Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America points leader Riley Dickinson took his third-straight Pro class victory in the first of two 40-minute feature races at the Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The first event for the all-Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car series saw the 20-year-old Texan resist early pressure before pulling away to a pole-to-checkered flag victory in the No. 53 Kellymoss-prepared Porsche.
Unlike the season-opening events, Race 1 at Long Beach had two caution periods, the second ending the race under yellow. The first incident involved John Goetz when the No. 57 Wright Motorsports Porsche was pushed into the flower bed at the famous fountain corner on lap one. He was unhurt but the car was not able to continue. The second incident involved Michael McCarthy, Travis Wiley and Jason Hart with eight minutes remaining in the race. McCarthy’s No. 7 Kellymoss Porsche and Wiley’s No. 77 Topp Racing-entered machine made contact. Wiley continued but the No. 7 was turned backwards against the wall with rear end damage. Hart rounded the corner and made heavy head-on contact with the green and white Porsche. All drivers involved were evaluated and released from the infield care center.
“A bit tricky at the beginning. We fought a bit of understeer with the car,” related Dickinson (middle, above). “I don’t think we were expecting the track conditions to be what they were. The [first] full-course caution helped us quite a bit to get some temperature in the front tires, which is what I needed. When we went back green, we put together a few good laps and grew a gap.
“The full-course caution at the end of the race with my teammate Mike McCarthy was a disappointment. I feel bad for him, and I feel bad for the team. Looking forward to the race tomorrow. It is going to be a little different starting P2 [second starting position] but I am looking forward to building off what we had today.”
Other class winners included Marco Cirone (No. 82 ACI Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) in Pro-Am and Mark Kvamme (No. 42 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) in Am.
“I am thankful that I have Parker [Thompson, 2022 Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America champion] and my teammate Grant Talkie here. We went through a ton of video as I have never been here before,” related Cirone. They accelerated the learning curve very quickly for me. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to do so well. I want to thank Parker, the team ACI, Mark Motors and of course Porsche Motorsport and Michelin. I want to try and do the exact same thing tomorrow.”
“Long Beach is just about survival. Those cement walls are very, very close,” noted Kvamme, who scored his second class win of the season. “That first lap, I just wanted to survive, and I barely survived. I got hit from behind and I rear ended the guy in front of me who rear-ended the guy in front of him. It was a big old stack up at the Fountain. As the old expression goes, in order to finish first, you first must finish. I was just focused on that.”
Race 2 at Long Beach follows at 7:20 p.m. ET.
All Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America races air on the Peacock streaming app, on IMSA.tv and at PorscheCarreraCup.us before being archived on Porsche Motorsport North America TV: (https://www.youtube.com/c/PorscheMotorsportNorthAmerica).