Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Platinum Cup points leader Trenton Estep picked up his fourth victory of the 2018 season in Sunday’s second race of a weekend doubleheader at Sonoma Raceway following a post-race penalty assessed to the No. 19 Moorespeed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine driven by Zacharie Robichon.
Robichon started the race from the pole position and led every lap, but post-race technical inspection revealed that the rear camber of the No. 19 car exceeded the maximum permitted value. As a result, the No. 19 was moved to last in the results and Estep’s No. 3 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine was promoted to the victory.
It was Estep’s 13th podium result in 14 races this season and he continues to lead the championship standings in the Platinum Cup class for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars built in 2017 and 2018. He now leads Roman De Angelis by 31 points, 443-412, heading into the season-ending doubleheader at Road Atlanta as part of Motul Petit Le Mans race week on Oct. 11-13.
De Angelis wound up second on Sunday in the No. 1 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine. It was his eighth podium result of the season. German driver David Kolkmann took the final spot on the podium with a third-place result in the No. 71 Park Place Motorsports Porsche.
In the Platinum Masters class for drivers 45 years of age and older, David Baker picked up his first victory of the season in the No. 56 Topp Racing Porsche. Baker took the lead with 20 minutes remaining when leader Alan Metni, Saturday’s class winner, spun in Turn 9. It was Baker’s first Platinum Masters win since the 2017 season finale at Road Atlanta.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been in first place,” Baker said. “We kind of missed on our setup earlier in Race #1, but we absolutely nailed it today. Some of my competitors made a few mistakes and we were there to capitalize on it. I want to thank the folks at Topp Racing. They gave me a great car today.”
Fred Poordad came home second in Platinum Masters in the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche and Mark Kvamme completed the class podium with a third-place run in the No. 43 JDX Racing machine. Luck, who was not injured in the opening-lap incident in the No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche, continues to lead the Platinum Masters point standings by six, 414-408, over Metni, who wound up fourth in class in the No. 99 AM Motorsports/Kelly-Moss machine.
In Gold Cup action for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars built between 2014 and 2016, Victor Gomez IV picked up his 10th victory of the season in the No. 25 NGT Motorsport entry, but it was anything but a cakewalk on Sunday. Gomez dropped back a few positions on the opening lap before battling back to score the win.
In the process, Gomez also earned the Yokohama Hard Charger Award, which went to the driver in the Gold Cup class who gained the most positions from start to finish in Race #2. Gomez finished eighth overall after starting 12th.
He now holds a commanding, 53-point lead, 467-414, over Rob Ferriol in the Gold Cup standings with two races remaining.
“It was definitely one of the most eventful races I’ve had,” Gomez said. “It was a crazy start. I qualified first for the race, and somehow Kurt (Fazekas) and Bill (Smith) jumped the start from me. I had to take it and then fight back really hard. On the restart, I could pass Bill and then did a really sweet pass on Kurt. Props to him for giving me a clean pass.
“I’m just really thankful for all my sponsors. NGT gave me a great car. I felt good until the long run. I’m looking forward to the last two rounds at Road Atlanta.”