ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – It was a familiar refrain in Saturday’s first race of a weekend doubleheader at Road America for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama.
Eighteen-year-old Canadian Roman De Angelis started the No. 79 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car from the pole and led every lap en route to the victory.
The event weekend combines both the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series in the same events.
De Angelis has been dominating in both series this season, which he did again Saturday. It was his eighth win in nine USA races and his eighth win in nine Canadian races also.
“I looked forward to actually racing,” said De Angelis, who kept the field at bay throughout a race that was slowed by full-course caution three times and finished under yellow. “Not a lot of green laps, so it was kind of difficult, but I guess I got some good practice on restarts. I screwed up the first one big time.
“I had to do some defending for Jeff (Kingsley), who did a great job at kind of leading me into a mistake and being right there before the green went. I fixed that for the second one and was just able to do the few laps we were given for this race. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Hopefully, it’s the same result but a bit more of a hectic and fun race for us.”
The win extended his lead in the Platinum Cup USA standings to 59 points over Jeff Kingsley, who finished second in the No. 16 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine. In the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Platinum Cup standings, he also leads Kingsley by 46 points. The Platinum Cup class features 911 GT3 Cup race cars built in 2017 or later.
As Kingsley is also pulling double duty in both series this season, he took home a pair of second-place trophies with his runner-up performance in the No. 16 JDX Racing Porsche.
Ethan Simioni finished third on the road and third in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada class in the No. 40 Policaro Motorsport Porsche. The third-place performance matched Simioni’s best result of the season.
Alan Metni crossed the line fourth overall in the No. 99 Kelly-Moss/AM Motorsports, but finished third for his first overall Platinum Cup USA podium result.
The defending Platinum Cup Masters champion also picked up the class victory in both USA and Canada. It was his fourth Platinum Masters USA victory of the season and was his second Platinum Masters Canada victory.
“Today was a lot of fun, and I’m really overwhelmed by how lucky I am to get to do this,” Metni said. “To drive these wonderful machines close to the limit of their performance. I want to thank my lovely wife and four daughters for putting up with how much time I’m traveling in order to do this and also my team for giving me a great and safe car and being the hardest training team in the paddock.”
Marco Cirone finished second in Platinum Masters Canada in the No. 88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche, followed by Michael Levitas in the No. 37 TPC Racing Porsche, who finished third in Platinum Masters Canada. Fred Poordad was second in Platinum Masters USA in the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche, followed by David Baker in the No. 56 Topp Racing Porsche.
Baker also won the Yokohama Hard Charger Award in Race 1 as the Platinum Cup USA driver to improve the most positions from start to finish. He finished 20th overall after starting 33rd.
Michael Fantin took the Yokohama Hard Charger for Platinum Cup Canada with a 16th-place overall finish after starting 19th in the No. 14 Engineered Automotive Porsche.
In the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA Gold Cup class for 911 GT3 Cup cars built between 2014 and 2016, Rob Ferriol picked up his first career victory in the No. 5 Moorespeed Porsche. It was the fifth consecutive Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge race at Road America that a Moorespeed car has won.
The team swept both 2018 Platinum Cup races with driver Zacharie Robichon and won both Platinum Cup races in 2017 with driver Corey Fergus.
“It was definitely a race for survival,” Ferriol said. “Like I told the guys on the radio, it wasn’t the most elegant race, but it certainly was exciting. I was just trying to stay out of trouble and keep it on the track.
“(Moorespeed) gave me a fantastic car all weekend. We were right at the top in practice, we just barely missed qualifying, so this probably doesn’t come as a surprise to them. We had to find our rhythm, but I think we found it and I think we’re going to get on a good stride.”
Sebastian Carazo finished second in Gold Cup USA in the No. 27 NGT Motorsport Porsche and continues to lead the championship standings by 37 points over Kurt Fazekas.
Richard Edge finished third in Gold Cup USA in the No. 18 ACI Motorsports Porsche.