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Porsche Carrera Cup NA

Priaulx Clinches Championship With Fifth Win of Season

Sebastian Priaulx dominates Race 1 at Road Atlanta to secure Carrera Cup NA title…

Photo: Multimatic

Sebastian Priaulx clinched the inaugural Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by The Cayman Islands title with a dominant fifth victory of the season at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

After earning five points for scoring pole, Priaulx put in a lights-to-flag drive to win the first of three races that make up the final round of the Carrera Cup NA campaign.

That gave the Kelly-Moss Road and Race driver a 30-point haul, putting the championship out of reach for his teammate and year-long title rival Kay van Berlo who finished second in the 45-minute contest.

Priaulx made a strong start from pole, while Parker Thompson managed to get past van Berlo’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on the opening lap.

The first phase of the race was interrupted by a Full Course Yellow period for Tom Balames nosing his 991-class Porsche into the barriers at Turn 5.

Priaulx maintained his composure at the restart on 16 minutes, as he quickly built a two-second advantage over Thompson who was preoccupied with defending from a determined van Berlo who was aiming to keep his dwindling championship hopes alive.

Van Berlo managed to get past Thompson with just under 10 minutes to go, however shortly after that positional switch a second FCY occurred in the wake of separate incidents around the track including contact between Pro competitors Sean McAlister and Leh Keen at the final corner.

Two other cars also spun on the main straight, with Bill Smith’s Pro-Am Porsche continuing until it came to a halt in a compromised position further in the lap.

The pause ate into the remaining race time, ensuring that Priaulx would take the victory and seal the title in the process.

Van Berlo settled for second place, ahead of Thompson and Riley Dickinson who put in a brilliant performance to climb from 14th on the grid into the top five.

Dickinson made several key moves on the likes of Leon Koehler, McAlister, TJ Fischer and Dylan Murry to claim fourth place for Team Hardpoint.

Murry ended up fifth in his bright green BGB Motorsports machine, in front of Fischer and German racer Koehler who was making his North American debut.

Pro-Am honors went to Efrin Castro who took three points out of the championship lead held by Alan Metni.

Castro seized the lead from Metni as the pair battled out of the chicane with 15 minutes left on the clock. After running out wide at Turn 10B, Metni spun around to cede the position to Castro in the No. 65 Team Hardpoint Porsche.

Metni recovered to third in class behind Steve Dunn.

An impressive drive from Goldcrest Motorsports driver Dimitri Dimakos ended in a debut 911-class victory, after he overcame pole-sitter and early leader Kurt Hunt.

RESULTS: Race 1

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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