Newly crowned Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America champion Riley Dickinson made good use of his local knowledge to score his 10th victory of the season today at Circuit of the Amercias.
The Kellymoss driver made a move around the outside of McElrea Racing’s Tom Sargent to jump into the lead on the opening lap.
The field was quickly brought under the control of the safety car after another Austin local, Travis Wiley, suffered contact exiting turn one and subsequently spun in the COTA esses after his left rear went down.
On the restart, Dickinson was never headed as he charged to a 7.686-second win over Sargent and JDX Racing’s Alex Sedgwick.
“That was a bit of a crazy move there in turn one and ultimately over into turn two at the start,” said Dickinson.
“I need to give a huge shout-out to Tom for racing me clean and hard, but fair. I’m super stoked to get this one done in front of the hometown crowd.
“When we came onto the grid before the race, I was able to look up into turn one and see all the fans down the hill – there wasn’t a single blade of grass wasn’t taken up by someone. it was a pretty heart, heart-stopping moment that got the adrenaline going.
“I have to say a huge thank you to everyone at Kellymoss. We’ve worked extremely hard, to make sure that we were able to get this one done properly.”
While James Sofronas’ GMG Racing squad has contested plenty of Carrera Cup races, today was the first time that Sofranas himself had driven in the series, and he came away with a victory over new Rafa Racing Club Pro-am champion Efrin Castro (Kellymoss) and Chris Bellomo (MDK Motorsports).
The remarkable result was even more impressive considering this was Sofranas’ first professional race back after suffering a back injury at Road America in August.
“It’s been a lot of work behind the scenes to recover from the back injury. Back issues are never good in sports, especially racing cars,” Sofronas said.
“And of course, this is the bumpiest I remember COTA ever being, so I was grinding my teeth through some of the laps.
“But it feels amazing. I haven’t been in a car for almost three months per doctor’s orders. So, finally, getting a chance to jump in without any practice or testing and have a strong result in the first race is amazing.
“Having Efrin in the field – the current champion for the Pro-am class – running with him was great. I’ve wanted to race all year in this class, but obligations to take care of clients first, and then this injury put me out, so great way to finish up the year with my first win and my first entry in Carrera Cup.”
The battle for championship honors between MDK Motorsports rivals Mark Kvamme and Scott Noble will go down the wire tomorrow in the final round after MDK owner Kvamme was able to put a stop to Noble’s six-race winning streak.
“That was a must-win situation for me. This morning I lost out on the pole to Scott 5/100ths of a second. I got lucky to get around him in turn one at the start and after the yellow, he passed me down in turn 10 with a really clean pass.
“But I could tell his tires were going away. It was pretty obvious because he was just hauling the mail early and then, I could see that he was struggling a little bit, and I was able to take advantage of it to get back past him.”
John Goetz completed the Am class podium for Wright Motorsports today in third.
The last round of the 2023 season will be held on Sunday on the US Grand Prix race day. The final 40-minute battle begins at 10:50 am.