Sloan Urry passed pole-sitter Michael Lewis for the lead on Lap 1 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama race Saturday at Road America to earn his second victory this season for JDX Racing. The 45-minute timed race on the 4.048-mile road course was slowed by three caution periods. That never gave Urry, from Park City, Utah, enough green flag running to pull away from the field.
After a three-lap sprint to the checkered flag, Urry took the checkered flag .293 of a second ahead of Lewis in his No. 20 JDX Racing Porsche.
“We didn’t get the pole in qualifying, but we were able to get the pass over Lewis pretty quickly after the green flag flew,” Urry said. “After that, it was a little bit of a nightmare inside the car because there were so many yellows. I wanted to go, go, go, but we kept getting bunched up at the restarts.
“JDX Racing gave me an incredible car today. Porsche is always supplying the best stuff and making sure we’re running right, and the Yokohama tires were there the whole time. This is probably the best car I’ve had all year. It was amazing.”
Lewis, from Laguna Beach, Calif., was happy to collect his fourth Platinum Cup (2014 car models) podium finish of the 2014 season in the No. 98 Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian Porsche.
“I made a small mistake on the first lap in the Turn 5 area and lost the lead, but that’s racing,” Lewis said. “That was a pretty intense race, but I ended up second and got good points. I feel like we have a really good car, and we have two more races tomorrow to try and get a win.”
Kasey Kuhlman started 10th and kept the nose of his No. 15 Wright Motorsports Porsche out of trouble to climb all the way to third overall. Cincinnati resident Kuhlman earned his third Platinum Cup podium of the year and was also the highest finisher in the Platinum Cup Masters (drivers age 45 and older) class.
“I just kept my head down, hit my marks and took the opportunities that were in front of me,” Kuhlman said. “I tried not to make any mistakes, and at the same time take advantage of others’ mistakes. It was a good race.”
Platinum Cup championship leader Colin Thompson finished fourth for Kelly Moss Motorsports/Porsche of Bucks County, just missing the podium. Championship contender Angel Benitez Jr. lost four positions on the last lap of the race to finish sixth.
|Platinum Masters podium finishers (from left): David Calvert-Jones, Kasey Kuhlman, Charlie Putman
Kuhlman took the top spot on the Platinum Cup Masters podium for the ninth time in 10 rounds this season. He has won the class in the last nine consecutive races since finishing fourth in the season-opening round in March at Sebring International Raceway.
“I just kept my head down, hit my marks and took the opportunities that were in front of me,” added Kuhlman. “I tried not to make any mistakes and take advantage of others’ mistakes. It was a good race.”
David Calvert-Jones finished second after starting fifth overall. It was the Australian’s sixth appearance on the Platinum Masters podium this season.
“I started in a good position. I had a good qualifying, and then I had a terrible race,” stated Calvert-Jones. “There were a couple issues with some cars around me that I didn’t think was all that favorable, but hey, that’s racing, I guess, and I got passed by a couple of cars that shouldn’t have passed me on a few restarts. Tomorrow will be a better day.”
Dempsey Racing driver Charlie Putman made up three positions on the 14-turn circuit at Road America to finish third. Putman has finished on the Platinum Masters podium four times this season in a limited schedule.
“We started out with quite a bit of action there at Turn 5 and in a few other places, but it’s just a result of hard racing and guys running as hard as they can,” Putman interjected. “We sort of settled down in the middle, but in those last few laps it was really hard again. There was a lot of rubbing and a lot of dirt and smoke. It was really exciting from the car; I hope it was as exciting for the spectators.”
Gold Cup/Gold Masters
|Gold Cup/Gold Masters podium finishers (from left): Jeff Mosing, David Ducote, Michael Levitas
Kelly Moss Motorsports/Porsche of Bucks County driver David Ducote made a successful first Gold Cup (2010-2013 car models) start this season after racing six rounds in the Platinum Cup class. Houston resident Ducote was the top Gold Cup qualifier, and he never relinquished the lead in the 45-minute timed race.
“It was fast and furious and very chaotic,” added Ducote. “There was a lot going on all the time. I was fighting with a couple of Platinum cars, and I had a couple of battles here and there. I was just trying to stay focused and avoid the carnage, which was hard, but I made it through.”
“As kind of predicted, we did have a little bit of melee at the exit of Turn 5,” stated Mosing. “I had my good friend and coach Eric Foss eyes and ears for me, and he told us head’s up, and we were able to avoid the wreck between 5 and 6. That was a big help. Hats off to Todd Opperman for giving me a great car. We weren’t the fastest car out there, but we were strong enough to be competitive. Everyone behind me was so busy scruffing with each other that I just had to put my head down and get some decent laps in.”
Ducote, Mosing and Levitas finished just .920 of a second apart. Patrick-Otto Madsenwas fourth in Gold despite a spirited charge from second to fourth before dropping back to fourth in an ANSA Motorsports Porsche. Madsen finished 1.013 seconds off the podium.
Yokohama Hard Charger
|Yokohama Hard Charger Winner David Baker
David Baker of Topp Racing took home the Yokohama Hard Charger award for Round 11. Baker started the 45-minute sprint 17th and gained nine positions to finish eighth overall and fourth in the Platinum Masters division.
“It was a survival kind of a race,” stated Baker. “There was a lot of mayhem out there. But I do want to thank my sponsor Apex Capital and Topp Racing for giving me a great car today.”
Two more 45-minute races will take place Sunday as part of a triple-header for the series this weekend at Road America.
Round 12 will start at 9:50 a.m. (CT). Round 6 will begin at 5 p.m. That race was rescheduled for this weekend after being rained out in late May at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.
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