From the Jaws of Defeat: Suspense at Sebring
Mar 17, 2023

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Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America
Sebring International Raceway
March 16th, 2023

Free and Clear

If the first weekend of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America was any indication, racing fans are in for a season-long treat. The kickoff leg at Sebring had all the right stuff; speed, skill, uninterrupted action, moments of nail-biting apprehension and eventual triumph for the MDK Motorsports/Racing to End Alzheimer’s team.

With two 40-minute races on the docket, strategy favored decisiveness and consistency. The morning race set the tone in the Am class. With a crowded field, competition was fierce, and drivers had to contend with cars from all three classes (Pro, Pro-Am and Am) for track position. This proved a vexing challenge for team owner and driver Mark Kvamme in race number one.

Proving his deftness and skill behind the wheel of the #43 Porsche GT3 Cup car, Mark did well to dig into the second spot for most of the race. Yet, as a testament to the caliber of racing in this series, not a single yellow flag emerged during the entire stint. The absence of mistakes, along with a pesky, nearly impossible to pass Pro-Am car in front of him, left very little room for Kvamme to make a move on leader and teammate Scott Noble. Despite this, Mark held his ground and crossed the line within seconds of the leader for a second-place finish.

The #43 Racing to End Alzheimer's Porsche 992 GT3 Club race car on its way to a win.

Scrambled Start, Flawless Finish

Excitement at Sebring’s second Porsche Carrera Cup race started before the green flag. Minutes prior to the race, near disaster struck. As other teams were wheeling their cars out onto the track, the MDK/Racing to End Alzheimer’s Porsche started billowing ominous clouds of black smoke. For most, this would almost certainly mean defeat; an unlucky end to a half-completed weekend. But this expert crew is not most.

Immediately, eight crew members dove under the car to assess the situation. Within minutes, their combined expertise zeroed in on a melted Solenoid in the gear box. As time continued its unrelenting march toward race start, the gear box was fully reassembled with a new Solenoid. With the last bolt turned and jacks dropped, the team hustled to have the car at the start just before the green flag was waved. Adrenaline and momentum pulsed through the pit as Mark Kvamme took off into what proved to be a climactic Am battle.

Early in the race, Kvamme had an opportunity to demonstrate the value of patience in racing. Despite the exciting prologue, he settled coolly into third place, biding his time before making a move. As the leaders bunched up at a high-speed turn, Scott Noble was bumped, and his resulting spin took out John Goetz. In an instant, Kvamme’s #43 took a commanding and insurmountable lead. After close to half an hour more of clean racing, the #43 crossed the finish in first place!

Some days, all you need is experience, patience and good old-fashioned elbow grease.

Tune in April 14-16th for Round 2 at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Two young boys point to names of dementia sufferers honored by their families on the Racing to End Alzheimer's Porsche.