Competing at the IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama weekend, the stars of Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama put on a display of skills and pace in Rounds 3 and 4 of the season.
While guest drivers Riley Dickinson and Michael McCarthy – representing Kellymoss and the local Racing for Children’s charity – took a break from their Porsche Carrera Cup North America duties and finished top-two overall in both rounds, the season-long battles in each class continued on.
Porsche GT3 Cup:
In the No. 206 Porsche, Zachary Vanier took home both 992 GT3 Cup Pro/Am victories to sweep back-to-back weekends in PSCNA.
The Canadian’s closest competition came from the No. 230 of Pavel Lefterov, who finished runner-up in Race 1 and challenged Vanier in Race 2, but was penalized for taking the lead during a full-course yellow and issued a drive-through penalty.
Aidan Kenny went on to complete Saturday’s Pro/Am podium in third and on Sunday, made a crucial pass in his No. 222 Porsche on Madeline Stewart with less than 15 minutes remaining to finish second. Stewart finished third on Sunday to conclude her second PSCNA weekend after also finishing fourth on Saturday in the No. 282 Porsche.
“It was really great racing against Pavel this weekend,” said Vanier after Sunday’s win. “He’s a very fierce competitor, but he’s also very respectful. In terms of our race today, the pace was really good and I think we made a good step with the program that we brought forward. You could see the gap that we had towards the Kelly-Moss cars was less significant than it was yesterday.
“A huge thank you to the entire MDK Motorsports team. They’re putting together an amazing program for us this season. It’s another great weekend for the championship and that’s what we’re fully focused on. It’s still early, but we’re just going to keep chipping away.”
Additionally with his double victory, Vanier topped Aidan Kenny in the weekend’s competition for the 992 GT3 Cup Porsche Juniors championship, earning 100 points to Kenny’s 94.
In contrast to 992 GT3 Cup Pro/Am, the Am category offered a mixed bag of results between races. David Williams claimed the win on Saturday with his No. 237 Porsche ahead of Mark Boden and Christian Hodneland.
But just as they traded wins at Sebring International Raceway in March, Hodneland got his turn atop the podium, winning on Sunday with Williams and Boden following behind.
Rounding out Porsche GT3 Cup this weekend was Charlie Peter, who took both wins in the No. 166 Porsche 991 GT3 Cup.
In addition to his quick pace – even finishing third amongst season-long contenders on Sunday – Peter’s strategy was assisted by non-class cars positioned between him and his closest competitor, Ashley Freiberg, who finished second ahead of John McInnes in Race 1 and Tim Kezman in Race 2.
Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport:
The star of the Cayman GT4 Clubsport field at Barber was Chloe Chambers, making her Sprint Challenge debut in the No. 70 Porsche.
After scoring the WeatherTech Pole Position Award on Saturday morning, Chambers led flag-to-flag in both races this weekend, but faced consistent pressure from fellow Pro/Am competitors Nikolas Maloy and Paul Bocuse.
In Race 1, the trio broke away from the field and Bocuse capitalized on a small error by Maloy to move into second place. While he made a handful of runs at Chambers, Bocuse’s No. 71 Porsche never caught up to the rookie to challenge for the win, and Maloy finished third.
In Race 2, however, it was Maloy’s turn after starting alongside Chambers on the front row. The two had a door-to-door, first-lap showdown, but Chambers persevered to keep Maloy at bay and keep her victory. Bocuse rounded out the podium in third.
“It is such a great feeling to have swept the weekend on my debut in Porsche Sprint Challenge,” said Chambers, who also won the Cayman GT4 Clubsport Juniors Championship round at Barber, with Bocuse elevated to the season-long leader by one point over Maloy.
“I was definitely under lots of pressure in that first race but I knew that if I kept putting in consistent, fast laps that I would be able to hold them off and that’s what I did.
“We made some tweaks to the car overnight and they made big improvements to Sunday’s race. The TPC Racing team really put it all together for that last race and listened to my feedback for improvement. I can’t go without thanking Monoflo International for the opportunity and Porsche Motorsport for the support.
“Thanks to all my other sponsors and supporters, and all the fans that I spoke to over the weekend. I can’t wait to be back racing again at VIR in a month!”
In the Cayman GT4 Clubsport Am class, William Peluchiwski and Jason Golan traded victories at Barber between their respective Nos. 62 and 80 Porsches. Alain Scalzo finished runner-up to Peluchiwski on Saturday with Golan third, while Shaun McKaigue rebounded from a troubled Race 1 to finish second on the podium Sunday to Golan, with Peluchiwski third.
After back-to-back race weekends for its North America and USA West championships, Porsche Sprint Challenge will take a hiatus before the next rounds of the PSCNA schedule on June 2–4.
Rounds 5 and 6 will take place at Virginia International Raceway, while Sonoma Raceway will host the second weekend of PSCUW on June 16–18.