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Porsche Carrera Cup NA

Van Berlo Wins Race 2 After Gutsy Outside Pass on Priaulx

Van Berlo gets back at champion Priaulx with Turn 1 overtake to win Road Atlanta Race 2…

Photo: Porsche

Kay van Berlo completed a gutsy overtake around the outside of Sebastian Priaulx into Turn 1 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta to win the penultimate Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by The Cayman Islands race of the season.

After Priaulx lost time in a tangle with a backmarker, van Berlo went on the attack and managed to get around the recently-confirmed series champion heading into the fast right-hander at the start of the 2.54-mile lap.

Van Berlo remained only a few car lengths ahead of his Kelly-Moss Road and Race teammate throughout the second half of the 45-minute race but made no errors as he went on to secure his seventh victory of the campaign.

Priaulx started Thursday’s second Carrera Cup North America contest from pole, a few hours after clinching the championship by dominating Race 1.

The Guernseyman and his former title rival van Berlo drew clear from the rest of the pack which was led by Parker Thompson.

Priaulx managed to increase his advantage to around three seconds by the 20-minute mark, only for him to lose that gap when he dived to the inside of Grady Willingham at the bottom of the esses. The ensuing contact resulted in Willingham spinning around.

However, the stewards made a verdict of no further action, which enabled van Berlo to keep pushing on Priaulx’s tail before staging a brilliant overtake into Turn 1.

Van Berlo finished just three-tenths ahead of Priaulx and achieved some form of consolation for missing out on the title by defeating the confirmed 2021 champion.

Thompson completed the podium after holding off a charging Leon Koehler in the closing stages, while Max Root completed the top five.

Pro-Am honors went to Efrin Castro who claimed his second victory of the day after another entertaining scrap with Alan Metni.

The pair ran side-by-side on multiple occasions, with the crucial moment in the duel occurring after 24 minutes when Castro went to Metni’s outside into the heavy braking zone for Turn 10, before switching back at the next right-hander to take the lead.

Metni then spun his Kelly-Moss machine into the tire barriers at the exit of Turn 7, enabling Castro to take a clear win ahead of Steve Dunn and Bill Smith.

Metni returned to the pits with damage and was not running at the checkered flag, but earned points for eighth place. His series lead over Castro has been reduced to 14 points.

Dimitri Dimakos beat all of the 992-generation Pro-Am runners in his 991-spec Porsche with a terrific drive on his maiden Carrera Cup weekend.

Dimakos took his second win of the day with an 11th-place overall finish, two cars ahead of his nearest category rival Kurt Hunt.

The final race of the inaugural Porsche Carrera Cup North America season takes place at 11:15 a.m. ET on Friday.

RESULTS: Race 2

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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