Some new faces, the return of some old friends, and some surprise performances highlighted the opening practice for Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Running in conjunction with Rennsport Reunion 7, the amazing Porsche celebration of speed will feature rounds 13 and 14 of the 2023 championship at the challenging Monterey circuit.
Recently crowned provisional Pro champion Riley Dickinson (Kellymoss) continued this incredible 2023 season by topping the timesheet today ahead of British rival Will Martin (JDX Racing) by a mere 0.084 of a second.
After a challenging pair of rounds at Road America and Indianapolis, Michael McCann bounced back in the first session today to be third fastest in the Pro class.
“That was a fun session. The new repaving here at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is really nice, so it feels super smooth,” McCann said.
“The curbing is a little bit different, which is something to get used to, but ultimately, it’s a beautiful day here at Rennsport. We can’t complain – the car is fast and we’re all happy here at McCann Racing.”
The Pro class this weekend features a number of racers making their Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America series debut. Wright Racing has expanded its Carrera Cup roster to a third car for USF2000 graduate Nicky Hays – the Californian racer finishing 14th fastest today.
McElrea Racing has also expanded back to a two-car team, with Bayley Hall jumping from his Australian Carrera Cup ride to debut here in the US. Hall was 16th on the timesheet as he transitions to the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup that – unlike the Australian series – runs with ABS braking in the US.
Nick Boule also returns to the series this weekend for his first races since Watkins Glen.
While Kellymoss racer Efrin Castro looks to be on the verge of taking the Rafa Racing Club Pro-Am title, local racer Chris Bellomo (MDK Racing) was the one to watch in practice today, topping the timesheet ahead of Castro and PJ Hyett.
“We tested last week and had a really good run. My coach Johannes (van Overbeek) and I have been working on driver technique a lot,” Bellomo said.
“It’s great to be back home. I think local knowledge is very important here. It’s a very technical track, and I’ve done thousands of laps here, but things are a little bit different now that it’s been repaved.”
Porsche Sprint Challenge by Yokohama driver Blake McDonald makes his series debut for GMG racing this weekend, while Thomas Collingwood makes his return to the series. Collingwood has been a regular aboard a Porsche GT4 entry in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge alongside Spencer Pumpelly in 2023 for BGB Motorsports.
The inter-team Am class championship battle continued at MDK Motorsports with Scott Noble heading team boss Mark Kvamme in practice.
Bob Mueller returns to the championship for the first time this season since the Miami Grand Prix. He was quickly on the pace today to set the third fastest time in the Am class.
The championship is back on track on Saturday for the final 40-minute practice session at 9:40 a.m., followed by qualifying at 2:20 p.m.
Sunday’s 13th and 14th rounds of the championship will be contested on Sunday, with the green flag being waved at 9:05 a.m. and 3:35 p.m.