The ever-technical Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course offered some of the best racing Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama has seen yet this season – delivering wins for unexpected victors and challenges for the series’ regulars.
While PSCNA typically hosts Porsche GT3 Cup and Cayman GT4 Clubsport on the same weekend, Mid-Ohio featured only the former classes, crossing the season’s halfway point during a weekend also highlighted by the NTT IndyCar Series.
Zachary Vanier celebrated Canada Day on Saturday by claiming the WeatherTech Pole Position Award ahead of Race 1 at Mid-Ohio in the No. 206 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. However, an immediate three-wide race after the green flag saw that position relinquished and not to be regained again.
In his series debut, Jared Thomas sent his No. 296 JTR Motorsports Engineering Porsche past Vanier and second-place starter Aidan Kenny to steal the lead, which he would maintain for the rest of the race.
Vanier and Kenny went on to battle amongst themselves – and for points in the season-long Pro/Am championship – swapping spots until Vanier claimed second place. Third place went to Madeline Stewart, who managed a pass on Kenny during the final restart with seven minutes remaining to complete the podium.
In the 992 GT3 Cup Am class, Mark Kvamme jumped from third to first over Christian Hodneland, who controlled most of the race, to win his first round of the year in the No. 243 MDK Motorsports Porsche.
Kvamme’s win came after he faced a lengthy battle with David Williams, who wound up third-in-class.
Ashley Freiberg was a patient racer on Saturday, working her way through the 991 GT3 Cup class and past other competitors until the final restart.
In the closing laps, she passed Charlie Peter to take her sixth win of the season in the No. 122 MDK Motorsports Porsche, while Peter held on for second-in-class and Robert Tutino finished third.
While Sunday was mostly spoiled by rainy weather conditions, the race got underway for about 15 minutes for competitors to show their skills. Polesitter Aidan Kenny was one of a handful of drivers who fell victim to the wet circuit, spinning and handing over his position to Race 1 winner Jared Thomas.
Thomas would go on to sweep the weekend, with Vanier and Anthony McIntosh finishing second and third, respectively, in the Pro/Am race.
Vanier’s stability throughout the weekend also allowed him to sustain his lead in the PSCNA Juniors Championship over Kenny, 97 – 88 points, with three races remaining.
“What debut weekend for me and the team, I couldn’t have dreamed it up any better,” said Thomas. “I loved the tight and competitive racing by all my competitors in PSCNA, they really made us earn it!
“Everyone from Porsche Motorsports, Yokohama, and PSCNA are truly first class and made it very easy for a newcomer to come in and compete, and I thank them for all their hard work all weekend.
“Also, it was such a cool experience to be able to win on the Fourth of July weekend with my American flag livery!”
Mark Kvamme matched Thomas’ tactics to sweep the weekend in the 992 GT3 Cup Am class, with Hans Peter and Rob Walker following on the class podium.
Kvamme joined the field at Mid-Ohio after last competing at Sebring International Raceway during the season-opener, while Christian Hodneland – who finished second and fourth this weekend at Mid-Ohio – maintains the class championship lead.
After coming just short of the 991 GT3 Cup victory on Saturday, Charlie Peter sealed the deal on Sunday over Ashley Freiberg for this third win of the season.
Freiberg finished second to extend her lead in the championship, while John McInnes finished third on the podium.
Up next, Porsche Sprint Challenge continues its USA West schedule at Utah Motorsports Campus on July 14-16.
The North American calendar continues at Road America next month, with the GT3 Cup and Cayman GT4 Clubsport classes reuniting for a doubleheader on Aug. 11-13.
All Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama races stream live on FloSports, in addition to the series’ YouTube channel. More information can also be found at www.porschesprint.com and on social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.