Circuit of the Americas
22 October 2023
In order to get within striking distance of an Am class title in the Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America, teams must exhibit a remarkable amount of skill and endurance. Seasons like this can be grueling, marked by exuberant highs and crushing lows, all of which need to be taken in stride. Typically, consistency and professionalism filter the field and success is dictated by preparation.
But, when a championship comes down to the last weekend of the season, all of that goes out the window.
Thanks to a Carrera Cup rule in which teams drop their two lowest scores of the season, Mark Kvamme found himself trailing Scott Noble in the overall standings by 10 points. In this finale, there would be no room for error.
Two races and a title within sight. No other weekends matter, just the track at COTA.
Guts and a dash of luck. For all the marbles.
Split Second on Saturday
The intensity was evident immediately. In qualifying, MDK/Racing to End Alzheimer’s driver Mark Kvamme laid down fast laps that had him in the lead for most of the session. Then teammate Scott Noble stepped in. With a couple of blistering laps, one of which beat Kvamme’s time by a mere 5/100s of a second, he took the coveted pole position for both races.
Working from behind at the start of race one, Mark wasted no time. Going into turn one, the field bunched up and Kvamme took advantage, slipping the No. 43 past Noble. Settling into lead-defense, Mark looked comfortable for the middle portion of the race. But momentum slowed when a yellow flag came out for a caution period.
On the restart, Scott Noble saw a hole in turn 10’s left hand corner and pushed through. Kvamme conceded the lead, but gave up almost no ground, remaining glued to Noble’s bumper.
Patiently biding his time as the race came to a close, Mark exhibited remarkable restraint. From his position on Noble’s bumper, he saw that the leader’s tires were becoming a liability. With almost no time left, Kvamme jumped on the opportunity at the fruitful passing corner in turn 10. Gaining the lead by the thinnest of margins, the No.43 crossed the line 0.267 seconds before Noble. A true photo finish.
After a nail biter on Saturday, Sunday’s race proved to be all about survival. While the green flag was still waving, Scott Noble was hit and spun out, ending his season abruptly. Though this served as a disappointing end to what had developed into a fantastic rivalry, Sunday’s race was not without some excitement.
On the second lap, Kvamme avoided debris on the track by mere inches, the entire season flashing by in hundredths of a second. With collective heart rates running high, Mark held steady.
In a field that seemed to ascribe to an all or nothing philosophy, the No. 43 weaved cautiously through aggressive maneuvers and collisions. As Kvamme held on to a narrow lead, three more yellow flags came out, the last of which effectively ended the race and catapulted the No. 43 to an Am class championship.
The win, though less dramatic than Saturday’s, feels fitting for what this season turned out to be. Hard-fought, scrappy and unpredictable. A racing season like no other, ending in the ultimate triumph.
Watching Mark stand on the F1 podium at COTA, it was hard not to feel as though Racing to End Alzheimer’s is soaring into uncharted territory. With a remarkable and record-breaking 216 names on the livery, the title felt so much larger than just winning races.
We have always believed the names on our car represent “champions.” This year, we have the hardware to back it up.
Thank you for everything. See you next season!