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Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge

Kingsley Sweeps St. Pete Weekend

Kelly Moss Road and Race driver inches closer to locking up Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama title…

Photo: IMSA

Jeff Kingsley drove to a weekend sweep in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama races on the streets of St. Pete.

In doing so, Kingsley put the No. 16 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car on the precipice of clinching the championship.

Kingsley was pressured by chief title nemesis Riley Dickinson through much of Sunday’s race on the tight 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street course that includes a runway of Albert Whitted Airport.

But while running less than a second behind Kingsley with just under 11 minutes to go, Dickinson pushed too hard in the No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche and slid into the runoff at Turn 10.

Kingsley coasted on to win by 8.606 seconds and pad his points lead to 31 over Dickinson, with only the doubleheader season finale at Sebring from Nov. 12-14 remaining.

Depending on the size of the Platinum Cup class field at Sebring, Kingsley could sew up the crown in the first race there.

In Platinum Masters for drivers 45 and older, Alan Metni reversed course on what had been a miserable weekend by taking the class win Sunday.

Metni had to recover from going into the Turn 1 runoff just five minutes into the race while avoiding a car stopped in the middle of the corner.

It dropped Metni to 11th place overall in the No. 99 Kelly-Moss/AM Motorsports Porsche, but he battled back to fifth by the checkered flag and first in Platinum Masters ahead of Frank Raso, who finished a season-best second in the No. 57 Topp Racing Porsche.

It was Metni’s ninth class win in 14 races this season and ended a four-race winning streak for Charlie Luck.

Metni has a 27-point lead over Luck, who finished third on Sunday.

The Gold Cup class for GT3 Cup cars built between 2014 and 2016 saw a fierce battle between Curt Swearingin and Efrin Castro for more than half the race.

Points leader Swearingin (No. 17 ACI Motorsports Porsche) shadowed Castro (No. 65 TPC Racing Porsche) lap after lap until making the successful pass for the lead diving into the right-hand Turn 4 with 19 minutes remaining.

Swearingin, who also earned the Yokohama Hard Charger for passing the most cars under green-flag conditions, won by 2.281 seconds and extended his Gold Cup lead to 18 points over Castro.


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