Van Berlo, Thompson, Estep and Dickinson compete for professional award
List of participants (click here)
BRAZELTON, Georgia – The 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup North America season, represented by the Cayman Islands, concludes this week with Stages 15 and 16 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, and the single-brand race streak has grown significantly in all areas in its second season.
This continued success includes racing on the track with 35 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars. Championships in three classes and titles of participants have not yet been determined, as training began on Wednesday. The 2.54-mile, 12-turn track with long straights, tight turns, technical corners and elevation changes, built through Georgia red clay northeast of Atlanta, hosts the last two 40-minute races of the series’ second year. With four riders capable of winning the title in the Pro class, two in the Pro-Am category and three in the Am class. will arrive this weekend.
Seven months ago, in the second year of the main racing series Sebring International Raceway, the first racing series opened. It will close this weekend. During this time, 47 riders took part in at least one of the races. Twelve riders have at least one race win in their class.
Al Holbert Cup
Friday is historically significant for Porsche in North America. He will see not only the coronation of champions in each class of the Porsche Carrera Cup, but also the presentation of the Al Holbert Cup to the absolute champion of the series. The Al Holbert Cup recognizes Holbert’s commitment, inspiration and leadership in shaping and organizing Porsche motorsport in North America. The silver cup bearing his name was created as a timeless and traditional trophy to commemorate every Pro class champion in the Porsche Carrera Cup in North America starting this first season of 2021.
To make the award even more poignant, it will be presented on the same day that the affable leader died in a plane crash in 1988, 34 years ago, on September 30th.
Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich debuts in North America
Porsche Carrera Cup North America’s top pro-class talent will see first-hand what rivals they can face at the top of the international ladder of one Porsche manufacturer, the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, at Road Atlanta. Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich will drive the No. 12 Porsche 311RS Motorsport this weekend. Having recently finished the Super Bowl season with a third place in the championship, Heinrich, who received the title of Porsche Junior in December 2021, will compete in a special Invitational class. Like NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon at the last two Porsche Sports Car Together Fest earlier this month, Heinrich will be eligible for a Pro class podium but will not be eligible for championship points.
Fifteen, nearly half of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars on display this weekend are in the Pro class. Intense competition at the sharp end of the field has general implications for the championship.
Kay van Berlo, who finished second in the Pro class last year, has a total of six wins in 2022, the most in the class, driving the No. 3 Porsche Kelly Moss. He has three more podiums, seven pole positions and seven the fastest laps in racing.
But with four wins, three pole positions and one fastest lap, Parker Thompson (No. 9 JDX Racing) is only 11 points behind van Berlo. Forty points from the leader – Trenton Estep (#6 MDK Motorsports). Riley Dickinson (No. 53 Kelly Moss) is the latest driver to stand a chance of winning the title, 47 points behind van Berlo.
Repeating an exciting battle until the final turn of the 2021 season, Kelly Moss teammates Alan Metney (No. 99) and Efrin Castro (No. 65) are once again the latest contenders for the Pro-Am title. Last year, Castro, then playing for another team, attacked Metney at the end of the season. The two are in the last two races of this season with Metney leading with 14 points.
Technically, Marco Sirone (No. 84 in Mark Motors Racing) is not a champion, but he could win the 13-car Pro-Am class for riders aged 36 to 57.
Midway through the season, everyone thought Mark Kvamme (MDK Motorsports No. 43) would walk away with the Am championship. However, the nine-time race winner missed the rounds in Toronto, leaving John Goetz (No. 57 at Wright Motorsports) and Bill Smith (No. 42 at Topp Racing) to close the gap in the class for riders aged 57 and over.
Entering the final race weekend, Kvamme leads Goetz by 16 points and Smith by 58 points. They are the only drivers with a chance of winning the Am championship in the seven-car class.
Of the possible 42 class wins for Kelly Moss, 17 belong to van Berlo, Dickinson, Metney and Castro. JDX Racing has four victories and is 35 points behind the 2021 champions. With three wins, MDK Motorsports is 38 points behind the lead. Points are awarded only for the highest placed team car in the overall standings, regardless of class.
Where to see
Races are scheduled for 5:00 pm ET Thursday and 10:55 am Friday. Both will be broadcast live on IMSA.com/TVLive with IMSA Radio commentary.