Sebastian Priaulx moved to the top of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by The Cayman Islands standings by taking a dominant victory in the first of three races taking place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend.
The Kelly-Moss Road & Race driver put on a faultless display from pole position while his main title rival Kay van Berlo slipped to 12th, forcing a change of positions at the top of the Pro championship and a 19-point difference between the pair.
Priaulx got to within two points of van Berlo by earning a five-point score for taking pole, before adding a further 25 points to his total by winning Saturday’s 45-minute contest.
Parker Thompson briefly got the nose of his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car ahead of Priaulx on the run down to the first turn but backed off as the leaders jostled through the opening sequence of corners.
Priaulx dictated the rest of the race from there, gradually building his lead over JDX Racing driver Thompson to 4.3 seconds at the checkered flag.
Riley Dickinson completed the podium for Team Hardpoint EBM after getting ahead of van Berlo on 12 minutes.
The change happened when van Berlo mysteriously ran wide at the end of the front straight, costing the Dutchman two positions.
Van Berlo then struggled with an electrical issue, causing him to lose touch with the top five, before dropping back further due to a drive-through penalty for incident responsibility that saw him finish outside the top 10.
Leh Keen, who took fourth, was the other driver to immediately benefit from van Berlo’s wide moment at Turn 1.
Dickinson managed to pull clear of Keen but was still six seconds behind Thompson when he crossed the line for his fourth top-three result of the season.
TJ Fischer completed the top five, ahead of Sean McAlister and Dylan Murry.
Van Berlo ended up finishing two places behind Pro-Am class winner Efrin Castro, who took a convincing category win from pole position in his Team Hardpoint EBM car.
Tim Pappas finished second behind Castro, while Curt Swearingin recovered from an opening-lap spin to take a class podium.
Pro-Am 991 honors went to Matt Halcombe, whose Mystery Machine-liveried 911.2 Type Porsche led for the duration after starting from pole.
Championship leader Halcombe came under pressure from Joseph Lombardo in the closing stages but managed to hold on to clinch his fifth win of the season.
RESULTS: Race 1