirited race of teammates, running nearly neck-and-neck throughout the sprint. The pair started in sixth and eighth respectively and benefited from the attrition up front, progressing up the timing chart, all the while challenging each other’s race craft until the checkered flag.

Fergus led Hardeman on a merry chase, and eventually captured the third-place finish and valuable points toward the class championship. Hardeman settled for fourth with Snow recovering to round out the top five overall positions.

In his usual display of speed and maturity, 16-year-old Roman De Angelis earned some redemption from his Saturday off-track adventure and cut a path through Platinum traffic to earn the Gold Cup victory and finish sixth overall. He has already clinched the Canadian GT3 Cup Challenge Gold Championship and is well on his way to repeating that result in the United States.

He had a fierce battle, as he normally does, with the No. 56 Platinum Masters entry of David Baker and TOPP Racing. The two ran in tandem for the majority of the race, with Baker finishing just behind the younger driver in seventh place overall, taking his second Masters victory of the weekend.

Yesterday’s Gold winner, Victor Gomez IV in the No. 25 entry for NGT Motorsport/Mapfre/Porsche Center of Puerto Rico locked in behind Baker and tried to catch De Angelis for the class lead, but was unable to catch the pair, finishing second in Gold, just ahead of  teammate and rival Fred Kaimer in the No. 23 for NGT Motorsport.

The two have a great friendly rivalry and battled cleanly with Platinum traffic, but it was the No. 42 of Bill Smith for TOPP Racing and Kung-Fu Saloon that gained the most positions, a total of four, to win the Yokohama Hard Charger Award.

Mark Kvamme, who was awarded that honor in the Platinum category Saturday, kept his forward momentum and once again took home second place honors behind Baker in Platinum Masters.

Coming up next for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama competitors are Rounds 13 and 14 at Sonoma Raceway in support of the IndyCar Series in Sonoma, California, Sept. 15 - 17.

Delayed television coverage will be provided on major network affiliates in numerous U.S. markets by Sinclair Broadcast Group on Sept. 16, 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, visit www.imsa.com, and follow hashtags #GT3USA and @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.