BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Kelly–Moss Roadand Race (KMR) is looking to build on the promise displayed in the recent IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama as it will field a five-car entry in this weekend’s races at Barber Motorsports Park. The series will compete on Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22, as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series weekend.
KMR driver Romain De Angelis will carry the colors—and handprints— for Racing for Children’s, which is based in Alabama and will be activating all week long as part of the Barber event. Driving the No. 1 Platinum Cup class (2017-18 Porsche GT3 Cup) entry, De Angelis is anticipating plenty of local support for the twin 45-minutes rounds.
Racing for Children’s is a unique national charity that supports children with cancer who are hospitalized at Birmingham-headquartered Children’s of Alabama. Drawing on the popularity of motorsports, Racing for Children’s brings attention and funding to the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood DisorDers. Children’s of Alabama is the third-largest pediatric medical facility in the United States.
“We will bring the young cancer patients out to the track, give them a tour of the Barber Motorsports Museum and take them on hot laps around the track,” said Doug Neil of Redmont Consulting Group, who has been part of the Racing for Children’s team since its early days. “This lets them experience what it truly feels like to be a racecar driver, helps them focus on something beyond their adversities and lets them know that there’s hope.”
The event weekend got off to an early start as KMR made a special visit to Children’s of Alabama as part of the race week build up. Friday will see another special event with the 8th annual Racing for Children’s Dinner and Auction (additional information here: https://racingforchildrens.org
“What an amazing experience meeting the children who we at Kelly–Moss Road and Race are racing for,” said De Angelis. “It was a huge inspiration as well as motivation to win not only for ourselves but for the kids who are trying to win their own race.”
De Angelis comes to Barber fourth in the standings, 14 points behind Trenton Estop (67-53). Scott Welham is tied for ninth in the standings with 43 points. KMR is third in the team points.
De Angelis, a 17-year-old Canadian, was fast but unlucky in the season-opening races at Sebring International Raceway in March. He won the pole and led the opening eight laps before finishing second to 18-year-old Estep in the opening race. De Angelis led the opening 15 laps in the second round, only to tangle with Estep in Turn 17 on the final lap and be classified 17th. De Angelis actually took the white flag twice in the latter race due to a scoring mishap.
“We had a good car at Sebring, and I think I should have won the [second] race,” said De Angelis. “Now I’m looking to put Sebring behind me and we’ll focus on Barber. The team did an awesome job all weekend, the car was dialed in.”
De Angelis is joined in the Platinum Cup by the No. 61 of Scott Welham, who is also classified in the Masters’ category, and the No. 99 iFly AM Motorsports entry of Alan Metni.
In the Gold Cup, Fazekas started seventh and battled hard through the Sebring race to bring his Porsche GT3 Cup Car home in second position. Palmer finished fourth in race two at Sebring, while Fazekas saw a second straight podium possibility end when he was hit by another car near the chaotic finish.
Fazekas comes to Barber ranked third in the Gold Cup standings with 55 points, while Palmer is fifth with 52 points. KMR is ranked second in the team standings with 62 points. Team owner Jeff Stone is confiDent that the KMR team will bounce back better than ever at Barber.
“Sebring was bittersweet but we have already turned the page and starting our race week with a visit to Children’s of Alabama is just so humbling and motivating,” said Stone. “These kids are incredible, and the fact that we can have a positive impact on their lives is something that we are so grateful to have the chance to do. We of course want to come back strong from Sebring with big results for all of our guys, but we also are tremendously motivated for the auction to be a success and to lift these kids up as much as we can.”
The Barber Motorsports Park weekend opens with unofficial testing on Thursday and a pair of practice sessions on Friday. Saturday begins with qualifying at 8 a.m. CT, with the opening 45-minute race taking the green flat at 11:50 a.m. CT. The competitors return to the beautiful circuit on Sunday morning for race two, which begins at 8:45 a.m. CT.