Max Root added a home-state victory on Saturday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in the first of two Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama races, marking his third win in a row.
After putting the No. 7 Wright Motorsports Porsche on the pole position Saturday morning, Root surrendered the lead to Roman De Angelis in the No. 79 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche on the first lap. But Root kept the pressure on the points leader throughout and found his way past in Turn 11 with slightly more than 19 minutes left in the race.
Root pulled away once he took the lead, speeding to a 7.947-second victory over De Angelis.
While Root set sail, De Angelis found himself with his hands full in the closing minutes, as 17-year-old Texan Riley Dickinson applied heavy pressure in the No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche. But De Angelis won the drag race up the hill from Turn 11 to the finish line to come home second.
De Angelis continues to lead the championship standings in the Platinum Cup class for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars built between 2017 and 2019. He is 55 points, 439-384, ahead of Root with three of 16 races remaining on the schedule.
Dickinson, meanwhile, finished third for the second consecutive race. It was his fifth podium result of the season.
Wright Motorsports celebrated two victories on Saturday, as No. 20 Porsche Fred Poordad picked up his fourth victory of the season in the Platinum Cup Masters class for drivers 45 years of age and over.
Poordad was the beneficiary of a late-race spin out of the Masters lead by Alan Metni in the No. 99 Kelly-Moss/AM Motorsports Porsche.
Poordad then held off a charging Chris Bellomo in the No. 63 Moorespeed Porsche to take the victory.
He also won Race 1 at VIR last month, Race 2 at Montreal in June and Race 1 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in May. In the process, Poordad closed the gap in the Platinum Masters point standings to 12, 400-388, behind Metni.
Bellomo finished second in his series debut, one spot ahead of Michael Mennella in the No. 4 MCR Racing Porsche.
It was Mennella’s first podium result of the season in Platinum Masters and he also won the Yokohama Hard Charger Award as the Platinum Cup driver who made up the most overall positions from start to finish in Race 1. Mennella finished 10th overall after starting 14th.
In the Gold Cup class for 911 GT3 Cup cars built between 2014 and 2016, Sebastian Carazo picked up his ninth victory of the season in the No. 27 NGT Motorsport Porsche.
Carazo has finished on the class podium in all 13 races this season and now leads the Gold Cup standings by 44 points, 441-397, over Rob Ferriol.
Ferriol finished second in the No. 5 Moorespeed Porsche for his 10th Gold Cup podium result of the season. Curt Swearingin completed the Gold Cup podium in the No. 17 ACI Motorsports Porsche for his third podium result of the season.
Sunday’s second 45-minute race of the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca takes the green flag at 4:20 p.m. PT (7:20 p.m. PT) and will be streamed live on IMSA.tv. NBCSN television coverage from the weekend will air at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sept. 25.
RESULTS: Race 1