Parker Thompson Earns Top-Five Finishes as Carrera Cup North America Debuts in Sebring
SEBRING INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY – SEBRING, FL
The inaugural season of Carrera Cup North America kicked off this weekend in Sebring, Florida. With the debut of the series and a brand new Porsche 992 Cup car, Parker Thompson returned to sportscars, driving the #9 Pro class entry of JDX Racing. Amidst the unknowns of the new series and race car Thompson would earn 4th and 5th-place overall finishes – a solid start to what is expected to be an intensely competitive season series.
After a 2020 campaign on the Road to Indy with Indy Pro 2000, the weekend in Sebring marked Thompson’s first opportunity in sportscar racing since 2019, when he first joined JDX Racing in the GT3 Cup Challenge USA. With the highest hopes for the 2021 Carrera Cup North America season, Thompson and JDX Racing had tempered expectations for the opening weekend at Sebring International Raceway. Adjustments were required all around as both team and driver came to terms with the new 992 race car and Michelin slick tire. In practice and qualifying sessions, Thompson found himself slightly off the pace of the field leaders. He would start Race 1 from 7th position and Race 2 from 8th.
During race action Thompson discovered a new pace, climbing from fourth-row starting positions to challenge for the podium. In Race 2, the action was most intense. Off the start Thompson quickly moved up, engaging in an extended three-way battle for 3rd position, chasing Leh Keen and Riley Dickinson. Making multiple passing attempts, Thompson put intense pressure on Keen. The close battle ended when lap traffic came between the two, creating a gap that could not be closed before the checkered flag flew.
With the first of eight race weekends (two of 16 rounds) on the books, Thompson holds fifth-place in the overall championship standings. Rounds three and four are scheduled for the weekend of May 21 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. With almost two months to prepare, Thompson is looking to solidify his championship push as the series makes the first of two visits to his home country of Canada.
“It was an absolute team effort from a great group of people to make our first round of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America such a success. There was some adversity that both the JDX team and I had to overcome but to come away with two top 5’s with our No. 9 Byers Porsche entry is a testament to everyone coming together and performing. From our ownership, engineering, and mechanics by all accounts we made a great start to 2021. This would never have been possible without the involvement of some incredible sponsors. Special thanks to Porsche Cars Canada Ltd., Surgere, and the team at JDX Racing – Byers Porsche and Renier Construction. Now it’s time to carry this momentum into the rest of the season!”
Images credit Mark Riehle – Mint Photos