Road Atlanta Redemption: Moorespeed and Riley Dickinson Rebound from Saturday Disappointment to Win
Dickinson and Moorespeed Win an IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA by Yokohama Race at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta for Second Consecutive Year
BRASELTON, Georgia (September 6, 2020) - Moorespeed and team driver Riley Dickinson rebounded from a disappointing end to Saturday's opening race for a flag-to-flag victory in the No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the second and final round Sunday of this weekend's IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama doubleheader at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
Starting from the pole for the second-straight day, Dickinson slotted into the lead at the race start and held it to the finish for a 0.725 of a second margin of victory over his primary Porsche GT3 Cup championship rival Jeff Kingsley.
Dickinson was on pace for a similar result in Saturday's first 45-minute race of the weekend. He led the race's first 22 laps only to inexplicably lose ground in the late stages and see Kingsley slip by for the win. Dickinson still managed to set Saturday's fastest race lap and hold on for a second-place finish.
"When the car went off Saturday we didn't know why," said Moorespeed President David Moore. "Riley came in and said 'hey man, something's wrong,' and we went to work. Post-race technical inspection was a long one and it was actually IMSA that texted us and said we had a bad left rear shock. That explained everything."
The Moorespeed team changed not only the faulty shock but all four dampers on the No. 53 Porsche, and then went through the car with a fine-tooth comb before Sunday's race.
"It was definitely a great race and a great result, especially after what went down yesterday with the shock," Dickinson said. "We needed to get this one done today. All in all, this is a great result, and I can't thank the team enough for delivering a great car."
Kingsley followed the No. 53 throughout the race but never got close enough to make a move.
"During the race it was definitely pretty intense," Dickinson said. "Jeff kept us honest, he never really fell off that much, and I was kind of hoping that he would! The pace that we were setting was extremely fast, and the lapped traffic at the end made it interesting as well."
Moorespeed and Dickinson narrowly dodged another disappointment late in Sunday's race.
"Everything went all the way down to the wire, but Riley saw on his tire pressure monitors with three laps to go that he had a left-rear tire going down," Moore said. "He nursed that car home while holding on for the win, and when he showed up in victory lane the tire was almost completely flat. When we left the victory celebration, it was completely flat, but we avoided disaster at the very end and took home the win. It's huge for us. We needed this win."
Sunday's win came almost 11 months after Dickinson scored his first career IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup victory last October at Road Atlanta. He and Moorespeed also won the second race of 2020's season-opening IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup doubleheader last month at Road America.
"You don't always get a perfect car," Moore said. "And the mark of a good professional is delivering a result even when you are off or the car is off. Riley was able to do that Saturday and Sunday, stay in the game, and today we got a win."
Next up for the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA by Yokohama is a triple header at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, September 25 - 27. The weekend features a pair of 45-minute races Saturday and a third and final sprint on Sunday.
- A packed on-track schedule and the notoriously tough curbing at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta may have factored into Moorespeed's issues this weekend. "The puncture probably happened when we ran over debris," Moore said. "A number of cars went off track, and we were the first series on track after yesterday's six-hour race. I don't how much the track was cleaned, but we are pretty aggressive on the curbs, there is no doubt about that. If you want to win in Porsche GT3 Cup anywhere in the world, you are going to have to attack the curbs. There are some places here where we actually change our strategy. It is different from qualifying to the race, when you just want to stay off the curbs and be easier on the car. You could call it social distancing from the curbs in the races!"