Roman De Angelis drove the No. 79 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to his seventh victory in eight races this season in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama in Friday’s 45-minute race at Watkins Glen International.
De Angelis led every practice session prior to qualifying Friday morning, where he took his sixth pole position in seven tries.
He briefly surrendered the lead to Max Root in the No. 7 Wright Motorsport Porsche coming out of Turn 1 on the first lap, but a couple of turns later, Root was collected by Riley Dickinson in the No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche.
The contact sent both the Nos. 7 and 53 cars off course and returned De Angelis to the lead. He would not be challenged the rest of the way en route to a 17.755-second victory over Jeff Kingsley in the No. 3 JDX Racing Porsche.
The win enabled De Angelis to extend his lead to 49 points, 242-193, over Kingsley in the point standings for the Platinum Cup class for 911 GT3 Cup cars built between 2017 and 2019.
Kingsley, a veteran of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama competing in the U.S. series for the first time this season, scored the first podium result of his GT3 Cup Challenge USA career.
After racing another JDX car earlier this season, Kingsley has moved into the team’s No. 3 Porsche starting this weekend, as Parker Thompson left the team due to unforeseen circumstances.
Root recovered from the opening-lap incident with Dickinson – who served a drive-through penalty for incident responsibility – to finish third in the No. 7 Wright Motorsports Porsche.
Root also was involved in a later incident with Sean McAlister in the No. 11 JDX Racing Porsche, for which McAlister also received a drive-through for incident responsibility.
Driving the No. 68 Topp Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine, Jeff Mosing finished fourth overall and won the Platinum Masters class for drivers 45 years of age and over.
It was Mosing’s first GT3 Cup Challenge USA event since winning the Platinum Masters class in both races at Road America in 2017. Mosing was injured in a heavy GT3 Cup Challenge USA crash at Watkins Glen earlier that year.
Platinum Masters points leader Alan Metni finished second in class and fifth overall in the No. 99 AM Motorsports/Kelly-Moss Porsche.
David Brule won the Yokohama Hard Charger Award in the No. 48 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche as the driver who gained the most overall positions from start to finish in the Platinum Cup class in Race 1. Brule finished 16th overall after starting 22nd.
In the Gold Cup class for 911 GT3 Cup cars built between 2014 and 2016, Sebastian Carazo picked up his fifth victory in seven tries this season aboard the No. 25 NGT Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine.
The second and final race of the GT3 Cup Challenge USA doubleheader weekend at Watkins Glen International takes the green flag at 9:20 a.m. ET on Saturday morning and will be streamed live on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary.
Television coverage of the Watkins Glen event weekend will air on NBCSN at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 9.
RESULTS: Race 1