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Porsche Sprint Challenge NA

Thomas, Chambers Dominate Sprint Challenge in Barber

Recap of Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama action from Barber Motorsports Park…

Photo: Porsche

In a weekend full of constant battles, multiple yellow flags, and even a flipped race car, Jared Thomas and Chloe Chambers secured two victories in the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama GT3 Cup and Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport classes, respectively.

Barber Motorsports Park hosted the second round of Sprint Challenge in support of the INDYCAR Series weekend. While drivers such as Chambers joined for a one-off event, series regulars vied to score crucial championship points early in the year.

Porsche GT3 Cup:

Jared Thomas put on a masterclass in Porsche 992 GT3 Cup for the second consecutive event by winning both rounds at Barber in the No. 296 JTR Motorsports Engineering Porsche.

Thomas built a margin of 22 seconds en route to his Saturday victory and was poised to do the same on Sunday. Race 2, however, went on to finish under caution after the No. 285 Porsche of Jake Pedersen was sent flipping during a late-race restart. The Porsche Carrera Cup North America regular quickly notified officials he was okay and walked away from the incident.

While Thomas powered to his victories, the battle raged behind him for the remaining podium positions. Paul Bocuse led the charge for MDK Motorsports, finishing third in Race 1 and second in Race 2, while his teammate Ashley Freiberg finished third in Race 2.

Two-time Porsche Carrera Cup North America Pro-am champion Efrin Castro – who joined Sprint Challenge for the weekend in support of the Children’s of Alabama organization – took home a podium position of his own, finishing runner-up in Race 1.

In the 992 GT3 Cup Masters class, Scott Blind steadily won on Saturday in the No. 245 Porsche while also finishing fifth overall among the Pro/Am contenders. However, in Race 2, Blind tangled with Saturday’s runner-up, Rob Walker, on the first lap, which opened the door for Joel Johnson to steal the victory on Sunday and similarly finish fifth on the overall charts.

In the 991 GT3 Cup class, Charlie Peter glided to a weekend sweep in the No. 166 Porsche, but not without pressure from Niels Meissner. Meissner meticulously worked his way through the field in both races and even looked to have a better chance of a challenge on Sunday before the late yellow flag. His No. 152 Porsche, however, was capped at second place in both rounds.

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport:

Formula 1 Academy driver and 2023 Sprint Challenge North America competitor, Chloe Chambers, returned to the series at Barber to win the Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport category on both Saturday and Sunday.

While Chambers parachuted in this weekend to take the wins, all eyes were on Pro/Am championship leader Ian Porter, who charged from last on the grid of 26 cars in Race 1 to finish second by 0.411 seconds.

In Race 2, Porter used lapped traffic to close in on Chambers again in the final minutes. The No. 86 Porsche ran nose-to-tail behind Chambers, but was unable to pull door-to-door and finished a mere 0.229 seconds behind in second.

Porter’s Rafa Racing by JDX teammate, Caroline Candas, finished third in Race 1 after surviving a late-race, four-way battle for the podium. Nick Shaeffer, who was part of that fight but spun after contact, recovered to finish third on Sunday.

In the Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport Masters class, Michael Clark and Shaun McKaigue finished 1-2 in both contests, with Jason Golan and Jeffrey Majkrzak splitting the final spots on the podium.

In approximately one month, Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama heads to Texas for its third event of the season at Circuit of The Americas on May 24 – 26. The Texas weekend will also be the opening round of the new Porsche Endurance Challenge North America series.

Porsche Sprint Challenge USA West, splits the break with its second event of 2024 at Utah Motorsports Campus on May 10-12.

RESULTS: Race 1/Race 2 (Porsche GT3 Cup) & Race 1/Race 2 (Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport)

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