Sonoma, CA | In the second Porsche Sprint Challenge USA West by Yokohama event of the season, Robert Todd sailed away for a weekend sweep while the rest of the field fought behind him.
Sonoma Raceway and the iconic wine country backdrop hosted the pair of rounds, one week after wrapping up its annual NASCAR Cup Series weekend, with the first race on Saturday afternoon and the second on a cooler, Sunday morning.
Following his two victories, Todd said, “I am so thankful for this past weekend, and I feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to represent such a wonderful team. BR Racing did an amazing job prepping the car and anticipating the conditions of the track after a weekend’s worth of rubber from NASCAR proved to be a challenge for us all. There was nothing better than having my wife and kids there with me during the weekend and having the best Father’s Day I can imagine.
“This really propels us forward for the championship and we are thrilled to be carrying this momentum into the next event at Utah for myself and our customers.”
While Todd secured the both the WeatherTech Pole Position Award and the 992 GT3 Cup Pro/Am win, the battle for the remaining class podium positions was unpredictable. Kayden Kelly held the runner-up spot for the majority of the race, but faced pressure throughout from Kenton King in the No. 274 Porsche.
Turn 9 was a hotbed of action particularly on Saturday, and was where King ultimately executed a move on Kelly to gain second place in the final 10 minutes. In the same turn on the next lap, Kelly’s control of his No. 288 Porsche seemed all but lost as he nearly spun, eventually doing so a few minutes later but managing to come home seventh in class.
Taking third in Pro/Am was James Sofronas, who faced a battle of his own after starting from the rear of the field following a post-qualifying technical infraction. In his first USA West event of the year, Sofronas determinedly moved through the pack in the No. 204 Porsche, gaining six class positions to round out the podium.
Kenton King wasn’t the only driver from Black Sheep Racing to reap rewards in Race 1, as his teammate Laura Ely claimed the 992 GT3 Cup Am class victory. The two enjoyed a battle amongst themselves for second and third overall on Saturday, with Ely outmaneuvering King during a pass on a lapped car on the final lap.
Peter Ludwig and Dmitri Novikov in the Nos. 211 and 229 Porsches, respectively, completed the Am class podium.
After a weekend sweep at Spring Mountain in April, Casey Dennis picked up where he left off to score the 991 GT3 Cup class victory over James Li and Jim Walsh.
While Todd’s dominance carried over to Sunday for a Race 2 victory, Sofronas’ fight for redemption continued as well – starting sixth in class and finishing a position higher than Saturday in second. King completed his effort for a double podium by finishing third.
The Am class victory was up for grabs in Race 2, with Novikov starting first ahead of Ludwig and Ely. An early spin dropped Novikov from the lead and behind his two competitors, while Ely had a turnaround of her own in the Carousel. Ludwig stayed consistent to score the victory and Novikov recovered for second, while Ely followed up her Race 1 win with third place, holding off a late surge from Kyle Washington in the No. 234 Porsche.
Casey Dennis completed back-to-back weekend sweeps with a 991 win on Sunday over Li and Walsh. Additionally, Michael Gaulke represented USA West Cayman GT4 Clubsport this weekend, earning points towards his Am class championship campaign with Competition Motorsports in the No. 99 Porsche.
In less than a month’s time, PSCUW is back on track for its third weekend of 2023 at Utah Motorsports Campus, which is scheduled for July 14 – 16. However, Porsche Sprint Challenge next heads to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to continue the North American series calendar. Only the 992 GT3 Cup classes will compete at Mid-Ohio on June 30 – July 2, before the GT3 Cup and Cayman GT4 Clubsport classes reunite at Road America in August.
All Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama races stream live on FloSports, in addition to the series’ YouTube channel. More information can also be found at www.porschesprint.com and on social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.