It was a clear Sunday morning for sports car fans at Road America, but teams and drivers in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama experienced a chaotic Race 2 to wrap up the weekend’s doubleheader in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
A full-course caution on Lap 1 as the 45-minute race started was followed by several more, including a yellow with less than four minutes remaining that ended the race. With that, the checkered flag came the end of the second and final joint weekend of the season for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series.
Roman De Angelis in the No. 79 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car paced the field for the duration of the race, leading flag-to-flag for another weekend sweep of 2019 after winning Race 1 on Saturday.
The 18-year-old from Belle River, Ontario, earned points towards both championships, swelling his lead in the USA title hunt to 68 points over Max Root and by 59 points over Jeff Kingsley in the Canadian championship.
“I’m kind of disappointed with the way the weekend was, not for our performances, but racing wise,” said De Angelis. “As you guys all saw, there was a lot of chaos. I come here to race. I like racing, I like battling with people, I like passing, defending. None of that could really happen with all these restarts and yellow periods.”
While De Angelis was still pleased with the victory, he was thrilled for his teammate Alan Metni in the No. 99 Porsche, who scored his first overall podium finish in GT3 Cup Challenge competition and won the Platinum Masters class in both the USA and Canada championships. Metni finished second overall.
“I really just can’t congratulate Alan Metni enough,” said De Angelis. “Second overall and after the struggles and ups-and-downs over the last three years is pretty impressive. Not only to do it, but to do it and give me a run for my money – which I’m pushing pretty hard out there – so that’s pretty cool.”
“Like I said yesterday, I’m the luckiest guy I know,” said Metni, who on Saturday finished a then-career best finish of fourth. “I can’t believe I get to do this. I can’t believe all the wonderful people who are so focused on doing this and doing it better each and every time they come out that make this all work.
“I’m just really proud of my team and happy to be here. I always used to say, ‘The race is won in the practice,” and our little team is the hardest-training, hardest-practicing team out there. My guys gave me a great car today. Not just today, but every day that we train so I’ve got to thank them.”
Rounding out the overall GT3 Cup Challenge USA Platinum class podium was Root in the No. 7 Wright Motorsports Porsche, besting his finish of seventh on Saturday.
Finishing second and third, respectively, in the GT3 Cup Challenge USA Platinum Masters class were Jeff Mosing in the No. 68 Topp Racing Porsche and Charlie Luck in the No. 45 Porsche for Wright Motorsports.
In the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Platinum class, rookie Ethan Simioni in the No. 40 Policaro Motorsport Porsche repeated his best career finish of third, which he now has recorded three times all at joint GT3 Cup Challenge events.
Behind Metni in the Canadian Platinum Masters class were the No. 88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche of Marco Cirone in second and the No. 37 TPC Racing Porsche of Michael Levitas in third.
Meanwhile in the GT3 Cup Challenge USA Gold class, Sebastian Carazo won his seventh race of the season in the No. 27 Porsche for NGT Motorsport.
“It was a very accidental race, if you can say that,” said Carazo. “There was a lot of accidents during the race, so it was basically stay safe, get a good restart done and try to get a good distance from Rob Ferriol, who was behind me the entire race.”
Ferriol – who won Saturday’s Race 1 at Road America – finished just 1.414 seconds behind Carazo for a runner-up finish in the No. 5 Moorespeed Porsche. He now sits second in the championship standings, 41 points behind Carazo.
Bart Collins earned two trophies on Sunday in the No. 22 MCR Racing Porsche – a third-place Gold class podium trophy and a Yokohama Tire Hard Charger Award, gaining the most positions by a Gold class competitor after starting last and jumping to third.
In GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, it was back-to-back Yokohama Tire Hard Charger Awards for Michael Fantin in the No. 14 Engineered Automotive Porsche who finished eighth in the Canadian Platinum class.
The GT3 Cup Challenge races from Road America will air on NBCSN on Thursday, August 15 at 2 p.m. ET.
Up next for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama is a doubleheader at VIRginia International Speedway on August 23-25. Tickets are available at www.virnow.com.
Two races remain for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, with the season finale held at Mont Tremblant on September 27-29. Tickets are available at www.lecircuit.com.