MADISON, Wis. (Oct. 28, 2015) – Numbers are essential in the daily life of any race team. Tire pressures. Gear ratios. Times. Speeds. So many more.
Powerhouse sports car team Kelly Moss ended the 2015 season with some impressive numbers to add to the usual digits.
The team, based in Madison, Wisconsin, competed in 34 races for two different series in 14 different locations in North America over the span of 205 days, with more than 20,000 miles traveled.
That translated into 61 podium finishes with 23 class wins, 21 pole positions, 15 fastest laps, a driver and team championship, eight top-five driver finishes in respective championships, and two second-place finishes and a third-place finish in driver championships.
In two years with the team, he has amassed an impressive 17 wins, two driver championships and helped lead Kelly Moss to two team championships. Thompson won the Platinum Cup Driver Championship and Kelly Moss the Team Championship in the 2014 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.
Kelly Moss continues to develop the skill of Thompson on and off the track, leading to multiple opportunities for the driver, including a ride with Flying Lizard Motorsports in the 18th annual Petit Le Mans in early October at Road Atlanta and a Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup berth in October during the United States Grand Prix Formula One event weekend.
Team newcomer Jesse Lazare wasted little time picking up from Thompson this season, keeping Kelly Moss at the front of the pack in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.
Montreal resident Lazare struck quickly with a sweep of the first two rounds in March at Sebring International Raceway. He continued to build on his success, finishing the season with five wins and 10 podium finishes, with continued guidance from the Kelly Moss team, including Thompson.
Lazare ended the season in second place in the Platinum Cup championship standings and received an invitation to the prestigious Porsche Young Driver Academy.
The Young Driver Academy is a springboard for a successful motorsports career. It provides promising North American drivers with an opportunity to reap the numerous benefits of a program by emphasizing evaluation and development of the young drivers during the Academy, with the goal of discovering and nurturing talent in the United States and Canada that can reach maximum potential.
Lazare became the second Kelly Moss driver to be invited in the last two years. Thompson received an invitation after his championship run in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama series last year.
Lazare was instrumental in the team’s push for another team championship. He helped lead Kelly Moss to a second-place finish in Platinum Cup with the help of Platinum Masters standouts Jay Patel and Bill Peluchiwski.
Both Patel and Peluchiwski had consistent seasons and finished second and third, respectively, in the Platinum Masters Driver Championship. Patel ended the season with a career-high nine podium finishes and never placed outside of the top six in any race.
Patel’s improving racecraft helped him earn the Yokohama Hard Charger Award for the 2015 season. The award is presented to the Platinum Cup and Gold Cup drivers who advanced the most positions through the field, cumulatively, throughout the 16-round season.
Peluchiwski finished the season with seven class podium finishes, including a win in Round 11 at VIRginia International Raceway. In 2014, he had only three podium finishes. This season Peluchiwski never finished outside of the top 10 in any of the 16 races.
Kurt Fazekas also produced consistent finishes for Kelly Moss in his first partial season with the team. He joined the team at the team’s home race in August at Road America. Fazekas competed in eight races and recorded eight top-10 Platinum Masters finishes, with continued improvement each time on track.
Dan Weyland and Frank Selldorff joined the team for specific races throughout the season, always bringing excitement and solid finishes in the Platinum Masters class. They both had top-10 finishes in all four of their respective starts.
Team veteran David Ducote also had a successful partial season to finish fifth in the Gold Masters Driver Championship point standings. He drove in 11 races for Kelly Moss, nine in Gold Cup and Gold Masters and two in Platinum Cup and Platinum Masters.
Ducote earned 12 podium finishes in his nine Gold and Gold Masters races, with one win in each class at NOLA Motorsports Park in April. He finished first and second in his only two Platinum Masters races, the final two races of the season at the Porsche Rennsport Reunion V at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Wayne Ducote, David’s father, produced two podium finishes in the Gold Cup and Gold Cup Masters classes in the year he turned 70 years old. He had 20 top-five finishes and also earned the Yokohama Hard Charger Award in Gold Cup for the 2015 season.
Paul Barnhart Jr., Jim Leslie, Paul Ip and John Crosby all joined the Kelly Moss team for one event this season to strengthen the team’s lineups and performance.