Victory a Career First for Ferriol and Extends a Moorespeed Road America Win Streak While Teammate Riley Dickinson Takes Fifth in Platinum Cup
Moorespeed driver Rob Ferriol earned his first career IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama win on Saturday at Road America, moving from third on the grid to the top of the podium in the Gold Cup class in a 45-minute race. Teammate Riley Dickinson finished fifth in Platinum Cup and sixth overall.
Though the race was scheduled and ran for 45-minutes, the majority of the time was spent behind the pace car for a number of incidents with cars on the four-mile track, keeping Ferriol close but still in third place behind the other leaders.
When the race went back to green with just 12 minutes to go, Ferriol’s No. 5 Moorespeed/GridRival Porsche 911 GT3 Cup was in the thick of the battle for the lead. The two front runners came together just after the restart with Ferriol just steering clear of the melee. Narrowly avoiding one spinning car, Ferriol moved to the lead and then pulled away until the final full course caution came out and ultimately ended the race with six minutes to go.
Ferriol's first win is the fifth consecutive Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge win at Road America for Moorespeed, that swept the 2017 and 2018 doubleheaders overall with drivers Corey Fergus and Zacharie Robichon.
“We love coming to Road America as a team and have had a lot of success here over the years,” Moorespeed President David Moore said. “Rob did a great job today, putting himself close in position to take advantage of mistakes and capitalize for his first win in difficult circumstances. It’s been a long time coming for him, and I’m happy he finally got that today. Riley got caught out on the short runs but hung in there without losing ground. We’re looking forward to tomorrow to see if we can get another win.”
Ferriol's maiden victory unofficially moves him to one point behind Kurt Fazekas for second place in the Gold Cup standings. Ferriol joined the Moorespeed team before round five this season, and has been getting up to speed with his new crew and engineers.
“Just the win itself was a huge weight lifted,” Ferriol said. “It’s been my glass ceiling for the last year and a half. I’d get up there and fall back. Joining Moorespeed, we took a couple events to work on our communication plan and finding that balance of equilibrium between what the driver needs and what the engineer wants to do with the car. I think coming out and testing last week was really huge. Now it’s out of the way, we’ve put it in the books, and we can try to get another one.”
There were a number of obstacles to overcome on track, including a lap one off track excursion and avoiding another collision that brought out the race’s second full course yellow on lap six.
“The very first lap, I got under someone else’s air and I didn’t have any grip in the kink,” Ferriol said. “I went off completely in a cloud of dust. I couldn’t see, so I couldn’t tell where I was in relation to the wall, so I had to drive by my butt and where I felt the car was pointed. In the carousel, Kurt and I were battling very hard and there were cars going everywhere.”
Dickinson finished sixth overall in his Platinum Cup No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, matching the 17-year-old's starting spot on the grid. Dickinson was fifth among GT3 Cup Challenge USA competitors for championship points.