SPRINT 1 SUMMARY
The Porsche Club of America (PCA) Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series kicked off its second season at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. over the weekend as part of the PCA Club Racing weekend. With sun and temperatures in the mid-60s all weekend, the weather couldn’t be better for The Peachstate 225 event conducted by the Peachstate PCA Region.
Series newcomer Jim Cox, who represents the Central Florida PCA Region, dominated and led from flag to flag in Sprint 1 as 18 drivers competed in their production-based Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport race cars on Road Atlanta’s 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course.
Cox ran in the No. 38 BGB Motorsports Clubsport MR entry in the series’ Pro class. This sprint race marked the first race with drivers using the Porsche-supported Clubsport Manthey-Racing (MR) kit, which is designed to make the car lighter and faster. Cox qualified on pole and drove to victory with the fastest lap time of 1:30.796.
“We started in position one and finished in position one, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of pressure along the way,” Cox said. “Everyone who finished on the grid behind us offered up really stout pressure throughout the race and it wasn’t until the checkered fell that we knew we had a win. We’re really excited and glad to be racing with these drivers.”
New driver Bruce McKee, representing the Alabama PCA Region, came in second in the Pro class in the No. 87 BGB Motorsports entry and Adam Merzon, who represents the Connecticut Valley PCA Region and competed in the 2016 season, followed in third.
In the Championship class, the 2016 third-place Championship class driver Curt Swearingin, who represents the Tennessee PCA Region, came in first place after passing the 2016 second-place Championship class driver David Baum at the halfway point in the 30-minute sprint. Lincoln Llopiz placed third in the No. 121 Dawes Motorsport Clubsport entry in his first race with the series.
In the Masters class, which is designated for drivers 57 and older, three series newcomers gained podiums. Charlie Craig came in first in Sprint 1 with the No. 76 Autometrics Motorsports entry and the sole female competitor Kathy Mead, came in second and John Crosby followed in third.
Sprint 1 Driver Quotes:
Jim Cox (winner, Pro) – “It was a good race. We started in position one and finished in position one, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of pressure along the way. Everyone who finished on the grid behind us offered up really stout pressure throughout the race and it wasn’t until the checkered fell that we knew we had a win. We’re really excited and glad to be racing with these drivers.”
Bruce McKee (second, Pro) – “It was a fun race, it was a ton of fun. I’m extremely happy with the car and with the BGB Motorsports team. They did a great job on my car and it allowed me to work my way up through the field.”
Curt Swearingin (winner, Championship) – “I felt great. We got lucky, David (Baum) was running great but we were trying to keep up with him and then were able to pass him. ACI Motorsports put together a great car and we just drove and drove and drove and we were having fun chasing Jim (Cox) – he’s a great driver. It was a great race.”
David Baum (second, Championship) – “I had a good start to the season and I’m happy with second place. I made a little mistake and Curt (Swearingin) took advantage of it but that’s racing. Second place and on the podium for our first race is great and the team did a great job. We’re just going to put our nose to the grindstone and try to get first place next race.”
Lincoln Llopiz (third, Championship) – “The car felt good overall and I need to work on a couple of turns and practice being in the car more, but so far, it went pretty well and I was happy with the results.” Charlie Craig (winner, Masters) – “I owe a great deal to John Frank. First, because he introduced me to racing and second, because he didn’t show up this weekend and allowed me to at least do well in one race. The race was exhilarating.”
Kathy Mead (second, Masters) – “I want to give a shout out to my Drivers’ Ed (DE) friends! It’s my first race and I’m very happy.”
John Crosby (third, Masters) – “I was happy to move up throughout the race and we’re happy with the results overall.”
SPRINT 2 SUMMARY
Curt Swearingin swept the Championship class with a second win Saturday afternoon in Sprint 2 in the No. 18 Advanced Collision Inc. (ACI) Motorsports entry.
After a driver infraction from Sprint 1, Swearingin started from 11th place on the grid at the beginning of Sprint 2. He slowly climbed up the ranks throughout the 30-minute sprint race until he was in second place going into the final lap, with David Baum, representing the Western Michigan PCA Region, in first place for the Championship class. Swearingin was able to pass Baum before the checkered flag flew to gain a second victory.
These two drivers have seen this situation before. The thrilling, last lap pass was similar to the enduro race at the series’ 2016 finale in Daytona when Swearingin passed Baum in the last lap to win his first race of the inaugural season.
“I never thought I would get back to the front but I just kept working,” Swearingin said. “ACI Motorsports and my crew just did a great job. We’ve been constantly working on this car and it’s starting to come to us. We’re happy. It was tough, tight racing and I raced David (Baum) as hard as I could.”
Series newcomers Jim Cox and Bruce McKee, both driving for BGB Motorsports, once again came in first and second respectively in the Pro class with Adam Merzon placing third.
John Crosby, racing in the No. 47 NOLASport entry, came in third place in the Championship class and first in the Masters class. The newcomer’s first two races in the series yielded three podiums. Kathy Mead and David Walker, both driving for TOPP Racing, followed in second and third respectively in the Masters class. This marked Walker’s first podium of the 2017 season.
“I felt great and the car felt great,” Walker said. “I love the new suspension adjustments they’ve made. There’s a lot of good drivers and we’re so close together, but that really makes for some fun racing.”
Sprint 2 Driver Quotes:
Jim Cox (winner, Pro) – “I was really excited for the second sprint race – again, it was wire to wire which is a fun way to win the race. But, just like in the first sprint, I had a lot of pressure from behind and it was a lot of great driving from my fellow Clubsport competitors. I’m looking forward to the enduro on Sunday and getting home safe and sound.”
Bruce McKee (second, Pro) – “It was hot out there! We started in third this race and ended in fourth overall. It was a great run and everybody ran very well and very gentlemanly. It was good, aggressive racing and it was a lot of fun. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday.”
Curt Swearingin (winner, Championship) – “We just raced until the end. I started 11th and I knew I had a long way to go but I just tried to start taking laps early and I was able to pick off some spots early. I never thought I would get back to the front but I just kept working. ACI Motorsports and my crew just did a great job. We’ve been constantly working on this car and it’s starting to come to us. We’re happy. It was tough, tight racing and I raced David (Baum) as hard as I could.”
David Baum (second, Championship) – “We had a really good race. At the end, I started to get a little loose and I made a couple little mistakes and Curt (Swearingin) was driving the wheels off of it and I saw him coming in my mirror and I did the best I could to hold him off but he did a great job. I’m going to get him in the enduro! I’m looking forward to the race Sunday, I usually do pretty well in enduros. The team is working on my car and getting it ready, and we’re ready to get faster.”
John Crosby (winner, Masters and third, Championship) – “I started fifth this race and that helped a lot. The car ran great and the guys did a great job. I’m really thrilled – my first weekend and two podiums so far.”
Kathy Mead (second, Masters) – “I want to shout out to TOPP Racing and my coach Josh Hurley. The car felt better this time. I got the first race under my belt and this second one just felt easier.”
David Walker (third, Masters) – “I felt great and the car felt great. I love the new suspension adjustments they’ve made. There’s a lot of good drivers and we’re so close together, but that really makes for some fun racing. I just couldn’t run John (Crobsy) down, but it was a great time.”
Curt Swearingin, racing in his No. 18 ACI Motorsports entry, swept the weekend in the Championship class and won the enduro race overall with his impressive driving skills on Sunday afternoon.
“ACI Motorsports and my whole crew did amazing and the car ran great,” Swearingin said. “I have quite a bit of experience with this track and I kept hitting it. It was fun, it was a great weekend. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Drivers competed in the 80-minute race in sunny, mid-70’s temperatures with a cool breeze.
Jim Cox came in second overall and first in the Pro class with his new Clubsport MR, followed by Bruce McKee in second. The two race for BGB Motorsports and it was their first endurance race.
“It was very hot and busy, but it was a ton of fun and a lot of good clean racing,” McKee said.
Father and son TOPP Racing duo David and Russell Walker gained their first Championship class podium of the season in Sunday’s enduro race. After putting R. Walker into the driver’s seat, and four new tires on their No. 28 TOPP Racing Clubsport entry, the Walkers earned their second-place spot with only two laps to go. David Baum, representing the Central Michigan PCA Region, followed in third place.
“For opening weekend, we just had a fantastic weekend,” Baum said. “My Autometrics crew, all the drivers – man, this is just fun! If you haven’t come out to watch a PCA race yet, you definitely should.”
In the Masters class, John Crosby gained his second win of the weekend with new drivers Kathy Mead and Charlie Craig following in second and third, respectively.
“The Autometrics crew did a great job and it was a fantastic weekend,” Craig said.
Next up, the PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series travels to beautiful Barber Motorsports Park for the first time. The event takes place May 19-21 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Enduro Driver Quotes
Jim Cox (winner, Pro) – “It was an enjoyable race. I did the whole race myself, which was a good way to get more endurance seat time. I’m a little bit tired but I feel pretty good about consistent laps. I could’ve gone a little bit faster, but I feel good. We had a great first weekend at Road Atlanta.”
Bruce McKee (second, Pro) – “It was very hot and very busy, but a lot of good racing. I didn’t have a lot in the end, it was extremely slippery. But it was a ton of fun and I’m happy to end up where we were. A lot of good, clean racing.”
Curt Swearingin (winner, Championship) – “ACI Motorsports and my whole crew did amazing and the car ran great. I have quite a bit of experience with this track and I kept hitting it. It was fun, it was a great weekend. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Russell Walker (second, Championship) – “Dad had a little rough start, but he was consistent for a while. Then we chose to put all four new tires on and really kick up the pace a little notch. We gained second place with two laps to go, it was a great race.”
David Walker (second, Championship) – “If I had done my job, Russell (Walker) would’ve won it. So, next time, I will do my job.”
David Baum (third, Championship) – “For opening weekend, we just had a fantastic weekend. We didn’t end up on top of the podium but I had two seconds and a third, so I’ll take it. We had a little trouble at the beginning of the race but we made a pretty good charge at the end there to come back and take third. My Autometrics crew, all the drivers – man, this is just fun! If you haven’t come out to watch a PCA race yet, you definitely should.”
John Crosby (winner, Masters) – “My NOLASport crew gave me a great car and it ran great. The car was able to maintain my pace and that’s all I needed to do.”
Kathy Mead (second, Masters) – “Great car and a great series!”
Charlie Craig (third, Masters) – “The Autometrics crew did a great job. At one point during the race, the car had issues and I pulled over and the crew was terrific. They couldn’t be better – they were so relaxed. It was a fantastic weekend.”