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Porsche Carrera Cup NA

Thompson: “Unbelievable” to Take Down Kelly-Moss “Dynasty”

Newly crowed Porsche Carrera Cup North America champion reflects on come-from-behind title win…

Photo: Porsche

Newly-crowned Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by The Cayman Islands Pro class champion Parker Thompson said it was “unbelievable” for him and his No. 9 JDX Racing crew to fight from behind to claim his first series title.

Fellow Pro class competitor and Kelly-Moss driver Kay van Berlo led the standings for a large portion of the season, finishing ahead of the Canadian through the first four rounds.

A win and a podium at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta saw Thompson claim the championship in the final round.

“It’s a testament to JDX Racing,” Thompson told Sportscar365. “We are a one-car team up against Kelly-Moss, which is a dynasty in Carrera Cup.

“But for a one-car team to take it to them, I can’t even begin to say the words that I have.”

Despite a clean sweep at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Thompson reached the second half of the season still second in points.

The Alberta native cited his home race in Canada as a turning point in his championship campaign, where he entered the streets of Toronto trailing van Berlo by 47 points.

“Going home to the home fans just switched me to another gear, and I said we’re going to do this,” said Thompson.

“But halfway through the championship, we were getting our butts kicked pretty good. But I’ve never given up in a season and this season was no different.”

Despite finishing behind the Dutchman in the first race that weekend, Thompson’s second-place results in Race 2 saw him pass the Kelly-Moss cars of van Berlo and Riley Dickinson on the opening lap.

Thompson carried momentum to produce three consecutive podiums, including wins at Road America and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“The pace at the end of the season was a lot better compared to [Kelly-Moss]. We just kept chipping away,” Thompson noted.

The second Indianapolis round would see him retire after being collected in an early collision, having taken over the points lead one day prior.

“Racing can be so cruel,” Thompson said. “Look at Indianapolis, we led the points for a night and then get taken out.”

Van Berlo entered the weekend at Road Atlanta with an 11-point lead, although the gap was reduced to five points after Thompson’s win in Race 1 and van Berlo retiring in the opening laps of Race 2, allowing the 24-year-old to claim the Al Holbert Cup.

“You come in here, we are only 11 [points] down, which is quite a bit,” said Thompson. “But, for us to rally back is just unbelievable.

“I knew I needed to put pressure on yesterday so that I forced him into a mistake today. So yesterday we went out, we got the win, we got the fastest lap, we got it down to five points.”

Thompson was visibly overcome with emotion climbing out of his car in victory lane.

“Man, I almost don’t even believe it… For us to rally back is just unbelievable,” he said.

When asked about his future, he turned to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship paddock, stating: “What’s next, is I’ve got to get over there in a GTD or GTD Pro across the paddock.

“I think my back half of the season should get me a few phone calls hopefully.”

Jonathan Grace is the host of Sportscar365's Double Stint Podcast and a contributor to the web site's IMSA-sanctioned race coverage.

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