Birmingham, Ala. (24 April 2017) – Jake Eidson led the Kelly-Moss Road and Race (KMR) effort over the weekend at Barber Motorsports Park as the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA presented by Yokohama staged Rounds 3 & 4 of the 2017 championship. Eidson dominated the weekend, starting both races from the pole position and leading every lap on offer to take home two victories in his No. 24 Kelly-Moss/Racing for Children’s Porsche entry.
There was yet more champagne to spray as KMR pilots Kurt Fazekas and Colin Thompson also scored podium finishes in Alabama, with Fazekas placing third in the first IMSA GT3 Cup race while Thompson finished third in the second IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda event of the weekend.
“It’s been a fantastic weekend,” said KMR team owner Jeff Stone. “It has been a great first event with the Children’s Hospital of Alabama, we were able to put everything together and it was a very good weekend. We were also happy with our weekend on the track as well, there were some very strong drives from our guys. It’s great to be surrounded by good people. Everybody is pulling for the same goal and to end up with these results is just fantastic, I couldn’t be happier.”
Kelly-Moss Road and Race fielded four IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA presented by Yokohama entries while the team also continued its development of the Norma M30 in the IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda series.
The IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda will next be in action at Watkins Glen International on June 29 – July 2. The IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA presented by Yokohama will next race at Circuit of the Americas in two weeks’ time, May 4-6.
KMR BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK RACE BY RACE RECAP:
IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA presented by Yokohama Race 1
The first IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup race of the Barber Motorsports Park weekend marked a dominating run for series rookie Jake Eidson, who put on a clinic at the Alabama road course. Claiming the pole position, Eidson started from the front row and never looked back, extending his gap over the field to over nine seconds throughout a long green flag run.
Despite two late-race caution periods, Eidson make it look easy as he extended the gap by a few tenths with each lap of the circuit. The race ultimately finished under caution, with Eidson taking the checkered flag first in line.
Eidson hosted a group of children from the Children’s Hospital of Alabama who were thrilled that the winning car carried their handprints and signatures after the team visited the hospital on Tuesday.
“I was just trying to do everything I could to stay focused, make no mistakes at all and just save the tires,” said Eidson. “With the heat and everything, the tires were losing the grip they had at the start of the run. I’m just so happy to get a win for Racing for Children and Medical Properties Trust – they have both had a huge impact on the weekend and I’m just happy to give the kids a win. It was awesome to have a little fan base out in Turn 10 watching me. They were cheering me on and I dedicate the win to them.”
Meanwhile, Kurt Fazekas took third in Gold category – his third podium result of the year. He enjoyed mixing it up with the sister No. 99 Kelly-Moss Road and Race entry as the two ran together for some time in his debut at the Barber Motorsports Park road course.
“It was a tough one, there are not many passing zones out there,” said Fazekas following the podium celebrations. “We didn’t qualify where we had hoped, and it’s tough fighting all the way from the back to try to make clean passes but it turned out to be a good day for us. I enjoy Barber—it was my first time here and I’m looking forward to coming back in the future. Running with IndyCar has been a real pleasure.”
Greg Palmer, who made his first IMSA race start at Sebring, continued to show progress in the No. 44 Copps Industries Porsche as he completed the Barber race trouble free by putting down clean and consistent lap times.
“I like this Barber Motorsports Park track,” said Palmer. “I progressed well. I started to get competitive yesterday and I improved two seconds in my lap time. The race went green before the field was all packed up, so I didn’t get to mix it up like I was hoping to but I was happy with how I was able to improve my times to start the weekend.”
IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA presented by Yokohama Race 2
Sunday brought drastically different weather and track conditions from Friday and Saturday’s
The second race of the weekend opened under caution due to the rain around the circuit, but when the field went green, Eidson once again put on a show. Despite the rain, which presented challenging driving conditions and a ‘green’ track, the No. 24 Kelly-Moss/Racing for Children’s Porsche immediately gapped the field with Eidson eventually extending his leading margin to over 15 seconds.
Meanwhile, fellow Kelly-Moss Road and Race competitors Kurt Fazekas and Greg Palmer were completing consistent lap times in the Gold class – each targeting another solid finish in difficult conditions.
Unfortunately, those tricky track conditions caught Palmer out near the end of the race which brought out a full course caution and ended the No. 44 Copps Industries Porsche entry’s day early.
The race finished under the yellow with Eidson taking the victory and Fazekas earning fourth in the Gold class.
“The rain was a huge curveball – after the start, I got a good gap and just put my head down and learned the rain line and everything,” said Eidson. “The rain has been pretty good to us – I enjoy racing in the rain. It’s usually a bit of an unknown but today it paid off quite a bit. I was really happy to get used to the car and see what these cars are like in the rain. I’m just really thrilled for the team and for everyone at Racing for Children’s and Medical Properties Trust. We put a lot of smiles on everyone’s faces this weekend and that was the goal so I’m really happy.”
IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda Race 1
Colin Thompson put the No. 14 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Norma M30 third on the grid for Friday’s 45-minute sprint race at Barber Motorsports Park. Despite showing promising race pace through the beginning stages of the event, the Norma sustained slight contact in the tight confines of the Barber circuit which was enough to affect the handling of the machine. Thompson hung on for fourth at the finish with hopes of a positive outing in Saturday’s Race 2.
IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda Race 2
Race 2 on Saturday saw Thompson open the race from the pole position. He put the Norma M30 in strong position as he led through the opening stages. About half-way through the race, a full course caution bunched the field back up and when the race went back to green, Thompson went into defense mode. Unfortunately, as he made his way into Turn 5, the No. 14 machine got caught out on the dirty part of the circuit which saw Thompson slip to third in line.
Maintaining position up until the checkered flag, Thompson took home his second podium of the year with a third place finish – after having taken a runner-up finish earlier this year at Sebring.