in First Half Of Watkins Glen Doubleheader
Two days ago, 18-year-old Canadian racer Roman De Angelis graduated with honors from high school.
He’s well on his way to graduating from the 2019 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama with honors also. In Friday’s 45-minute race at Watkins Glen International, De Angelis drove the No. 79 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine to his seventh victory in eight races this season.
De Angelis led every practice session prior to qualifying Friday morning, where he took his sixth pole position in seven tries. He briefly surrendered the lead to Max Root in the No. 7 Wright Motorsport Porsche coming out of Turn 1 on the first lap, but a couple of turns later, Root was collected by Riley Dickinson in the No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche.
The contact sent both the Nos. 7 and 53 cars off course and returned De Angelis to the lead. He would not be challenged the rest of the way en route to a 17.755-second victory over Jeff Kingsley in the No. 3 JDX Racing Porsche. The win enabled De Angelis to extend his lead to 49 points, 242-193, over Kingsley in the point standings for the Platinum Cup class for 911 GT3 Cup cars built between 2017 and 2019.
“I think I made a bit of a mistake on my own on the start, I’m kind of bummed about that, but obviously Max made a really good move,” said De Angelis of the early-race action. “I was pretty impressed by that. Then, going into the bus stop, I saw Riley on the outside. He missed his braking point, I think, by a lot, but I didn’t see him collecting Max, so I was able to take advantage of that and pull through and pull forward.
“Just an awesome car by Kelly-Moss again. With this heat and the abrasion, the Yokohama held up for us. It was a pretty crazy race.”
Kingsley, a veteran of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama competing in the U.S. series for the first time this season, scored the first podium result of his GT3 Cup Challenge USA career. After racing another JDX car earlier this season, Kingsley has moved into the team’s No. 3 Porsche starting this weekend, as Parker Thompson left the team due to unforeseen circumstances.
Root recovered from the opening-lap incident with Dickinson – who served a drive-through penalty for incident responsibility – to finish third in the No. 7 Wright Motorsports Porsche. Root also was involved in a later incident with Sean McAlister in the No. 11 JDX Racing Porsche, for which McAlister also received a drive-through for incident responsibility.
Driving the No. 68 Topp Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine, Jeff Mosing finished fourth overall and won the Platinum Masters class for drivers 45 years of age and over. It was Mosing’s first GT3 Cup Challenge USA event since winning the Platinum Masters class in both races at Road America in 2017. Mosing was injured in a heavy GT3 Cup Challenge USA crash at Watkins Glen earlier that year.
“I can’t tell you how much it means to me,” Mosing said. “It’s something else. My old car, Trixie, came up for sale, I talked to (Topp Racing Founder/President) Todd Oppermann and said, ‘Hey, let’s fire up the band again.’ This was the place to do it.
“I’m so glad to be back in the series. I’m really impressed. The Yokohamas never fail, even in the 90 degree heat today. It was me having to manage the brake bias, and I finally got it figured out. I was able gap Metni and Poordad and let them battle it out. It was just a nice ride in the park, I guess you’d say.”
Platinum Masters points leader Alan Metni finished second in class and fifth overall in the No. 99 AM Motorsports/Kelly-Moss Porsche. Metni got around Masters polesitter Fred Poordad in the No. 20 Wright Motorsports entry late in the race to get the position. Metni now leads Poordad by 14 points, 218-204, in the Platinum Masters standings with seven of 16 races on the season now complete.
David Brule won the Yokohama Hard Charger Award in the No. 48 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche as the driver who gained the most overall positions from start to finish in the Platinum Cup class in Race 1. Brule finished 16th overall after starting 22nd.
In the Gold Cup class for 911 GT3 Cup cars built between 2014 and 2016, Sebastian Carazo picked up his fifth victory in seven tries this season aboard the No. 25 NGT Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine. Carazo started the race from the class pole position and faced down a midrace challenge from Rob Ferriol in the No. 5 Moorespeed Porsche to win the race.
“It was a great race, a very clean race,” Carazo said. “I had some slow traffic at the beginning of the race. Once I could get by them, it was put my head down, finish the race and then have some fun. I’m really excited to win this race. This was a baptism by fire last time I was here (in 2018). I really wanted to win this race and the next one. It’s good for the points, but it’s great for me for how I feel.”
Carazo now leads Kurt Fazekas by 19 points, 237-218, in the Gold Cup standings. Fazekas finished second in Gold Cup in the No. 52 Kelly-Moss Road and Race machine, with Ferriol coming home third.