Today’s spectacular opening round of the 2024 Porsche Carrera Cup North America was dominated by ex-Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup driver Loek Hartog, but plenty of stars made headlines throughout the field at Sebring International Raceway.

Hartog was dominant from pole position but the other classes also were full of action with Pro-am racer James Sofronas taking his third consecutive win in only his first three races, and series returnee Matt Halcome earning the Masters class victory – 12 months after he last raced in the series.

Today’s opening round of the 2024 series also marked the debut of Yokohama as the official tire supplier for Porsche Carrera Cup North America – the new deal creating a stepping stone for racers graduating to Carrera Cup from Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama.

Stepping aboard the Kellymoss Racing for Children’s entry for his debut, Hartog today showed the speed that also made him a race winner in Mobil 1 Supercup in Europe.

He was chased to the finish by another Supercup racer making his series debut. MDK Motorsports’ Gustav Burton finished second in his first-ever US race – the British/Danish racer holding off a strong early challenge from Topp Racing’s Ryan Yardley.

Yardley scored his first series podium in the final race of 2023, but it didn’t take him long to earn his second – the New Zealander held second place early in the race today before crossing the line third at the checkered flag.

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JDX Racing’s Alex Sedgwick finished fourth, making it four teams in the top four, while another rookie, ex-Indy NEXT racer Colin Kaminsky, finished fifth.

“This was my first race in the US, so to hit the ground running and finish with a win is very rewarding,” Hartog said.

“There were a lot of things that were new for me – my first rolling start and the restart also but the car was on rails today.

“Today, we really showed our true colors, so I hope it’s a strong message for the rest of the year. The competition is quite strong, but we sort of showed that everybody should look out for us.”

The Pro-am class battle was filled with action, with front runners Alan Metni and series debutant Jordan Wallace spinning off track after contact on the opening lap. Sadly for Metni, his race was over on the opening lap, while Wallace was able to stage a fightback to eventually cross the line seventh at the flag.

James Sofronas continued his remarkable run in the series. After his first weekend at COTA last year, the GMG Racing driver scored two wins from two starts and has now made it three wins from three starts.

Sofronas led home ACI Motorsports duo Marco Cirone and series returnee Pedro Torres.

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Twelve months after last racing in series here in Sebring, ACI Motorsports’ Matt Halcome brought his “Mystery Machine” livery back to Carrera Cup with a victory in the Masters class today.

Chris Bellomo had dominated practice and qualifying but could only manage second place today ahead of Richard Edge – another ACI Motorsports driver giving the Chatanooga-based team four podiums in total across Pro-am and Masters.

Porsche Carrera Cup North America will be back on track on Friday with the first-ever series race that extends into darkness. The capacity 40-strong field will face the green flag at 7:15 p.m. before finishing 40 minutes later under the Sebring night sky.