Salinas, California 15, September 2019 – Porsche Trophy West USA headed back to the commonly seen, dense fog of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Day two of Porsche Trophy West USA’s races aligned with the third day of the Monterey Sports Car Championship Powered by McLaren and marked the 14th race of the 2019 Sea-son. The drivers of Porsche Trophy West USA put on a phenomenal performance yesterday, driving with the skill and confidence that comes along this late in the season. While the racing was consistent and without fault for most yesterday, some were left with dreams of the next race. Redemption would be the theme of the day.
Twenty-seven Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and Cayman GT4 Clubsport cars in 8 classes competed today at the world famous WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca: Platinum and Platinum Mas-ters Class (Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup), Gold Class (Porsche 991.1 GT3 Cup), Diamond Class (Porsche 991.1 GT3 R and 997 GT3 R), Emerald Class (Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup MR), Silver Class (Porsche GT4 Clubsport SRO and Clubsport Comp), Bronze Class (Porsche GT4 Club-sport with Trophy Kit and Clubsport MR), GT3 Cup Class (Porsche 997.2 GT3 Cup).
Once again, the twenty-seven Porsche Trophy West USA drivers started the race in a split start, separated by two pace cars. Sean McAlister was not granted the same healthy lead that he had at the start of yesterday’s race, and Hutton McKenna was sure to fill his rearview mirror as much as he possibly could. McAlister and McKenna immediately started having fun and were driving in tight formation. McKenna and McAlister would even trade positions in the opening laps while passing through the corkscrew. McAlister, who is notoriously fast at this track, handled the pressure from McKenna like a true veteran, and took home another trophy for the weekend.
“I always love running here,” said McAlister. “Especially with guys that I like and that I trust. It was a ton of fun. Every time I looked in the mirror Hutton would be there. He would catch me by about two seconds every other lap; it was scary. I had a ton of fun making sure he wouldn’t be able to lay down two of those laps in a row and get past me.”
Mckenna was also adamant about the fact that today’s race was pure fun, but he also spoke about the educational value of it.
“It was great to have Sean here,” said McKenna. “We had great competition all weekend, and everything we were doing out there was very well rounded. He’s spent a lot more time in this platform than I have, so I was able to follow his line and learn from him.”
Mark Davidian was another driver who was quick to receive pressure from his fellow driver in class, Laura Ely. Davidian passed Ely at the start and was able to put a car between them. A yellow flag in the second lap, and the arrival of the pace car gave her the opportunity to close in on him and park herself behind the traffic ahead. The pace car pulled off the track, and Da-vidian took advantage of traffic again, just as he did yesterday. The barrier remained for Da-vidian until Chris Bellomo passed him in the tenth lap, opening up an opportunity for Ely to chase him down. Ely continued to pressure Davidian into the fifteenth lap when she forced a mistake. Ely, Paul Bolton, and Kevin Westcott took their opportunity and passed a held-up Davidian. Ely had a significant lead on Bolton and Westcott at that point, giving her to go ahead to hold onto first in class until the checkered flag.
“Mark had a really good start,” said Ely. “He got by me, and then Chris Bellomo got by me before the yellow flag. Yesterday I was able to settle in and eventually pass him, so I figured I could do that today. So, I did that and bided my time until I caught up to him and forced an error through turn 2. I made a mistake yesterday and lost a thirty-second gap, so I made sure I wouldn’t do that again, and after that it was smooth sailing.”
In front of the Gold class, Jim Walsh was enjoying a bit of pressure from fellow Platinum Mas-ters class driver, Tom Tait. Walsh was free from pressure in yesterday’s race but was not lucky enough to have that luxury today. Tait worked hard to advance one position at the start and put himself behind a confident Walsh. Tait worked hard to pressure Walsh into slipping up, but ultimately it would be his aggressive driving that would lead to his own spin in the An-dretti hairpin turn. From that point on, Walsh was drove the rest of the race without much traf-fic, until the end when he met up with some drivers from the Platinum class.
“It was a very interesting race,” said Walsh. “The whole lead pack kept together, and nobody was making it easy for each other, so I no one was able to get a gap. Tom was behind me real-ly close and that was a lot of fun until he unfortunately went off. There was a GT4 that we were all lapping at the end, and we ended up close together going through the Corkscrew, but they were in another class so it was all in good fun.
Competent Motorsport’s president, Greg Franz had this to say about the massively success-ful weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
“It’s always such a treat to be a part of the big show that is a pro event. It is very different from what we’re typically used to, but I think that it’s great for our drivers to be around all of the action at least once per year. Aside from the spectacle of the event, we did a lot of great driving this weekend. The promoter testing day on Thursday combined and all of the qualifying sessions and races gave our drivers almost six hours of track time. I’m very pleased that our drivers were able to experience the thrills of the weekend, and that they all had a great time racing and learning at such a technical track.
Porsche Trophy West USA heads to Sonoma Raceway next, for the final races of the 2019 season, October 11-13! Follow all of the action on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at: @porschetrophywestusa