Dickinson Scores Surprise Porsche GT3 Cup Victory

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Riley Dickinson (center) took advantage of a mistake on the last lap to win Sunday's Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama event at Road America. (IMSA photo)
Riley Dickinson (center) took advantage of a mistake on the last lap to win Sunday's Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama event at Road America. (IMSA photo)

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – A win is a win, and that’s exactly what Riley Dickinson got on Sunday morning at Road America.

In round two of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama season, Dickinson started from the pole position in the No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup car. While he was overtaken on the first lap by Saturday’s race winner, Jeff Kingsley in the No. 16 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche, Dickinson stayed within sight of the leader.

Following a restart with less than five minutes remaining in the race, Kingsley leapt ahead of the field and seemed to be on his way to a weekend sweep. On the penultimate lap, however, the No. 16 Porsche drove wide into turn five and as Kingsley gathered the car, Dickinson sped past into the lead and on to the victory.

“The Moorespeed guys, they stayed up late last night making sure all the boxes were checked with everything on the car, making sure everything was all squared away,” said Dickinson, the 2020 Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship recipient. “When the full-course yellow came out, I knew that was going to be my final opportunity. We definitely got lucky with Jeff making that mistake. I hate to win it like that but at the end of the day, it was the right place, right time.

“It’s like the season just started over again because now me and Jeff are even in points. We’re going to VIR and we’re still as you could call it, zero-zero. That was definitely big for us championship-wise, but again it’s the very first race (weekend) of the season so there’s a long way to go.”

While Kingsley jostled a bit trying to save the car, he held off the hard-charging No. 99 Porsche of Alan Metni and Kelly-Moss/AM Motorsports for the second spot.
Finishing third for the second consecutive race, Metni also swept the victories this weekend in the Platinum Masters class for drivers 45 and older.

“It went really well,” said Metni. “I didn’t have pace for Riley and Jeff early on. I did have a couple shots there at the end and it was super fun to be racing wheel-to-wheel and contesting basically every corner of the last few laps. It was huge fun, totally respectful and really enjoyable racing.”

In the Gold Cup class for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars built between 2014 and 2016, there was drama even before the green flag was waved. Saturday’s winner, Efrin Castro in the No. 65 TPC Racing Porsche, was primed to start the race first-in-class. However, on the out lap, Castro’s Porsche whipped around and hit the wall in turn five. Castro limped the Porsche around but was forced to pit for service.

Taking his place in the lead and eventually on the top step of the podium was Curt Swearingin in the No. 17 Porsche for ACI Motorsports. It was his first career win in the series after Swearingin finished third in the 2019 GT3 Cup Challenge USA Gold Cup standings, scoring a best finish of third place six times.

“It felt good out there,” said Swearingin. “We got going right off the bat. Efrin Castro was in first, he had a little mistake at the beginning of the race, and we were able to capitalize off that. Then we just got in a little bubble and just ran laps, just consistent laps. We were putting a little bit of a gap on the cars behind us and we just kept that gap.”

The Yokohama Hard Charger Award on Sunday was awarded to Bart Collins for gaining the most positions throughout the race in Gold Cup. His No. 22 MCR Racing Porsche finished third in class after capitalizing on Castro’s misfortune and the absence of Kurt Fazekas’ No. 52 Kelly-Moss Porsche from the grid after an incident on Saturday.

“It’s awesome, I love this place,” said Collins. “This is my favorite track because it’s the fastest track and the biggest track. It was good racing, there wasn’t any carnage or anything like that unlike last year. Everybody pretty much got out unscathed and it was a great weekend. I can’t wait for the next one.”