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Porsche Carrera Cup NA

Points Battle Heating Up Heading into Season Midpoint

Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by The Cayman Islands reaches season midpoint…

Photo: Porsche

As the second season of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands reaches the first day of summer, the championship battles are heating up along with the temperatures.

Watkins Glen International is the midpoint of the 16-race season for the one-make race series and the early season dominance of championship leaders Kay van Berlo (Pro class), Alan Metni (Pro-Am) and Mark Kvamme (Am) are starting to come under attack.

Each frontrunner had his point lead cut at the last event, held at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca nearly two months ago, and the field of contenders has been growing each round.

With Rounds 7 and 8 scheduled as support at the traditional Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen this weekend, the second-year series, which exclusively fields the type 992 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car, has seen strong fields averaging around 34 entries – the exact amount set to do battle in the two 40-minute races at The Glen.

While van Berlo drove his No. 3 Kelly-Moss prepared Porsche to four straight victories to open the year, he earned a best finish of third-place in Monterey.

Likewise, Metni’s string of podiums in the No. 99 – also prepared by the Madison, Wis.-based Kelly-Moss – unraveled with a fourth-place in Round 4 at Long Beach and while he rallied to a second-place in the first race at Laguna Seca, he would score only four-points in the second.

Only Kvamme’s Porsche was able to capture a win at the last stop as the veteran drove the MDK Motorsports machine to a victory in round five and second-place in round six.

Photo: Porsche

Van Berlo’s hopes for a strong showing at the 3.4-mile, 11-turn Grand Prix course at the Watkins Glen are high.

The Dutchman who is currently in college in Miami, won both rounds here in 2021. That weekend a year ago kicked-off his surge to challenge eventual inaugural champion Seb Priaulx.

A performance like that this weekend could prove difficult for his Pro class competitors to overcome in the second-half of the year.

Of those leading contenders hoping the keep van Berlo in check is Parker Thompson. The two battled tooth-and-nail last year against Priaulx entering the Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta finale and the Canadian’s No. 9 JDX Racing Porsche seems the most likely candidate to push van Berlo into the last race at Road Atlanta.

However, one of the youngest contenders in the field, Riley Dickinson, remains in the hunt as well.

Dickinson’s No. 53 Kelly-Moss 911 is in third-place with 87 points, only two ahead of his fellow Texan Trenton Estep. T.J. Fischer has shown strong lately moving into fifth-place but with 60 points, the Topp Racing driver is 83 markers behind the leader.

Photo: Porsche

As he did in 2021, Metni looked like the early season shoe-in for the Pro-Am class title but a Long Beach victory in the Nolasport Porsche has given rise to Justin Oakes.

Two Laguna podiums by Curt Swearingin in the ACI-readied Porsche has brought him to within 12 points of Oakes and 25 of Metni.

Meanwhile, Kvamme is a full-race win (25 points) up on one-time winner John Goetz in the Am class.

However, Kvamme’s No. 43 will miss the Toronto Indy round (July 15 – 17) giving the Wright Motorsports Porsche driver a chance to close or even overtake the lead there if not before.

With 34 identically delivered versions of the 500-horsepower race car on track and a championship award that includes a trip to the Cayman Islands for all three classes and a coveted spot at the Porsche Junior Shootout for the top-finisher, the second-half of the season promises a battle as overpowering as the heat.

The intensity has already begun to noticeably notch-up within the paddock.

For only the second-year of the series, the competition and professionalism of the entries is on par with the best Porsche one-make race series around the globe edging closer to what many are expecting to be where a future North American Porsche factory driver will find his or her jumping off point.

Round 7 is scheduled for Friday at 1:25 p.m. ET. Round 8 will follow a day later at 11:05 a.m. ET.

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