Thirty-two podiums. Two championships. One team. The 2014 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama season was the definition of success for Kelly Moss Motorsports.
In the hunt all season, the team entered the season finale Friday, Oct. 3 in a three-way tie for first place in the Platinum Cup Team Championship race. It was winner take all in the final race.
Through weather changes, multiple yellow flags and breathtaking racing action, Colin Thompson brought home the No. 14 Kelly Moss/Porsche of Bucks County Porsche home in first to secure the Platinum Team Championship for Kelly Moss, while earning his first Platinum Driver Championship.
“It’s absolutely the ultimate,” Kelly Moss Vice President Jeff Stone said. “This was absolutely fantastic racing down to the last lap. I had to hold my breath for 45 minutes. For the Team Championship to come down right to the very end just shows how great the season was.”
Thompson started Rounds 15 and 16 in pole position. In the first race Thursday, Thompson knew he had a fast car but just couldn’t put it all together, finishing third. He dropped to second in the championship, just one point behind Michael Lewis, setting up for a dramatic last race.
On Friday, weather conditions took a turn for the worse. Heavy clouds opened up before the 45-minute race, guaranteeing a wet start.
Pole sitter Thompson took the field to the green flag with smooth precision in the treacherous conditions. Lewis and Sloan Urry, who started second and third, respectively, spun in the slick conditions exiting Turn 12 behind Thompson before crossing the start-finish line to begin the race. Both were eliminated from the race.
Once the race restarted, Thompson battled title rival Angel Benitez Jr., pulling away to as much as a seven-second lead before a caution bunched the field. After the restart, Benitez closed in on Thompson, but Thompson was able to stay in first, securing his title.
“It was killer,” Thompson said. “Porsche of Bucks County set me up with a car, and they’re the reason I’m here. And Kelly-Moss Motorsports, we pulled it together. What a race!”
In addition to Thompson’s magnificent title drive, there was no shortage of highlights for the entire Kelly Moss lineup. Driver Dan Weyland finished in third place in Platinum Masters for Round 16. It was his first career podium finish and a big highlight for the entire Kelly Moss team.
“This was the most fun I’ve ever had on a racetrack,” Weyland said. “I love the rain. The rain at the start was, of course, almost undriveable. I haven’t been on a podium ever, so this is a great day. To have had my team up there cheering for me – it feels great.”
In the Gold Class, David Ducote continued his podium trend, picking up four total podiums throughout the two days of racing. In Round 15, he finished third in Gold and second in Gold Masters. In Round 16, Ducote picked up two additional second-place finishes in Gold and Gold Masters.
“Lots of excitement, lots of action, lots of exciting things happening on the track,” Ducote said. “Kelly Moss gave me a good setup all weekend, and the car felt as good as you could expect under the conditions we had today.”
Ducote finished on the podium in five of his six starts in the Gold class this season. His father, Wayne Ducote, finished the race weekend with fifth- and 10th-place finishes, respectively.
“The weekend was great,” Wayne Ducote said. “The racing was terrific. I had a good battle yesterday with (Fred) Poordad. We passed each other twice and were head-to-tail for 45 minutes, and I prevailed to finish sixth, which made me very happy. Today (Friday) I was doing fine until I ran out of transmission. But it was a great time. The team was great. Kelly Moss really is the best.”
William Peluchiwski also picked up a top-five finish in Round 16 after finishing eighth in Gold Masters in Round 15. Peluchiwski also was awarded the Yokohama Hard Charger award for Round 16, presented to the driver who advances the most places from start to finish.
“It was great to win the Hard Charger Award,” Peluchiwski said. “I had been struggling over the weekend, and to win that at the end was a great result. Thank you to Kelly Moss.”
Kelly Moss ended the season with 32 podiums between its drivers, and the Road Atlanta event was the perfect exclamation point.
“It’s been a phenomenal season,” Stone said. “I can’t say enough about our Kelly Moss crew. All of our guys are just awesome. All of our drivers are absolutely amazing and like family.
“I really wish Paul Barnhart and Seth Davidow could have been here this weekend. We missed them both. But it was really great to see Bill get the Hard Charger and see Dan Weyland get on the podium.
“To see Colin win it the way he did was just fantastic. A special thanks to Jens Walther and all the help from Porsche Motorsport and the guys at Porsche and IMSA. I also have to thank all the folks back at Kelly Moss – the guys back home, and to my brother, I couldn’t do any of this without him. I also want to give a special thanks to our sponsor and friends at Brey-Krause, specifically Dodge and Vicky Whipple and the “Walrus.” And to my wife, Ekram, thank for continuing to be my biggest supporter through this all, it means so much to me. I couldn’t be happier.”
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