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Jensen, Frank Sweep Weekend at VIR with First Place Endurance Finishes in Championship, Masters Classes

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

DANVILLE, Va. (June 26, 2016) - Drivers competing in the Porsche Club of America (PCA) Rumble at the Oak Tree at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) wrapped up the jam-packed weekend with several exciting endurance races on Sunday.

"This race here at VIR has been growing every year," Brian Minkin, the chair of PCA Zone 2, said. "When we started in 2011, we had 80 cars. Now, we have more than 150 cars. I'm honored to be the chair of one of the major races in PCA."  

Keith Jensen, representing the Maverick PCA Region in the No. 32 NOLAsport Porsche entry, swept the weekend in the PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series after winning both sprint races on Saturday and the endurance race on Sunday in the Championship class. 


Championship class podium - from left: Merzon, Jensen, Swearingin (Photo by Victor Newman)

Jensen and Adam Merzon, representing the Connecticut Valley PCA Region in his No. 7 DeMan Motorsport Porsche, were racing nose-to-tail for more than half of the 80-minute race. Merzon came in second place in the Championship class, 20.977 seconds behind Jensen. Merzon had the fastest lap time of any of the endurance competitors at 1 minute, 59.948 seconds.

"This is the most challenging track we've raced on yet," Jensen said. "It's unbelievably intense - there's rarely a moment to get a sip of water. Adam (Merzon) put on a great race. He was definitely in my rear-view mirror for more than half of the race."

Curt Swearingin, representing the Tennessee PCA Region, made it on the podium for the first time this season in his No. 18 Advanced Collision Porsche entry. He placed third after passing David Baum and Rene Robichad on VIR's 3.27-mile, 17-turn track.

"I feel great!" Swearingin said. "We've been struggling to get here - we've been fourth, fourth, fourth. We're happy to get a podium for a change - we've been trying so hard."

Fortunately, Swearingin's luck changed as the Cayman GT4 Clubsport results from Saturday's sprint races were amended to award him with two more third place finishes for both the first and second sprints.


Masters class winner John Frank and Roger Halvorsen cheers after the endurance race. (Photo b y Victor Newman)

John Frank, representing the Connecticut Valley PCA Region, swept the weekend in the Masters class in his No. 11 DeMan Motorsport entry. Roger Halvorsen, representing the Connecticut Valley PCA Region, came in second place and Robichaud, representing the Ohio Valley PCA Region in the No. 89 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Cayman GT4 Clubsport, rounded out the Masters class podium in third. 

An exciting season finale prize was recently announced for the Cayman GT4 Clubsport competitors. Stand 21 Racewear, an industry leader in custom head-to-toe, made-to-measure safety wear for drivers, will be presenting two suits to the Championship class and Masters class winners at the end-of-the-year banquet in Daytona Beach, Florida.


Masters class podium - from left: Halvorsen and Frank (Photo by Victor Newman)

Stand 21 is the official racewear for Porsche Club of America (PCA). Stand 21 designs and produces the special PCA 25th Anniversary Racewear Collection, which includes gloves, boots and bags with the PCA 25th Anniversary logo.

These custom fit, made-to-measure suits for the drivers are FSI and FIA approved. Winners will be presented with the rendering of the suit with their names on it at the banquet in October.

Next up for the Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series is a trip to Road America on Sept. 3-5 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. 

With the success of the series, a limited number of Cayman GT4 Clubsport cars have become available for immediate purchase. Interested parties should contact Allen Shirley, GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series coordinator and PCA national steward, for details at caymangt4cs@comcast.net.

In Other Club Racing News: 

It was a successful weekend at VIR for PCA as all 34 classes at the Rumble at the Oak Tree were completely full with more than 155 cars on track. 

The red race group had 43 entries in the endurance race. The provisional overall winners in the red group were Andrew Johnson and Cory Freidman, who are in the GTC-5 class. 

Duke Lardon and Lucas Catania won in the GTC-3 class and enjoyed a great weekend with PCA. 


Red race group at VIR (Photo by Victor Newman)

"I'm very happy to race with a terrific young driver who's leading the points in the Yokohama series - Lucas Catania - who's my good buddy and coach," Lardon said. "I turned the car over to him in position two and Lucas did what he always does - brought it home in position one. Another podium for us, so we're very happy. I can't say enough good things about Pirelli tires and Lucas."

In the white race group, 41 cars started in the endurance race Sunday. The No. 28 SPC Spec Cayman, driven by Steven Anderson, finished seventh overall. This race group was well-represented with entries from all over the country, including Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida and more. 

Cayman GT4 Clubsport Endurance Post-Race Quotes:

KEITH JENSEN (winner, Championship): "I'm really happy to sweep the weekend again. It was a bad ending for me at Watkins Glen. This is the most challenging track we've raced on yet. It's unbelievably intense - there's rarely a moment to get a sip of water. Adam (Merzon) put on a great race. He was definitely in my rear-view mirror for more than half the race. He pitted at about the half-way point in the race and then I drove a lot better during the second half of the race. That's probably because I was able to concentrate on my drive, as opposed to occasionally having to look up in my rear-view. The GT4 is fabulous. It's a tremendous car."
 
ADAM MERZON (second, Championship): "Keith and I had a great first half of the race. We were side-by-side and we both did perfect pit stops. We came out behind each other and raced a little. Then I hit a curb and I think my car was out of alignment, so I fell off the race and came in second. It was a good way to end a tough weekend though."

CURT SWEARINGIN (third, Championship): "I feel great! We've been struggling to get here - we've been fourth, fourth, fourth. We're happy to be here at the podium and getting a trophy. The car did great. We just fought through it all day and just got it done! The last few laps, we were so low on fuel. I was at .00 on the last two laps. We're just happy to get a podium for a change - we've been trying so hard."

JOHN FRANK (first, Masters): "It's been a great weekend. Thanks to Porsche Motorsport, Allen Shirley and the great GT4 Clubsport series. Thank you to DeMan Motorsport and my great crew chief - Lou - and my wife, Andrea Frank. I'm looking forward to the next two races!

ROGER HALVORSEN (second, Masters): "It's been a wonderful day here at VIR. I want to thank all the PCA staff and all the workers that make these things possible. This event is fantastic. VIR is a tremendous track. I also want to thank my fellow competitors - everyone behaved out there and it was a nice event!"

2016 PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East Remaining Schedule

Date Venue
Sept. 3-5 Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Oct. 21-23          Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida

About PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East

The PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series, which debuts in 2016, highlights the spirit of PCA Club Racing and the skills of its drivers at major road racing venues east of the Rocky Mountains. The series provides a bridge for Porsche racers to climb to the professional ranks through this semi-professional racing series.

Drivers will compete in a separate group in the new track-only Cayman GT4 Clubsport race car. The 385-horsepower, mid-engine racer, which features a sealed engine and transmission and a spec tire, is developed by Porsche Motorsport North America and based on the successful street-legal Cayman GT4 sports car. Drivers are awarded with a podium at the end of every points race, and an individual champion will be crowned at the end of the season. A Masters Championship also is conducted. Points are awarded by finish in class.

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