Double Podium for Thompson as Inaugural Carrera Cup North America Concludes at Road Atlanta

Double Podium for Thompson as Inaugural Carrera Cup North America Concludes at Road Atlanta

BRASELTON, GA

The inaugural season of Carrera Cup North America concluded this past week with a trio of races at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Parker Thompson earned two third-place finishes on Thursday’s races and a fourth-place finish on Friday. Thompson’s performance in the season finale was indicative of his performance through the entire season. In sixteen races, he stood on the podium a total of eight times and was one of only three drivers to earn a race win – a feat he accomplished three times. With a total of 258 points, Thompson finished third overall in the season championship and was the top-ranking North American-born entrant.

From the series onset, Thompson battled fiercely to contend for the  Carrera Cup North America championship title. After five years in open-wheel race cars on the Road to Indy, the campaign marked Thompson’s first dedicated effort in sports cars. With support from Porsche Canada and Surgere IoT, Thompson joined JDX Racing, earning two top-five finishes when the season opened at Sebring. In the third race of the year, Thompson found his first win at Circuit Of The Americas with an exciting final corner, final lap, pass. 

Thompson would win again in races at Road America and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Every race that he did not win was won by Kelly-Moss Racing, whose drivers Priaulx and Van Berlo joined Thompson as the top contenders in the Pro-class Championship. The three Porsche Junior drivers were in a tight contest in nearly every race. Thompson, who never found any better than second pace in qualifying, used dominant race craft to excel during race action. While executing some of the boldest overtaking maneuvers of the season, Thompson drove the #9 JDX Racing car home without incident in all sixteen races. 

The young Canadian’s performance will undoubtedly open more doors in sportscar racing, where Thompson is now becoming a familiar name. Next season could present opportunities in various series, and with a short off-season ahead, we can expect news of those opportunities to develop quickly. Following the Carrera Cup North America finale, Thompson was reflective on the season, grateful of his partners in the campaign, and excited about what the future might hold.

Parker Thompson
“Coming into the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Finale at Road Atlanta, I knew that JDX Racing and I needed to find some pace compared to our competition. Again like VIR, I haven’t driven many laps around Road Atlanta, and the ones I had were not in a GT. But from the green flag in FP1, the #9 car and driver were getting along well around one of the most challenging circuits in North America. To bring home two podiums and a front-row starting spot out of three races is something we can be very proud of on the weekend. It was a nice way of finishing out a strong first season in Carrera Cup, with three wins, eight podiums, and 3rd Overall in the Driver’s Championship. I can’t thank Jeremy Dale, Harrison Brix, and the whole JDX Racing team enough for having me here to lead their inaugural first season racing in Carrera Cup. I had one of my most memorable seasons in the sport with an amazing group of people. Huge thanks go out to Porsche Canada, Byers Porsche, Renier Construction, Surgere, SSi Artificial Lift, Curt Swearingin, Bell Helmets, Sparco USA, and Porsche Motorsport North America for an amazing year. Without everyone named here, I wouldn’t have been able to show what I’ve got behind the wheel.”

Images credit Bob Chapman / Autosport Image

IMSA 2021 CARRERA CUP NORTH AMERICA – Rounds 14 – 16, Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta

Round 14 – Official (PDF)
Round 15 – Official (PDF)
Round 16 – Official (PDF)
Final Standings – Official (PDF)

Complete results are available at results.imsa.com

Thompson Finishes on the Podium at VIR as 2021 Carrera Cup North America Nears Completion

Thompson Finishes on the Podium at VIR as 2021 Carrera Cup North America Nears Completion

ALTON, VA

The inaugural Porsche Carrera Cup North America visited VIRginia International Raceway this weekend for races 12 & 13 of the sixteen race schedule. The iconic track provided some spectacular racing action as the Pro-Class championship came into focus. Thompson and team JDX Racing entered the weekend holding third in the overall standings, looking to further improve on their position after a strong performance in Indianapolis last month. In each race, Thompson and the #9 of JDX Racing improved on their fifth-place starting position, earning fourth-place and third-place finishes on the weekend. 

Through winding esses and dramatic elevation changes, the high-speed VIR road course rendered tremendous bumper-to-bumper racing throughout the weekend. From his starting position on the third-row, Thompson was fully entangled in action early in the two races.  

In Race 1 on Saturday, a tough start dropped Thompson back to the sixth spot in the opening corners of the race. Through seven laps, he battled veteran drivers Leh Keen and Erik Johansson to regain his original position and then take fourth place. Finding a gap greater than eight seconds to the race leader, Thompson then managed his fastest laps of the race in an effort to close distance on a podium position. While that gap would narrow through the middle part of the contest, his pace began to fade as the laps added up. Neither the safety car nor a caution flag would offer any relief through 26 laps of the 3.27-mile circuit before the checkered flag fell.

On Sunday, an exciting start saw multiple exchanges among the top five cars through the opening corners of Race 2. A significant wreck resulted when fellow Junior driver Van Berlo edged across the nose of the JDX Racing #9 at the entrance of Turn 3. Van Berlo left the track and skidded across the grass into the barriers outside the high-speed left-hander. Thompson, who held forth at the time of the incident, took the final podium position while the safety crew collected the wrecked Porsche 992 and repaired damaged ARMCO barriers. 

After five laps behind the safety car, green flag action resumed. Thompson managed early pressure on the race leaders Dickinson and Priaulx but again faded as the race progressed. He maintained third place, unchallenged, until the end of the contest.

A third and fourth-place finish on the weekend provides Thompson with a solid gain in championship points. However, after narrowing the gap to championship leaders in races at Road America and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, here Thompson saw the distance to the leader expand. Now, just three races remain on the schedule. All will come during a triple-header weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on November 10 – 12. There, Thompson will look to put an exclamation mark on what has been a strong season’s campaign by adding another win.

Parker Thompson
“It’s never a bad weekend when we can climb the podium. This was my first visit to the beautiful VIRginia International Raceway. Some testing issues meant we probably weren’t as prepared as we would have liked for the action this weekend. The crew had a late night yesterday trying to find us an edge, and it showed benefits! 

I hate to see anyone wreck a car out there. Van Berlo and I have raced each other hard and clean throughout the year. I was on the outside of him going into turn three and I don’t think he knew that I was there. I’m glad to see that he wasn’t seriously hurt.

Special thanks to our partners: Porsche Canada, Byers Porsche, and Renier Construction. Michael Wappler at Surgere and Yero Hilts at SSi Artificial Lift brought a great group of people here to VIR for the weekend. We had an incredible weekend together. I’m looking forward to another incredible weekend at the season finale in Atlanta next month!”

Images credit Bob Chapman / Autosport Image

IMSA 2021 CARRERA CUP NORTH AMERICA – Rounds 12 & 13, VIRginia International Raceway

Round 12 – Provisional (PDF)
Round 13 – Provisional (PDF)
Overall Standings – Provisional (PDF)

Complete results are available at results.imsa.com

Thompson Earns Third Win of the Year as Carrera Cup North America Visits Indianapolis

Thompson Earns Third Win of the Year as Carrera Cup North America Visits Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, IN

The Porsche Sportscar Together Fest and Indianapolis Motor Speedway played host to a unique event for Carrera Cup North America Presented By Cayman Islands this past weekend. Three races at The Yard of Bricks provided a massive opportunity to transform the championship. Porsche Canada driver Parker Thompson entered the weekend holding third place in the overall standings. Coming off of a win last month at Road America, expectations for Thompson were high. He did not disappoint. Thompson piloted the #9 Porsche 992 of JDX Racing to his third win of the season, leading more laps than all drivers throughout the weekend.

After setting the fastest time in Friday afternoon’s practice, Thompson began qualifying with a blistering lap of 1:36.620 seconds. That would hold as best for most of the session. A late lap by Seb Priaulx would better that time by little more than a tenth of a second, and Thompson was unable to counter before the session closed. He would start on the outside of the front row for all three races throughout the weekend.

In Race 1 on Saturday afternoon, Thompson and the red, white, and grey #9 of JDX Racing would hold second for the entirety of the contest. In an incident-free race, his position was never challenged. Apart from aggressive passing attempts on the opening lap, Thompson followed Priaulx through twenty-eight laps to the finish and took the second step on the podium.

Seemingly taking a lesson from Race 1, Thompson was able to exploit Priaulx as the pair again lined up on the front row for Race 2. Thompson got a jump on Priaulx at the start and was able to pass him under braking into turn one on the opening lap. From there, the Canadian never looked back, holding his lead through two re-starts and taking the checkered flag after twenty-five laps. It was a dominant win from Thompson, and one that provided a massive boost in the championship standings as fellow contenders Priaulx and Van Berlo fell victim to incidents late in the race.

In the weekend’s final race, Thompson again lined up beside Priaulx at the start and again seemed to find an early advantage. Aggressively committing to holding the outside position through turn one on the opening lap, Thompson set the #9 JDX Racing car on the advantageous inside line for turn 2. Narrowly squeezing past Priaulx, he took the lead in the opening moments of the race. Unfortunately, a mid-field collision on that opening lap resulted in a lengthy caution as the crew worked to clean an extensive spill. After ten laps under yellow, race action resumed, and Thompson was immediately penalized for a start lane violation. Re-emerging in 19th position, he had limited time to recover. In four laps, Thompson moved eight spots to P-11 before the checkered flag fell.

With the results of Race 3 providing a reverse of fortunes to Race 2, Thompson maintains his third position in the standings for Carrera Cup North America Presented By Cayman Islands. The standings tighten however. Less than 60 points separate the top three drivers. As Thompson and JDX Racing seem to grow stronger and stronger as the season progresses, we can expect action in the series to intensify with five rounds remaining. Rounds 12 and 13 will run October 8 – 10 at Virginia International Raceway.

 

Parker Thompson

“Any weekend that I get to go racing is special, but three races in two days here with Porsche taking over Indianapolis Motor Speedway was an experience I’ll never forget. I’m so honored to work with the team at JDX Racing. The #9 feels like it gets faster and faster every stint. That takes an effort that extends to each member of our group. Special thanks go to our incredible partners at Porsche Canada, Surgere, SSi Artificial Lift, Byers Porsche, and Renier Construction. We had a penalty in Race 3 that we are less than happy about, but I’m not going to let that take away from our overall performance this weekend. We put another win in the books. Now, it’s time to put our heads down and get ready for VIR.”

Images credit Bob Chapman / Autosport Image

IMSA 2021 CARRERA CUP NORTH AMERICA
Rounds 9 – 11, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Round 9 – Provisional (PDF)
Round 10 – Provisional (PDF)
Round 11 – Provisional (PDF)
Overall Standings – Provisional (PDF)

Complete results are available at results.imsa.com

One-Two Finish for Thompson as Carrera Cup North America Championship Reaches Halfway Marker at Road America

One-Two Finish for Thompson as Carrera Cup North America Championship Reaches Halfway Marker at Road America

ELKHART LAKE, WI

The 2021 Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands reached the halfway point of its inaugural season as thirty spec Porsche race cars arrived at Road America this weekend. On the 4.0-mile Wisconsin road course, Parker Thompson had his strongest performance in the series to date. Thompson piloted the #9 JDX Racing Porsche 992 to second-place and first-place finishes in the double-header race weekend. With the performance, he closes in on the overall championship lead. 

After heavy rains forced the cancellation of Qualifying on Friday, the weekend’s competition began with Race 1 on Saturday morning, and the field lined up according to championship points standings. From the inside of row 2, Thompson had a strong start, taking 2nd place through turn one of the opening lap and settling in behind championship leader Kay Van Berlo. In pursuit of Van Berlo, Thompson would open a wide margin over the rest of the field. Late in the race, he would mount a charge on the leader as the two clocked the fastest laps of the field. After completing a final lap, final corner, pass for the win against Van Berlo earlier this year at COTA, Thompson once again took race fans to the edge of their seats as he reeled Van Berlo in. He would close to within half a second of the lead but was ultimately unable to get past. Thompson brought the red and white #9 JDX Racing 992 to the checkered flag in second place.

In an action-packed Race 2, Thompson started second. On the opening lap, tight competition at the front of the field took action three-wide in places. All drivers showed tremendous skill as they navigated close quarters and tested the outer boundaries of the track. With an incredibly aggressive move past two competitors on the outside of turn 1, it was Thompson who emerged in the lead after the first lap. He would establish a safe margin to the rest of the field until multiple incidents behind him caused full-course yellows and race restarts. On those restarts, Thompson repeatedly proved that he had not only strong pace, but also the racecraft to hold off charges from the group behind him. He would take the checkered flag and become one of only two drivers to earn multiple wins in the championship to date.

Parker Thompson
“I’m so proud to be part of this team. We’re not the biggest dog in this fight, but we know that with grit and determination, we can have a massive impact on the championship. We had a tough outing last event at Watkins Glen, but everyone kept the faith, buckled down, and found a way to put the #9 on the top step this weekend. JDX Racing, Byers Porsche, Renier Construction, SSi Artificial Lift, Surgere, and Porsche Canada – it has been incredible to see everyone join forces to make our campaign come together. I’m so honored to be the guy who sits in the driver’s seat. Right now, we have one goal: stand on the top of the podium at Indianapolis Motor Speedway next month.”

Now eight races into this inaugural Carrera Cup North America championship, eight races remain on the schedule with stops at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Virginia International Raceway, and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Action resumes September 10th with a unique triple-header weekend on the IMS Grand Prix course – a course where Thompson has earned multiple wins on the Road to Indy. He enters the event with a solid hold on third-place, knowing that another performance like the one we saw here at Road America, will firmly place him in the hunt for the overall championship.

Images credit Bob Chapman / Autosport Imae / JDX Racing

IMSA 2021 CARRERA CUP NORTH AMERICA – Rounds 7 & 8, Road America

Round 7 – Provisional (PDF)
Round 8 – Provisional (PDF)
Overall Standings – Provisional (PDF)

Complete results are available at results.imsa.com

Thompson Maintains Third Position in Carrera Cup North America Championship After Challenging Weekend at Watkins Glen

Thompson Maintains Third Position in Carrera Cup North America Championship After Challenging Weekend at Watkins Glen

WATKINS GLEN, NY

Thompson and team JDX Racing visited Watkins Glen International this past weekend for Rounds 5 & 6 of Carrera Cup North America. Entering the event following a win at Circuit Of The Americas last month, Thompson had the highest expectations for the weekend. Unfortunately, a track boundary violation in Qualifying put Thompson on his back foot early in the weekend, and the team was challenged to adjust for a newly designed Michelin slick tire released at the event. Nevertheless, seventh-place and sixth-place race finishes on the weekend critically allow Thompson to maintain his third-place position in the overall championship standings as the season nears its halfway point.

An updated Michelin slick tire that debuted on the rear of all Carrera Cup cars played a critical role throughout the event. The new tire delivered improved performance, but it also showed different characteristics on track for some teams. In the case of Thompson and JDX Racing, data earned during test sessions earlier in the year was at odds with the behavior seen from the new tire throughout the weekend. Setup adjustments were required throughout the weekend as the team looked to reconcile the new parts with their existing setup.

Demonstrating the adaptability he has earned a reputation for, Thompson showed excellent pace in early practice sessions and clocked top-five times through Qualifying. Review of the session however, revealed that the #9 JDX Racing Carrera Cup had exceeded track limits at a critical moment. The resulting penalty reduced Thompson’s top qualifying time by more than four-tenths of a second, slotting him into starting positions of P7 for Race 1 and P4 for Race 2.

The team strategically chose to capitalize on their stronger starting position in Race 2, reserving a fresh set of tires exclusively for the Saturday race. During racing action though, Thompson and the #9 car struggled with overall pace and could not sustain forward momentum. In Race 2, the advantage of his improved start position was eradicated when he was out-positioned in dense traffic on the opening lap. The final results showed seventh and sixth-place finishes, totaling nineteen points toward the series championship.

With eight of fourteen races on the season calendar remaining, pressure rises as the field behind Thompson closes in on his 3rd place overall standing. Ahead of Thompson, the gap widens. Thus far, he is one of only two drivers who have managed to take a win away from championship points leader, Kay Van Berlo. Thompson will look to do that once more when action resumes on August 6th at Road America.

 

Parker Thompson
“This Carrera Cup North America series is one of the most competitive series I’ve seen, and there is simply no margin for error. Unfortunately, this weekend we weren’t at our best, and our competitors punished us for it. We’ll take what we can from that and be ready to capitalize for the eight races that remain. With JDX Racing, Porsche Canada, Byers Porsche, Renier Construction, Surgere, and SSi Artificial Lift, we’ve got a committed and capable team behind us, and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish.”

Images credit Bob Chapman, Autosport Image

IMSA 2021 CARRERA CUP NORTH AMERICA – Rounds 5 & 6, Watkins Glen International

Round 5 – Official (PDF) Round 6 – Official (PDF) Overall Standings – Official (PDF)

Complete results available at results.imsa.com