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One Man Will Have Raced in All Seven IMSA Series By The End of This Weekend – Meet Mark Kvamme

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When he races in the Mazda MX-5 Cup, he will compete in all IMSA series and current classes.

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Mark Robinson

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BRAZELTON, Georgia – Mark Kvamme catches up in a sports car… Any Sports car. This weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, the 61-year-old will put the final tick mark required to race in every class available in all seven IMSA-sanctioned series.

Considering he didn’t even start what became this quest until he became a gentleman driver in 2014, the feat is all the more astonishing. Kvamme has since raced the car currently used in all classes of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, both classes of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, IMSA Prototype Challenge, Ferrari Challenge North America, Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America and Porsche Carrera Cup North America.

The latest series for Columbus, Ohio is the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires. This weekend he will take part in this doubleheader.

“I got carried away and I love it,” Kvamme said of IMSA racing, “and the series is so well done.”

The journey began with Kvamme’s dream of racing the Rolex 24 At Daytona. He used to be a motocross and off-road racer and in 2014 Muehlner Motorsports had the opportunity to do so in a Porsche GT Daytona (GTD) class, the first of five GTD races for him this season.

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The following year, Kvamme found his way into the Daytona Prototype owned by Columbus’ friend Rob Gerwitz in a Rolex 24 and raced the entire Ferrari Challenge season. Next up in 2016 was a full WeatherTech championship campaign in the Prototype Challenge class, where future star Renger van der Zande was a Starworks teammate.

The next year was a turning point for Kvamme. “I started to get better, started taking it more seriously and racing more,” he said of his 2017 campaign.

It paid off. Racing for BAR1 Motorsports, with a line-up featuring 2004 Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice, took the Rolex 24 podium in the Prototype Challenge class.

In addition to racing the Porsche GT3 Challenge Cup USA (precursor to the Porsche Carrera Cup) from 2017 to 2019, Kvamme added the WeatherTech Championship Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) and Michelin Pilot Challenge Touring Car (TCR) classes to his resume.

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Kvamme truly spread his racing wings in 2021, driving a Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) in the WeatherTech Championship, a Mercedes-AMG in the Grand Sport (GS) Michelin Pilot Challenge and winning the co-driver LB Cup championship. Terry Olson in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo.

This year, Kvamme leads the Porsche Carrera Cup Am class (with nine wins) ahead of the final weekend and added an IMSA Prototype Challenge start in addition to the WeatherTech Championship LMP3 and Michelin Pilot Challenge GS appearances. He fulfilled another dream by racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, teaming up with van der Sande in a Ferrari 488 GTE that was to be the equivalent of the former GT Le Mans (GTLM) class in the WeatherTech championship.

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“The Le Mans races and the Le Mans finish with Renger were incredibly believable!” Kwame said. “It was amazing. It was incredible in the IMSA paddock to finish third at Daytona (in 2017). To finish third at Watkins Glen (in 2016 with Maro Engel) was a big achievement. To be honest, to win the LB Cup last year with Terry had a lot of fun.”

Aside from special results, Kvamme said he really enjoyed racing with co-drivers including van der Zande, Engel, Felix Rosenquist, Randy Pobst and Earl Bamber, who was his teammate when Kvamme debuted in 2014.

“I will never forget looking at data with Earl and I literally thought he was speaking a foreign language,” Kvamme said with a shy laugh. “Had no idea.”

With the addition of the MX-5 Cup to his roster this weekend, Kwamme has no intention of slowing down. He founded his own team (MDK Motorsports) in the Porsche Carrera Cup this year and plans to expand it to the WeatherTech GTD championship in 2023.

“Looking at all this, I said to myself: “You know, there are many great teams, but I think that for a gentleman racer, I would like to do something different,” he said. “That’s why I decided to create our team.”

If he starts in the January 24 Rolex, it will be Kwamme’s 10th consecutive year in the iconic race.

“What’s really fun is that next year I’ll be 10th,” he said, “with my team in my car.”

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Source: www.imsa.com

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