Coming into the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Jeff Kingsley owned three victories in the series. After just two days, he doubled that total to six.
In the No. 16 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911, Kingsley completed a weekend sweep of the rare tripleheader weekend in Lexington, Ohio. Following two wins on Saturday, the Canadian put on a dominant performance Sunday morning for the Race 3 victory. This was the first weekend that Kingsley earned back-to-back victories, let alone three in a row.
“Three for three, I’m super excited about that,” Kingsley said. “The guys did an excellent job; I have to give that to them. The Kelly-Moss guys gave me an excellent car. … We couldn’t have a better weekend if I’m being honest, so we’ve got to keep this momentum going.”
Kingsley entered the weekend in the Platinum Cup class championship lead, and expanded his advantage to 22 points, 306-284, over Riley Dickinson in the No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche. Dickinson finished runner-up on Sunday.
“It’s a busy three days here,” Kingsley continued. “It all starts in practice, so each session is important, each session is crucial. We’ve got to make the steps towards the front and that’s what we did. … It’s a long way to go and the points spread in the championship is always small. We can’t take things for granted and we’ve got to keep pushing race after race.”
Sean McAlister completed the podium lineup in the No. 11 JDX Porsche and will return home with a pair of third-place trophies from the weekend.
Similar to Kingsley, Curt Swearingin dominated his own class at Mid-Ohio, collecting all three Gold Cup class victories in the No. 17 ACI Motorsports Porsche. Swearingin started behind polesitter Efrin Castro in the No. 65 TPC Racing Porsche, but in a nail-biting battle with less than five minutes remaining, Swearingin drove alongside Castro for the lead.
The two Porsches made contact, but not before Swearingin pulled ahead by half a car length. The contact resulted in slight damage to Castro’s car, enough to send him into the grass momentarily before spinning on track. He wound up third behind Swearingin’s ACI teammate, Richard Edge in the No. 18 Porsche.
“That was a tough race. Efrin was good the whole race,” Swearingin said. “We had a little bit more than him the whole race. We knew we had it, it’s just so hard to pass here. We were just struggling to get the pass.
“The team did everything they had to do, they set the car up perfect. They kept making adjustments in practice. … We had a warm (weather) setup and a cold setup, so we kind of knew what the car was going to do in the morning and in the afternoons. We didn’t always hit it in the afternoons, but we hit it on the morning runs and the car was really good. It was great to get three wins.”
Earning the Yokohama Tire Hard Charger Award for gaining the most positions in class was Platinum Masters driver David Brule in the No. 48 Kelly-Moss Porsche, who finished ninth in class.
“It was tough,” Brule described of the tripleheader. “A lot of driving and everybody is very competitive, so when you’re out there, you have to push all the time. For me, I’m the oldest guy on the grid and it gets a little tiring but I’m happy to have what I have here. This is excellent. I didn’t know I had won this, but I feel great. It’s worth all the effort.”
Brule’s Kelly-Moss teammate, Alan Metni, topped the Platinum Masters class for the eighth time this season in the No. 99 Porsche. He finished the race fourth overall and four places ahead of the next-best Platinum Masters driver, Charlie Luck in the No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche.
Another tripleheader is on deck for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta during the Motul Petit Le Mans weekend on Oct. 14-17. Rounds 10, 11 and 12 in Braselton, Ga., will stream live on IMSA.com.