Safe Finishes for Thompson in Chaotic Continental GT3 Cup Weekend at Road America

ROAD AMERICA, ELKHART LAKE, WI

This weekend at the famed Wisconsin road course, Road America, thirty-seven Porsche racers from across the continent gathered for two races with implications in both the Canadian and USA divisions of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge. The event marked the second of two continental events on the 2019 GT3 Cup calendar, after groups from both countries gathered at the Montreal F1 Grand Prix in June. Driving the #3 entry of Porsche Centre Victoria and SCB Racing, Parker Thompson arrived at Road America ranked 2nd overall in the Canadian championship. In races marred by multiple collisions and lengthy durations under caution, the Alberta native earned two top ten finishes, gaining positions during race action after a difficult qualifying result.

With nearly twice the number of entrants usually seen at Canadian series events, dense traffic on course had an impact throughout the weekend. Qualifying saw many drivers, including Thompson, struggle to find space on the fourteen-turn road course. In an abbreviated session, cut short by an incident on track, Thompson managed only the 12th best qualifying time.

Chaos continued during races on Saturday and Sunday. Drivers involved in close battles throughout the field generated multiple collisions and a string of yellow-flagged laps. Records show that more than three-quarters of race laps during the weekend were driven under caution with the guidance of the Porsche Panamera safety car. For the most part Thompson managed to avoid the chaos. In Race 1, an impact between drivers Dussault and Gomez nearly collected Thompson. He would avoid a collision by jumping the curb and driving his car across the grass to avoid the pair as they spun. It was a close call that would allow multiple drivers to drive past the black and gold #3 car. In only three green flag laps to follow, Thompson would gain three positions. Climbing from 12th, he would finish 9th overall, and sixth among Canadian competitors.

Race 2 showed a slightly better result – Thompson would finish seventh overall. With only one non-Canadian competitor ahead of him however, he was not able to improve on his championship points earnings from Race 1. The result allowed rival Jeff Kingsley to pass Thompson and take second spot in the overall Canadian series championship standings. The two will enter the series finale next month at Circuit Mont Tremblant, separated by only two points.

Parker Thompson
“Anytime there are this many race cars on the track things are bound to get interesting. We knew going into the weekend that setting a good time in qualifying was absolutely critical. Porsche Centre Victoria and SCB Racing gave me a fantastic race car. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to put a complete lap together to earn the starting grid that we were looking for. With a limited amount of green flag racing this weekend, I’m happy with how we were able to take advantage of the limited opportunities we saw to move up.”

 

NEXT EVENTS

August 09 – 11, 2019 – CTCC Rounds 7 & 8 – GP3R, Trois Rivieres, QC
August 14 – 16, 2019 – IP2000 Series Test – Gateway Motorsports Park, IL
August 23 – 25, 2019 – CTCC Rounds 9 & 10 – CTMP, Bowmanville, ON
August 24 – 25, 2019 – IP2000 Round 12 – Gateway Motorsports Park, IL

 

Parker Thompson Breaks New Ground With Incredible Two Series Weekend at Toronto Indy

TORONTO, ONTARIO

Parker Thompson may be the busiest road racing driver on the continent. Since March, the young Alberta native has raced 27 times in four different series. Challenging for championship titles in both open-wheel race cars and sports cars, Thompson has shown incredible skill and versatility. That was most evident this weekend when Thompson raced in both the Indy Pro 2000 by Cooper Tires series, and the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series as part of the Honda Indy Toronto event. With four alternating races, Thompson demonstrated an adaptability seldom seen in motorsports. In an incredible performance, he earned three podium finishes and the Yokohama Tires Hard Charger award. The result puts an exclamation mark on his accomplishments so far this year, and further reinforces his status as one of the continents top young drivers.

With a busy ten session schedule over the three day weekend, Thompson could often be seen hurrying between the Porsche GT3 and Indy Pro 2000 paddocks located at opposite ends of the event site in downtown Toronto. Competing in two series during the same event presented a variety of challenges not typical of most race weekends.

“There is a lot of work and preparation that goes into every single session we do on the race track. Balancing two different series this weekend would never have been possible without incredible support from my teams, Abel Motorsports [Indy Pro 2000] and Sports Car Boutique [IMSA GT3 Canada]. Getting the maximum out of two very different cars was a tremendous challenge. The Porsche GT3 Cup Car, and the Tatuus PM-18 Indy Pro 2000 car are not only very different in size and handling characteristics, but they also require a very different strategy and approach during race action. Going back and forth between vehicles, and jumping straight into race pace really tested my concentration and ability to remember key markers and set-up notes for this very unforgiving Streets of Toronto track. This was probably my most stressful weekend of racing ever, but I’m overjoyed by our results! In these two highly competitive series, I always feel blessed to stand on the podium. Doing that three out of four times this weekend feels like a huge achievement.” – Parker Thompson

The first of three podiums came with Abel Motorsports in Indy Pro 2000, where Thompson began his first race of the weekend from seventh position in the thirteen car line up. Navigating traffic and multiple yellow flag incidents on the challenging street course, Thompson maneuvered the #8 Abel Motorsports car to a 3rd place finish. 

Race 2 in Indy Pro 2000 featured a relentless duel between Thompson and championship leader Rasmus Lindh. Starting in P3 and P2 respectively, the two drivers exchanged places multiple times early in the race. Thompson would make a final pass in turn 3 of the Toronto street course, and hold off Lindh for the remainder of the race to earn a second place finish.

In GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, Thompson began Race 1 from 7th position after a heavy rain prior to race start created conditions that challenged a variety of drivers and teams. In a clear demonstration of car control, Thompson navigated the #3 SCB Racing / Porsche Centre Victoria car around the drying track, executing four passes in the first seven laps. The performance earned him the Yokohama Tires Hard Charger Award, and the final step on the podium.

In Race 2 of GT3 Canada, a rare mistake from Thompson saw his Porsche make contact with a tire wall in turn eight. Continuing the race from the back of the field, a lengthy yellow flag resulting from a crash between drivers Metni and Dussault allowed Thompson to rejoin the main group and improve his position. Piloting a car with front end damage, he would work his way up to 5th position before the 45-minute race expired.

Images Credit: Sandile Magadlela - 778-951-3984 - sandile@mgdla.com - @_mgdla

This incredible weekend marked the 100th race of Thompson’s young career, and performing double duty was a fitting celebration of that milestone. Since 2015, Thompson has had a steady career, earning wins in every type of car he has raced. In one-hundred races, he has earned 55 podiums and 26 race wins. His lifetime winning and podium percentages are outstanding by any measure, but Thompson’s numbers this season are even more impressive. In 2019, he has won exactly a third of his races, and placed on the podium more than three quarters of the time.

After one weekend off, Thompson will resume his busy schedule on July 26th with three consecutive race weekends in Indy Pro 2000, IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, and the Canadian Touring Car Championship. He is currently second place in overall championship standings for Indy Pro 2000 and GT3 Canada, and he is leading the Canadian Touring Car Championship GTS standings.way up to 5th position before the 45-minute race expired.

IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Round 7 & 8 – Honda Indy Toronto

 

NEXT EVENTS

JUL. 26 – 28, 2019 – Indy Pro 2000 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH
AUG. 02 – 04, 2019 – GT3 Cup Canada – Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI
AUG. 09 – 11, 2019 – CTCC – GP3R, Trois Rivieres, QC