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Surviving and Advancing

Posted on: July 2, 2024

In Categories: News & Updates

Watkins Glen, NY
June 23, 2024
Porsche Carrera Cup North America

There are lots of things that separate a great driver from a good one. Some of them are obvious – lightning-fast reaction time, superb track vision and near-inhuman endurance. Some, on the other hand, reveal themselves only circumstantially. They come out in unexpected moments when the race goes a little haywire and the meticulously prepared plan flies out the window at 200 miles per hour.

Mark Kvamme demonstrated some of that greatness at Watkins Glen. When the race took a turn into chaos and the threat of a disastrous collision reared its head, Kvamme showed why Racing to End Alzheimer’s is so lucky to have him as part of the team.

Stymied by the Bell

At the start of Friday afternoon’s race, the No. 43 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car sat just two spots above dead last on the grid. The 32nd place start position, though unenviable, ensured that Kvamme had a near complete view of the field and could plan his methodical march through the pack.

After relenting a spot on the opening lap, Mark got to work. He drove consistently, picking up momentum as he went. By the time he made it up to fourth position in class with 5:32 remaining, it seemed as though there was only one thing that could keep him from the podium – a race-ending caution period.
The yellow flag came out just as the No. 43 was bearing down on the leaders, effectively ending the race and cementing Kvamme in a fourth-place finish.

Dodging Defeat

Saturday’s race went off the rails almost immediately. In turn two, eight cars were taken out by a sweeping crash that left spun-out vehicles and debris scattered across the track. In a combination of luck, skill and savvy, Kvamme avoided the carnage that had devastated the field. (Watch the video below to see it happen!)

When the track was back in order following a caution period, the No. 43 sat in 4th place in class. With the time ticking away, Kvamme revved the engine and made his move decisively.

First, he slipped by John Goetz for 3rd and settled in on the tail of the 2nd place car. Then, as he applied pressure, the car in front of him spun out, entering a potentially disastrous spin that missed the No. 43 by a hair. Again, a crash came and went as Kvamme piloted the Porsche through unscathed. With a sigh of relief, Mark finally saw the checkered flag from 2nd position, a finish that earned him a bump in the overall standings.

No Easy Task

Some race weekends feel like they end before they even start. Others feel like a lifetime, leaving everyone involved bedraggled, exhausted and satisfied in a way only racing can provide. Watkins Glen was certainly the latter.

Weekends like this are how champions are made, and greatness is earned.

Stay tuned for more.

Founder Phil Frengs was interviewed for IMSA TV about the Racing to End Alzheimer’s initiative. Looking good, Phil!