Lazere Controls Road America GT3 Fight
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Jesse Lazare led from flag to flag to win round 10 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama on Sunday, sweeping both rounds of action at Road America and reclaiming the championship points lead.
Lazare produced a dominating run in the No. 21 Kelly-Moss Motorsports Porsche for a victory by .691 of a second over Angel Benitez Jr. in the second race of the weekend for the International Motor Sports Ass’n (IMSA)-sanctioned Single-Make Series. Lazare won both races from pole.
“I’m excited for both wins this weekend,” Lazare said. “He (Angel Benitez Jr.) tried everything, but that just made me go faster. The team put together a great car. They have worked so hard and I knew that I had the car to beat.”
The two victories helped Lazare retake the lead, 154-151, over Elliott Skeer in the Platinum Cup standings after nine of 16 rounds this season. The series will have three races at the end of August at Virginia Int’l Raceway, setting the stage for a big points weekend.
“Even with the lead I’m going into VIR with the mindset that I’m far behind in points,” Lazare said. “We have to keep pushing and come back even stronger.”
Benitez’s second-place finish in the No. 05 JDX Racing entry is his fourth in a row and sixth podium finish in as many starts. The finish moves Benitez to fourth place in Platinum Cup standings, only four points behind third-place Kasey Kuhlman.
Series rookies, Lucas Catania earned his first career series podium, finishing third in the No. 26 NGT Motorsport Porsche. He was locked in a tight battle for the final podium position with Skeer most of the second half of the race. Skeer finished fourth in the No. 14 Wright Motorsports entry after taking third place in round nine.
Andrew Longe rounded out the top five in the No. 47 Fall-Line Motorsports entry.
Kuhlman was the top Platinum Masters finisher, taking the checkered flag in sixth place overall in the No. 15 Wright Motorsports entry.
Joe Catania, father of Lucas, won the Gold Cup and Gold Masters classes in the No. 24 NGT Motorsport entry.
Catania was also the Yokohama Hard Charger Award winner finishing 13th overall after starting 18th.
Lazare started round 10 from pole and slowly built a lead over Benitez and the rest of the field. With just over 33 minutes left a caution was triggered by the No. 52 Porsche of Kurt Fazekas getting stuck in the gravel of Turn 5.
After the restart Lazare continued to build a lead at the front of the pack with as much as a 2.083-second gap with 11 minutes to go. Benitez would start to close the gap over the last 10 minutes, but Lazare would hang on for his fourth win of the season.