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Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge

Robichon Sweeps Weekend at VIR

Zach Robichon sweeps Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama weekend at VIR…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Zach Robichon completed a weekend sweep of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, winning Sunday’s round at Virginia International Raceway.

Robichon took a 0.918-second win over the No. 3 JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Trenton Estep, after taking lead from Max Root with less than 20 minutes to go into the 45-minute race.

Estep got past Root for second place with 14 minutes to go and closed the gap to the Canadian after Robichon went slightly off course while avoiding a lapped car. 

It was Robichon’s series-leading fourth victory, in his fourth start of the season.

Robichon also leads the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama championship heading into next weekend’s season-ending doubleheader at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

“This one was a whole ‘nother game,” Robichon said. “Max had a wonderful start. I think I was too conservative on the first lap.

“The car was good, it was just on me. After I was behind him, just a little bit of dirty air makes it that much harder to follow and he just wasn’t making any mistakes.

“About five laps in, when the car came in, I started really trying to pressure him. Eventually, he made a mistake and I was able to get by.

“It was right at that point that our car usually comes in, about eight to 10 laps in, so the car was good at that point, and I think I would have been able to manage the gap to the cars behind me.

“Then, lapped traffic. I thought he saw me, obviously he didn’t, and I dropped a wheel and then the splitter came off. At that point, it’s just don’t quit. I had to work hard for that one.”

Estep held on for second for his 11th podium result in 12 races this season.

He expanded his lead in the championship standings in the Platinum Cup class for 911 GT3 Cup cars built in 2017 or 2018 to 24 points over Roman De Angelis with four races left on the 2018 calendar.

De Angelis finished third, getting the final podium spot on the last lap when Root had an off-course excursion.

Anthony Imperato finished fourth in the No. 91 Wright Motorsports Porsche, while David Kolkmann completed the top five in the No. 71 Park Place Motorsports Porsche.

Root wound up sixth.

In the Platinum Cup Masters class for drivers over the age of 45, Fred Poordad picked up his first victory since winning at Watkins Glen International in 2016.

Driving the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche, Poordad got around Alan Metni in the No. 99 AM Motorsports/Kelly-Moss Porsche midway through the race to get the win.

Saturday’s Platinum Masters winner, Michael Levitas, came home second in the No. 36 TPC Racing Porsche, with David Baker completing the podium with a third-place run in the No. 56 Topp Racing machine.

Charlie Luck continues to lead the Platinum Masters championship standings after a difficult weekend in his home state.

He finished sixth on Sunday in the No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche despite two off-course excursions during the race. 

Victor Gomez IV strengthened his grip on the championship standings in the Gold Cup class for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars built between 2014 and 2016 with a weekend sweep.

Greg Palmer, who finished third in class, earned the Yokohama Hard Charger Award as the Gold Cup driver to improve the most overall positions from start to finish in the race.

Palmer started 19th and finished 16th overall.


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