Kelly-Moss Sonoma Bound

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

With the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama entering the home stretch, Kelly-Moss Road and Race (KMR) has entered five cars in the penultimate event, racing Saturday and Sunday at Sonoma Raceway.

Rounds 13 and 14 on the 12-turn, 2.385-mile circuit in the heart of California wine country will be joined by the Verizon IndyCar Series, Vintage Trans-Am and Formula Car Challenge. The Sonoma visit could play a key role in the championship battles, as just the season finale at Road Atlanta on Oct. 11-12 remains on the 2018 schedule.

Last year at the wine country track, KMR claimed two overall wins with eventual champion Jake Eidson and will target another big weekend with its strong line-up. 

Roman De Angelis, driver of the No. 1 Porsche sponsored by Racing for Children’s MTP and Fortis Porsche, enters the event in contention for the championship in the Platinum Cup class, which showcases the latest-generation 2017-18 Porsche GT3 Cup car. De Angelis trails leader Trenton Estep by 24 points, 378-354. 

The 17-year-old resident of Belle River, Ontario, has seven podium finishes this season, including victories at Barber Motorsports Park and Watkins Glen International. The visit to Sonoma won’t require orientation for De Angelis, as he raced in the 2017 Sonoma GT3 Cup event, winning the Gold class.

In the Platinum Cup Masters Class, Alan Metni of Austin is second in the standings. Metni, driver of the No. 99 iFly AM Motorsports Porsche, trails leader Charlie Luck by 13 points, 358-345. Metni won at Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen among six podium finishes in the class this season.

Scott Welham of Louisville, Kentucky will return to race action at Road Atlanta after being crashed out of the opening race at Road America. 

Kelly-Moss Road and Race also fields two cars in the Gold Cup class, which features cars from model years 2014-16.

Greg Palmer is coming off his first podium finish of the season, taking third in the second round at VIR, with the driver of the No. 44 Porsche also earning the Yokohama Hard Charger Award for improving the most overall positions in the event.

While battling for the lead in the closing laps of the opening race at VIR, Kurt Fazekas of Indianapolis saw his No. 52 Porsche suffer damage in an incident and forced him to sit out Sunday’s race. 

A three-time winner among eight podium finishes in 2017 competition, Fazekas is fourth in the Gold Cup Class standings, one position ahead of Palmer. Fazekas is eager to chase another big win after suffering his race-ending accident at VIR as he looks to make up championship ground in the final 4 races of the year. 

Kelly-Moss Road and Race will look to move up from second in both the Platinum and Gold Cup Team standings with big results this weekend. 

“It is always a fun event to be out at Sonoma as part of the IndyCar event, and KMR has had some very good weekends here in the past,” said team owner Jeff Stone. “Hopefully we can do that again and make up some ground championship-wise to be in a stronger position when we get down to Atlanta. It was great to see Greg (Palmer) get his first podium last time out. All of our guys have made so much progress this year, it has been awesome to see and we just want to keep that going this weekend.”

The weekend schedule opens with a pair of practice sessions on Friday, at 9:20 a.m. and 12:35 p.m. (all times PT). Qualifying is on Saturday at 9:45 a.m., followed by the opening 45-minute race at 1:15 p.m. Race two, also one hour, is at 12:15 p.m. on Sunday. The Sunday race will be streamed live on IMSA.tv, beginning at 3:20 p.m. ET.

The series wraps up the season during the Motul Petit Le Mans weekend at Road Atlanta, with races on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 11-12.

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