Pirelli World Challenge Championship presented by MOMO Motorsport
Colin Thompson clinched the Pirelli World Challenge Championship GT Cup presented by MOMO Motorsports championship with his 11th win of the season, taking the victory in Round 15 Sunday, Aug. 23 at Miller Motorsport Park.
The victory, coupled with a second-place finish in Round 14 on Saturday, helped Thompson extend his points lead to 1,672-1,139 over second place Sloan Urry. The 533-point gap cannot be overcome by any other competitor through the next three rounds of the 18-race season.
“We won the race and won the championship,” Kelly Moss Vice-President Jeff Stone said. “Colin’s on cloud nine, and I couldn’t be more proud and happy for him. With four races to go to lock down the driver and team championship is a testament to the hard work and dedication the team has had all season.”
The championship-clinching win was a hard-fought victory for Thompson. Alec Udell started the race cleanly from pole, leading Thompson. On Lap 6, Thompson passed Udell through Turn 3. Udell drove his No. 17 machine alongside Thompson’s No. 11 machine through the next three turns.
Thompson won the drag race through the Witchcraft section of the track to take the lead through the section of the track called the Attitudes. Thompson’s pass of Udell was named the MOMO GT Cup Turning Point of the race.
Rounds 15 and 16 of the PWC GT Cup are Aug. 28-30 at Sonoma Raceway. Thompson will take on the 2.52-mile road course as part of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend. Qualifying is 12:30 p.m. (PT) Saturday, followed by the first race at 4:50 p.m. Race two starts at 10:55 a.m. Sunday.
Both races will be live streamed at www.world-challengetv.com. Television coverage will air at 5 p.m. (ET) Sunday, Sept. 6 on CBS Sports Network.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama
It was a weekend of highs and lows for the Kelly Moss team in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama. Jesse Lazare entered the three-race weekend at VIRginia International Raceway with a three-point lead in the Platinum Cup Drivers Championship.
After a rough start in Round 11 with an incident that took Lazare out of the race, the young Kelly Moss driver rebounded. He climbed through the field in the second race to finish fourth and won the final race of the weekend.
“I’m super happy Jesse won,” Stone said. “I have no doubt we have the driver to beat in this series. Right now, at this point in the season, he’s doing an amazing job. He’s fantastically even and steady and showing absolute professional driving skill, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. I think he’s maturing as a person, and that’s a big part of this process.”
With four rounds left in the championship, Lazare trails, 207-188, in the points standings. Kelly Moss is second in the Platinum Cup Team championship, trailing by only eight points, 214-206.
“We are absolutely non-negotiable for going full-out for this championship,” Stone said. “We’re in this to the end, and we’re fighting to the end.”
Jay Patel and Bill Peluchiwski continued their battle for second place in the Platinum Cup Masters Championship.
Peluchiwski earned his first Platinum Cup class victory of the season in Round 11, finishing sixth overall after starting 13th. His run through the field also earned him the Yokohama Hard Charger Award. He added to his trophy total with a second-place finish in Round 12. Peluchiwski finished his weekend with a fifth-place finish in the third race of the weekend.
Patel continued his consistency streak with three more podium finishes to retain second place in the standings. He finished second in both Rounds 11 and 4 and third in Round 12. He leads Peluchiwski, 176-169, in the race for second in the standings.
“Jay and Bill are going to have to start building trophy rooms because they’re collecting a lot of hardware,” Stone said. “They continued to push and make each other better, and I’m really proud of both of them.”
Kurt Fazekas earned sixth- and seventh-place finishes in Rounds 11 and 12, respectively, in just his second International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)-sanctioned series event.
“Kurt had a rough weekend,” Stone said. “He’s just trying a little bit too hard this weekend. We’ve talked about it, and he’ll come back with even better focus at the next event. He’s going to be fine. He’s new to all of this but to be driving as quick as he is, as early on, is a great sign.”
The next two rounds, Rounds 13 and 14, are scheduled for Sept. 16-18 during the Lone Star Le Mans World Endurance Championship and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
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