Grabowski crowned Porsche Cup champion at VIR
Apex Racing Academy Porsche Cup S2 R9 – VIR
“If there is a heaven on earth, it’s VIR”. Hollywood actor turned racer, Paul Newman, adored racing at Virginia International Raceway. Situated outside the town of Danville, VIR is one of the most picturesque race circuits on earth. Following a revival driven by Connie Nyholm and Harvey Siegel, the facility now boasts a 5-star reputation.
VIR’s undulating curves caress the rolling Virginia countryside, resulting in a challenging layout which is tough to master. Although immaculately kept today, VIR’s shape was woven by two Farmers driving around in their Mercedes 300SL throwing sandbags out of the window.
Following a season long tussle, Kamil Grabowski and Pascal Costa head to the final round of the Apex Racing Academy Porsche Cup on equal points. Therefore, VIR would host a winner takes all duel for championship honours.
In qualifying, Pascal Costa landed the first punch. Eclipsing Grabowski by a tenth of a second, the Impulse racing star started on pole position for the sprint race. David Biggadyke scored his first AM class pole position of the season in a highly impressive twelfth overall.
Launching cleanly from pole position, Costa assumed the lead into turn one and led for a handful of laps. However, Grabowski lingered ominously behind. On lap four, Grabowski pounced with an audacious move around the outside at Hog Pen corner.
Nevertheless, Costa was in no mood to roll over to Grabowski and kept the pressure on his Polish rival. Heading onto the final lap, Costa struck back and reclaimed the lead.
Agonisingly, a mistake on the final lap dropped Costa onto the grass and down to third place. Unable to believe his luck, Grabowski swooped by to pinch the win. Tor Berven also profited from Costa’s error and snatched second place.
Finishing in eighth overall, Kev Copeland dominated the AM class. Thus, clinging on to a slim hope of stealing the AM title from Leon Erger.
Following the reverse grid shake up, Daniel Parmelee started the final race of the season on pole position. Championship contenders, Costa and Grabowski, rolled off from the seventh and eighth rows.
Thomas Grendel powered away from the second row and immediately passed Parmelee for the lead. Meanwhile, Costa and Grabowski carved through the pack. Neither could afford to be mired in the midfield.
Grabowski’s pace during the opening laps was simply mesmerizing. Desperately trying to keep up with this title rival, an error under braking stripped Costa of his chance to challenge Grabowski.
At half race distance, Costa remained in seventh while Grabowski ascended to second. Nevertheless, Thomas Grendel enjoyed a six second advantage out front. Therefore, a double victory would be a tall order for Grabowski.
Deploying a devastating turn of pace, Grabowski pursued Grendel with gusto. On the final lap, Grabowski caught his Norwegian rival. However, the Polish star had no interest in risking the grander prize of the championship and followed Grendel home in second place. Pascal Costa tenaciously fought on to third, pushing Grabowski all the way.
Mikael Fang finished sixth overall and top of the AM class. Thus, confirming Leon Erger as the AM class champion.
Immediately after the race, several of the ARA Porsche Cup championship protagonists joined the Apex Racing TV commentary team to share their thoughts:
Kamil Grabowski: “It feels great! We were unlucky a bit in other rounds but to finally cap off the title, I’m really happy!”
Kev Copeland: “I had a really good first race with some reasonable pace. I had some high hopes for race two. What appears to me to be a very rash move ended all of that. After I got punted on lap four, I had to pit with suspension damage. It’s such a shame. I would have liked to take it to the wire. Leon’s run a great season and he has been one step ahead of me all season.”
Thomas Grendel: “That was pretty intense! I’m really glad I was able to hold on.”