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Porsche Carrera Cup NA

Van Berlo Wins Race 1 to Extend Championship Lead

Kay van Berlo dominates first race at Road America to increase points lead over Priaulx…

Photo: Michelin

Kay van Berlo won Saturday’s Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by The Cayman Islands race at Road America to increase his championship lead over Sebastian Priaulx, who finished fourth.

Van Berlo took victory from pole position, more than doubling the 10-point advantage he held over fellow Kelly-Moss Road & Race driver Priaulx coming into the weekend.

The Dutchman came under pressure from Parker Thompson in the second half of the 45-minute race but managed to keep his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in front for the duration.

Thompson crossed the line 1.8 seconds behind van Berlo, who notched up his fourth consecutive victory and his fifth of the 2021 season in total.

Priaulx started on the front row of the grid but slipped to fourth at the opening two corners behind JDX Racing’s Thompson and Riley Dickinson of Team Hardpoint EBM.

Priaulx closed in on third place during the closing stages as the leading pair broke away, but Dickinson managed to hold on for his third podium of the year.

Dickinson made the strongest start out of the front-runners, overtaking Priaulx and Leh Keen to advance from fifth on the grid to third.

Keen completed the overall top five at the finish ahead of Max Root, TJ Fischer and Erick Johansson.

Dylan Murry started seventh but skidded into the gravel at the entrance to the Carousel on the opening lap. That moment, combined with a crash for 991-class competitor Jeffrey Majkrzak on the straight before The Kink, resulted in an early Full Course Yellow period.

The positions at the head of the field did not change when the green flags waved after an intervention of around 13 minutes, as van Berlo repeated his clean launch from pole to resume a lead that would last until the checkered flag.

Alan Metni claimed Pro-Am category honors in his iFly/Kelly-Moss Porsche with a flag-to-flag run from pole.

Metni finished just under two seconds ahead of his main championship rival Efrin Castro.

Matt Halcombe won the 991 class for Goldcrest Motorsports while Flying Lizard driver Chris Bellomo took second after charging through from seventh on the grid.

Race 2 is set for 9:45 a.m. CT on Sunday with live coverage on PorscheCarreraCup.us, Trackpass on NBC Sports Gold and IMSA.tv.

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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