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

Parker Thompson Wins as Carrera Cup North America Takes On Circuit of the Americas

Parker Thompson Wins as Carrera Cup North America Takes On Circuit of the Americas

AUSTIN, TX

Carrera Cup North America visited Austin’s Circuit of the Americas this weekend for rounds 3 & 4 of the 2021 season. Weather played a significant role in the event, while Parker Thompson pulled off one of the most exciting performances of his career. Driving for Porsche Canada, Thompson piloted the #9 Byers Porsche / JDX Racing GT3 Cup to his first win of the season.

Whether driving open-wheel or closed cockpit racecars, Thompson has managed some of the best performances of his career in unsettled weather. This past weekend, the Porsche Junior driver’s pace was evident right from the opening laps of practice as rain fell at Circuit of the Americas. Practice 1 saw him clock a time nearly three-tenths of a second ahead of the field. 

Unfortunately, rain would intensify overnight and create complications for race organizers. On Saturday afternoon, water overwhelmed the Texas road course and forced the cancellation of qualifying. Thompson and the 26 car field were unable to prove their pace in an official session. Instead, the starting order for Sunday morning’s race was determined by championship point totals.

Two top-five finishes at the season opener in Sebring meant that Thompson would line up on row three of the grid for Race 1. Remnants of water from an early morning rainfall left conditions on the track less than ideal. With some drivers opting for wet tire options, and others opting for Michelin’s slick tire, there was tumultuous action when the green flag flew. While all drivers managed the opening laps without incident, Thompson was able to earn an advantage in the conditions and gain multiple positions. Four laps in, he found himself in second place with a four-second gap to Kelly-Moss driver Kay Van Berlo.

Through sixteen laps, Thompson chipped away at the race leader while the track continued to dry. In the final moments of the race, sitting multiple car lengths behind Van Berlo, it looked like Thompson might settle for a second-place finish. Instead, a surprising series of moves in turns 16 through 18 put Thompson and Van Berlo side by side as the pair entered the final straight. Thompson would win the straight shot to the finish line and take the checkered flag! It was a dynamic win for Thompson, who had top-tier pace but a less optimum starting position.

In the second race of the weekend, Thompson found that dry track conditions did not suit the setup of his white and red maple-leaf liveried Porsche quite as well. Aggressive action from other drivers on the race start forced Thompson to give up multiple spots. As the field spread out, he found clean opportunities to move forward however, regaining ground to create a gap for himself in fourth. Thompson would hold that position for the remainder of the race.

Parker Thompson
“What an incredible weekend! I’m excited to come through with a win for the team at JDX Racing. With support from our amazing partners at Porsche Canada, Byers Porsche, Renier Construction, Surgere, and SSi Artificial Lift Systems, we’ve put in some great work since the season opener at Sebring. Everyone is clearly invested in our effort! The team at SSi even made the trip here this weekend to take in the action. There is nothing better than being able to reward our group with a win and celebrate together. Moments like this provide the fuel it takes to win championships!”

Now four races into this inaugural Carrera Cup North America season, featuring the new Porsche 992, Thompson can once again claim that he has won races in every race car he has driven throughout his career. From Formula 1600, through the Road to Indy, touring cars, and Porsche spec racing, Thompson has earned a total of 31 wins.

Twelve remaining races in the 2021 Carrera Cup North America schedule will surely provide Thompson the opportunity to add even more wins to that total. Next up, the series will visit Watkins Glen International, New York, on June 24th. Thompson will enter that event after making a dramatic impression on the series in Texas. He will look to improve on the third-place standing he currently holds in the overall championship race.

Images credit Porsche Motorsport North America

IMSA 2021 CARRERA CUP NORTH AMERICA – Rounds 3 & 4, Circuit of the Americas

Round 3 – Provisional (PDF)
Round 4 – Provisional (PDF)
Overall Standings – Provisional (PDF)

Complete results available at results.imsa.com

Parker Thompson Earns Top-Five Finishes as Carrera Cup North America Debuts in Sebring

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.

 

Parker Thompson
“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

IMSA 2021 CARRERA CUP NORTH AMERICA – Rounds 1 & 2, Sebring International Raceway

Thompson Ends 2019 IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA Championship Campaign

Thompson Ends 2019 IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA Championship Campaign

RED DEER, ALBERTA

Effective for Rounds 7 & 8 this weekend at Watkins Glen International Circuit, Parker Thompson will cease involvement with the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA and team JDX Racing in this 2019 season. He does so, having completed six races in the series, placing on the podium five times, and winning one race. He leaves the championship, currently holding second place in the overall standings. 

The decision comes as Thompson is forced to balance an abundance of opportunities in racing. The 21-year-old driver from Red Deer, Alberta remains committed to three other series across the continent: the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada with Toronto’s SCB Racing, the Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC) with Speedstar Motorsport, and Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tire with Abel Motorsports. An established driver on the Road to Indy, Thompson is currently second in the Indy Pro 2000 standings, and involved in a tight battle for the nearly $600,000 USD scholarship prize.

“As the Indy Pro 2000 championship battle heats up, it is clear that I need to devote more of my focus to that series, and the opportunity to advance in the open wheel rankings. With that in mind, I regret that I am unable to continue my partnership with JDX Racing and the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA series. It has been an absolute honor to pilot the #3 Porsche GT3 of JDX Racing / Hertz / Byers Porsche. Jeremy Dale at JDX Racing, Kevin King at Byers Porsche and the entire crew at the track have been incredible partners. This team gave me my introduction to sports car racing, and I’m so thankful for that opportunity. I’ve been fortunate to find myself with many great opportunities in racing this season. I wish them all the best in the future.” -Parker Thompson

Next Events

JUN 29 – 30, 2019– CTCC Race 5 & 6 – Shannonville Motorsport Park, ON
JUL. 06 – 07, 2019– Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada – CTMP, Bowmanville, ON
JUL. 12 – 14, 2019– Indy Pro 2000 & Porsche GT3 Cup – Streets of Toronto, ON

Strong Performances Continue for Thompson in Continental GT3 Cup Weekend at Montreal F1

Strong Performances Continue for Thompson in Continental GT3 Cup Weekend at Montreal F1

CIRCUIT GILLES VILLENEUVE – MONTREAL, QUEBEC

Contenders of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge across the continent gathered in Montreal this weekend as both the Canada and USA branches of the one make series participated in the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix event. Thirty-five cars packed the famed 4.3km Gilles Villeneuve Circuit for two races. Parker Thompson ran near the front of the field all weekend, and lead much of Race 2. The final results put him on the podium for Race 1. A twenty-nine second penalty for contacting another car during race 2 negated his third place finish and dropped him to 12th after the race conclusion.

Driving the #3 entry of SCB Racing and Porsche Center Victoria, Thompson was able to simultaneously score points in the GT3 Cup Canada series and the GT3 Cup USA series where he regularly competes with JDX Racing. With the weekend’s result he holds second place in the overall championship standings in both countries.

The top two spots in both Canada and the USA, show Thompson trailing series veteran Roman DeAngelis, winner of both of the weekend’s races. As a newcomer not only to Porsche GT3 Cup, but sports car racing as a whole, Thompson has surprised people on and off the track with his ability to adapt to the series. Qualifying results on Saturday placed him in the second position for the start of both races. When the green flag dropped, he further demonstrated the pace we have seen from him all season.

In Race 1 Saturday afternoon, Thompson held second from the race start to the fall of the checkered flag. With more than half of the race being driven under a full course caution, he never found a real opportunity to challenge the leader.

Race 2 on Sunday showed more drama. Thompson took the lead on the opening lap, and found himself engaged in a tight battle with DeAngelis. Thompson would hold his lead for 5 laps, before a mistake in the critical hairpin corner cost him two positions. In the remaining laps, Thompson was tightly engaged with American racer Riley Dickenson. The two traded places multiple times before the race was red-flagged after multiple collisions among the field back markers. Thompson was in the third position at the race end, but a virtual drive through penalty equivalent to 29 seconds was later assessed for making contact with Dickenson’s car. The final Race 2 results scored him 12th overall – 7th in the Canadian group, and 6th among competitors of the USA series.

“I’m happy with our overall pace on the track this weekend, but disappointed to be leaving points on the table. Ultimately, I made a couple of mistakes that put me in a position where we were more vulnerable to our competitors. With 35 cars in the field, all of the same spec, there is certainly going to be some tight racing. There is not much room for error.  I’m so thankful for the support of SCB Racing who came together with our partners in America, JDX Racing, to make this result possible. We are having a lot of fun. This #3 SCB Racing / Porsche Center Victoria car looks fantastic with its classic livery. We’ve enjoyed playing that up. Racing is it’s best when it can put on a good show. We certainly did that this weekend!” – Parker Thompson 

Thompson’s busy race season continues in two weeks’ time when he returns to Indy Pro 2000 at Road America circuit in Wisconsin. After starting this 2019 Road to Indy Championship series with a bang, dominating the opening two races, Thompson has since struggled to find a winning pace. That has been only a minor detraction from a year of racing that has otherwise been filled with great achievements. Between Porsche GT3 Cup Canada and USA, Indy Pro 2000, and the Canadian Touring Car Championship, the young Alberta native has already raced 17 times this season. In those races he has seven wins and thirteen podiums.

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

Montreal F1 Grand Prix Weekend – Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada & USA Results

Qualifying (pdf)
Race 1 Results – USA Round 5, Canada Round 3 (pdf)
Race 2 Results – USA Round 6, Canada Round 4 (pdf)

Overall Standings USA (pdf)
Overall Standings Canada (pdf)

 

Next Events

JUN. 20 – 22, 2019 – Indy Pro 2000 Race 6 & 7 – Road America, WI
JUN. 28 – 29, 2019 – Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA – Watkins Glen International, NY
JUN 29 – 30, 2019 – CTCC Race 5 & 6 – Shannonville Motorsport Park, ON