It’s been a dream Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama 2019 season so far for 18-year-old Canadian Roman De Angelis.
Saturday morning at Watkins Glen International, De Angelis again started from the pole position in the No. 79 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine and led every lap en route to a sweep of the weekend’s doubleheader of races after winning on Friday afternoon as well. It was De Angelis’s seventh win in eight races, giving him a commanding 53-point lead, 277-224, over Max Root in the Platinum Cup driver standings for 911 GT3 Cup cars built between 2017 and 2019.
“I think I knew that we were going to be a lot better than we were last year,” said De Angelis of his 2019 season so far. “I had a lot of time in the offseason to kind of think about what I was doing wrong. I worked with Kelly-Moss, obviously, to help me a lot to get where I am today. I didn’t think it would be to this extent, but I’m happy to be here and happy to have the championship lead at the halfway point. I just need to keep these points coming.”
After finishing third in an eventful race on Friday, Root came home second in the No. 7 Wright Motorsports Porsche, 5.333 seconds behind De Angelis in a considerably more straightforward race Saturday morning. It was the fifth time Root has finished second in GT3 Cup Challenge USA competition, with the first runner-up result of his career coming at Watkins Glen last year.
Finishing third was Victor Gomez IV in the No. 25 NGT Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine. It was Gomez’s first Platinum Cup podium result of the season after he dominated last year’s Gold Cup class for 911 GT3 Cup machines built between 2014 and 2016 last year en route to the championship.
Jeff Mosing is two-for-two in Platinum Masters for drivers 45 years of age and older. He won Friday in his return to GT3 Cup Challenge USA competition for the first time since 2017, and he did it again Saturday in the No. 68 Topp Racing Porsche. He celebrated with a few victory donuts at the racetrack where he was injured in a 2017 crash.
“I’m a little rusty on those, but I’ll get better as the season goes on,” said Mosing. “I just want to thank (Topp Racing Founder/President Todd) Oppermann and their whole team from Topp Racing. They really did an awesome job on the setup. People were scrambling to get the tires on and we made one of the first choices to go to drys, and that’s what we ended up having with the adverse conditions, but they really nailed the setup.
“I want to thank Eric Foss up in the grandstands for coaching me on and making sure I stay tight. You know, when you’re running out there by yourself, it’s hard to monitor yourself and stay consistent. It’s easy to make mistakes, so he was staying on top of that lap after lap and I tried to stay consistent no matter what what was in front of me or behind me.”
Fred Poordad came home second in Platinum Masters in the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche to close his gap to Alan Metni in the class point standings to 12, 248-236, after eight of 16 races. Metni finished third in the No. 99 Kelly-Moss/AM Motorsports Porsche.
It was a weekend sweep in Gold Cup at Watkins Glen as Sebastian Carazo doubled up in the No. 27 NGT Motorsport Porsche, taking his sixth class win in eight races this season. His dominance follows in the footsteps of Gomez, who similarly dominated the class last year. He leads No. 52 Kelly-Moss Road and Race driver Kurt Fazekas driver by 29 points, 272-243, in the championship standings.
“It was a great weekend,” Carazo said. “I’m really grateful for my parents to make this possible, for my sponsors, for the team giving me a great car for the entire weekend since the first practice. It was a great weekend overall, really.”
Efrin Castro finished second in Gold Cup in the No. 65 ACI Motorsports Porsche and also earned the Yokohama Hard Charger Award in Race 2 as the Gold Cup class driver who improved the most overall positions from start to finish. Castro started 20th and finished 15th in the overall running order.
Curt Swearingen made it two ACI Motorsports entries on the Gold Cup podium with a third-place showing in the No. 17 Porsche. Both Swearingen and Castro earned their best results of the season in the race.
Television coverage of the GT3 Cup Challenge USA doubleheader at Watkins Glen will air on NBCSN at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 9.
Next up for the 2019 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama is the second and final combined event of the season with the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama on the weekend of Aug. 2-4 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin as part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship IMSA Road Race Showcase weekend.