Thompson Shows Dominant Pace in IMSA Prototype Challenge Debut with Sean Creech Motorsport

Thompson Shows Dominant Pace in IMSA Prototype Challenge Debut with Sean Creech Motorsport

MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE, LEXINGTON, OHIO

Parker Thompson seems capable of first-class performance in any race car or series. With his primary campaign in Carrera Cup North America on a scheduled intermission until late June, Thompson filled the hole in his calendar by joining the IMSA Prototype Challenge (IPC) at this weekend’s Lexus Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. Driving with Lance Willsey and Sean Creech Motorsport (SCM) for Sunday’s contest, Thompson produced an exciting mid-race charge that took the #14 SCM/Exelixis/Focal One/Alta Equipment entry from P10 to P3, setting a new IPC race lap record in the process. His charge was ultimately cut short by a fueling issue. After multiple pit stops, the team reached the checkered flag and a ninth-place finish.

Thompson’s dominant pace during the race was a welcome reward for the twenty-four-year-old Canadian who had uncertain expectations in his first opportunity behind the wheel with Sean Creech Motorsport in IPC. After only a handful of laps in practice sessions on Friday and Saturday, Thompson launched into a blistering pace when his stint began, about halfway through the 90-minute race. His best race lap, 1:17.583, marked a new record for the class at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and bested the next best driver at the event by more than six-tenths of a second. With that pace, he worked the white, red, and blue #14 from P10 to P3, unleashing a flurry of action throughout the field as he advanced.

With a podium finish on the horizon, an unfortunate fueling issue forced Thompson into the pits and dropped the #14 back down the order. Yet another pit stop came just minutes later. Back on track, Thompson continued his attack through to the finish, but after two unplanned stops, a podium was out of reach. He took the checkered flag in the ninth position, two laps down.

 

Parker Thompson
“A gigantic thank you to Sean Creech Motorsport and Lance Willsey for a fantastic opportunity this weekend. Getting here was a bit of a whirlwind! We finalized our plans only a few days before the event and poured a seat for me just ahead of practice on Friday morning. Having already worked with the team in other roles, I knew it wouldn’t be any trouble getting comfortable and up to speed here at Mid-Ohio.

It’s not often enough that I get a chance to go wheel-to-wheel in a new series, and the IMSA Prototype Challenge is a series that I respect particularly. Some of the drivers here are drivers who inspired me to launch a racing career. LMP3 cars blend some of the aero characteristics of open-wheel cars that I raced early in my career, with the power and weight of sportscars that I’ve driven more recently. Being dropped in and performing the way I did with minimal preparation lends me massive confidence. It’s a shame that we couldn’t convert our performance on track into a better overall result, but the success that I experienced during the race more than matched my expectations. I hope to do this again sometime in the future and earn a result that the whole team can celebrate.”

As followers of Thompson watch him pilot new race cars, they will be reminded of his 2019 season: a season that in many ways marks the beginning of this chapter in his racing career. That year a younger Thompson remarkably took on three full campaigns; winning the Canadian Touring Car Championship, placing second in IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, and third in the Road to Indy, Indy Pro 2000 Championship. Earning success in such different machinery, even on the same weekend, revealed Thompson’s adaptability as a driver and his natural feel for racing.

While Thompson’s experiences in 2019 opened the door to the opportunities in Porsche where he is currently focused, that year also marks the last time that he earned an overall championship win. For 2022, another championship title is Thompson’s key objective. That is something that he is closely contesting in Carrera Cup North America, where after six of sixteen rounds, he and team JDX Racing are currently 2nd in the overall standings. Thompson will look to improve that position when Carrera Cup North America resumes on June 24th at Watkins Glen International.

 

Images credit Bob Chapman / Autosport Image

Event Results

IMSA Prototype Challenge at Lexus Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio

Qualifying – Official (PDF)
Race – Provisional (PDF)
Fastest Lap by Driver (PDF)
Championship Standings – Provisional (PDF)

Complete results are available at results.imsa.com

Thompson Joins Sean Creech Motorsport for IMSA Prototype Challenge at Mid-Ohio

Thompson Joins Sean Creech Motorsport for IMSA Prototype Challenge at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, OHIO

2022 Carrera Cup North America contender Parker Thompson will make a guest appearance in the IMSA Prototype Challenge (IPC) at this weekend’s Lexus Grand Prix At Mid-Ohio. Held in conjunction with the WeatherTech SportsCar Challenge, IPC features single-seat closed cockpit racecars and 1hr 45-minute races split between two-driver teams. Thompson will pilot the #14 Sean Creech Motorsport (SCM) Exelixis/Focal One/Alta Equipment Ligier JS P320 alongside co-driver Lance Willsey. 

Thompson joins SCM for a single race at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, a circuit where he has won races both on the Road to Indy and in Porsche GT3 Cup. Co-driver Lance Willsey is coming off an LMP3 class win at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March. When the two drivers take to the 2.4-mile Mid-Ohio road course on Sunday morning, they will look for a solid performance to advance SCM’s current 6th place position in the IPC championship standings.

Having earned thirty-four race wins in multiple series throughout North America, twenty-four-year-old Thompson is an established driver, but he takes the wheel with SCM from a unique position. For the past two years, Thompson has worked with the team as a race spotter for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Having developed a strong relationship with Willsey and SCM in that capacity, the IPC event at Mid-Ohio offers a natural opportunity to put Thompson in the driver’s seat. SCM is running double duty at the event, contending both IPC and the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, where they lead the LMP3 class. Thompson is coming off of a weekend sweep of Carrera Cup North America at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca earlier this month and is amid a long intermission in that series before it heads to Watkins Glen International in late June.

Parker Thompson
“I can’t thank Sean Creech and Lance Willsey enough for this opportunity. When I worked with them last year at Sebring, they needed a spotter at the last minute, and I told them that I was stepping away from spotting because I don’t want people to get the wrong idea – I’m in this sport to make a career as a driver. At the time, they said they’d give me a test. Now that it’s turned into a race opportunity, I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’m looking forward to working with the team again. They’ve heard me talking on the radio for 24 hours over the past two years, but it will be good to work with them on a new level, to get to know Sean and Lance better, and help the team get more track time. They’re leading the LMP3 WeatherTech Championship and want to stay there, so that’s the bigger picture. I want to have a strong weekend and bring the car home in a good spot.”

 

About SCM

Team leader Sean Creech has competed in a multitude of sports car series from 1990 until the present day, including Group C, IMSA GTP, WSC, Grand-Am, SRO World Challenge, and IMSA. SCM will contest the full WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2022 with João Barbosa and Lance Willsey. http://seancreechmotorsport.com/

Event Information

IMSA Prototype Challenge at Lexus Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio

Friday, May 13, 2022
02:05 PM EST – IPC Practice 1

Saturday, May 14, 2022
11:05 AM EST – IPC Practice 2
02:40 PM EST – IPC Qualifying 

Sunday, May 15 2022
09:20 AM EST – IMSA Prototype Challenge at Mid-Ohio

Flag-to-flag coverage of the race is available to USA viewers on PeacockTV. International viewers can watch via IMSA.tv, with IMSA Radio also available at IMSA.com. A race replay will air on USA Network Saturday, May 21 at 2:00 PM EST. Follow Parker throughout the weekend at https://parkerthompsonracing.com/live

Thompson Sweeps Carrera Cup North America Weekend at Monterey

Thompson Sweeps Carrera Cup North America Weekend at Monterey

WEATHERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA, MONTEREY, CA

This weekend, Parker Thompson earned wins in two out of two races as Carrera Cup North America presented by Cayman Islands visited WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Driving the No.9 JDX Racing machine of Shell Tap-Up, Surgere, Byers Porsche, Renier Construction, Jersey Mike’s, and SSi Artificial Lift, Thompson leveraged strong performances on the opening laps to earn the lead. He fended off all challengers on each day, taking the checkered flag and valuable points. Sweeping both races, Thompson maintains second in the overall standings, tightening his approach on the championship lead.

The white, red, and yellow No.9 JDX Racing Porsche led all but one lap of racing throughout the weekend – an admirable accomplishment after traffic thwarted Thompson’s best opportunities during Qualifying. Furiously navigating other drivers on track, Thompson managed just the third-best lap of the Laguna Seca circuit during the session. While he did not earn the pole position, Thompson emphatically dominated the most critical sections of the eleven-turn road course all weekend.

In turn two on the opening lap of Race 1, Thompson boldly chose the outside line, taking the second position and immediately mounting a challenge on pole-sitter and leader Trenton Estep. Estep and Thompson jostled back and forth through the opening lap before Thompson made a pass that would stick for the entire race. With an excellent run out of the Andretti Hairpin, turn 2, he cleanly took Estep on the inside of the sweeping turn 3.

For Race 2, Thompson lined up on the front row with Kelly Moss Racing driver Riley Dickinson. Thompson began on used tires versus Dickinson, who had reserved a fresh set of rubber for his pole-position start. Again Thompson showed great strength in the early stages, taking the lead through the Andretti Hairpin with a clean move on the outside. Dickinson remained close behind. Throughout 40-minutes, the two drivers were separated by less than a second. Thompson however, seemed to show his best pace in sections of the Laguna Seca circuit most conducive to passing. Dickinson never uncovered an opportunity to make a move, and when lap traffic added a new variable to the battle late in the race, Thompson again showed appropriate poise. He would take the checkered flag without incident.

Two wins for Thompson and JDX Racing make a strong statement in this 2022 Carrera Cup North America Championship. While the result marks the duo’s first weekend sweep, the accomplishment is not unexpected. With three wins in 2021, Thompson is one of three drivers who have earned a first-place finish in the Carrera Cup series since it arrived in North America. Early in the 2022 season, Thompson and JDX cleanly navigated events at Sebring and Long Beach, capturing podiums in three out of four races. Now, two wins at the famed WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca have firmly placed them in contention for the overall championship. Action resumes June 24th from Watkins Glen International.

Parker Thompson
“Without question, the first thing I have to do is thank the whole JDX Racing team. Their continued belief in me and their work effort to support our campaign is second to none. It always seems that when we need to dig deeper as a team and find a way to improve, that is precisely what we do. Sweeping the weekend at one of the most iconic tracks in North America is a testament to the strength of this team. Thanks to my engineer Luke, and my crew Larry and Darryl, The No.9 Shell Tap-Up machine was absolutely on rails. They didn’t put a wrench wrong, and I didn’t put a foot wrong. Our end goal is still on the horizon, and we will need more weekends like this to make that goal a reality! I can’t forget our fantastic partners in Byers Porsche, Surgere, Jersey Mike’s Subs, and SSI Artificial Lifts – Without them, we can not make this magic happen. Next stop, New York!”

Images credit Bob Chapman / Autosport Image

IMSA 2022 CARRERA CUP NORTH AMERICA
Rounds 5 – 6, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

Qualifying – Official (PDF)
Race 1 – Provisional (PDF)
Race 2 – Provisional (PDF)
Overall Standings – Provisional (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