Jake Eidson, 21, of Littleton, Colorado is the newest member of 2016 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup championship winning team, Kelly-Moss Road and Race and the newest contributor to FLATSIXES.com. Eidson's resume was developed in both open-wheel and sports car racing, with highlights that include winning the 2013 Team USA Scholarship and more recently, the Hurley Haywood Scholarship, which landed him a full-season ride with Kelly-Moss Road and Race for 2017. Eidson will be the one to keep an eye on during the 2017 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge season.
[Editor's Note: Jake will be contributing on a regular basis to FLATSIXES.com. His contributions will include race reports for the 2017 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge season and more. We kick things off with a recap from Jake's experience at Sebring this year. His next two posts will detail his races at Barber and COTA and then we'll be on to real-time reports with Watkins Glenn and the rest of the season. If you have questions for Jake, or other areas of interest regarding the GT3 Cup Challenge Series, or the Porsche Jake races in, please ask your questions below in the comment section.]
Let's Get Started
Hey, Everyone! This is my first blog on FLATSIXES.com and I’m really excited to share my experiences driving in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge.
My name is Jacob Eidson. I came from a history of racing open wheel cars including Skip Barber, F1600, USF2000, and Pro Mazda. Last year, I made the switch to sports cars and joined Kelly-Moss Road and Race in a one-off race at the legendary Road America. I loved the cars, the team, and the atmosphere so much that I came back to run a full season in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup after being honored with the Hurley Haywood scholarship. My first race this year was at Sebring.
Coming to Sebring in the brand-new Porsche GT3 991.2 cup car was extremely exciting for me. The second I left the pits I could instantly feel the increased torque of the new engine versus last year’s Porsche GT3 991.1. In the first practice session we weren’t too concerned about lap times because I was out on old tires. That session we primarily focused on car setup for the race as the new car had inherently more oversteer. In the second session, we focused on getting the car dialed in for qualifying and went for a fast lap.
With a field of almost 30 cars we knew that it would be difficult to get more then a few clear laps. IMSA grids the cars to go out for qualifying in order from fastest to slowest practice times. Since we had the second quickest lap time in practice we were the second to go out for qualifying. A few laps into qualifying I focused on getting the tires up to temperature and even though I made a few small mistakes I still managed to get pole position for both races! When the team told me, I couldn’t believe it!
In the first race, I had a great start and held my position through Turn 1 and defended going into Turn 3. In the first two laps, I was working extremely hard to get the tire temperatures up while holding off P2. In lap three I went wide in Turn 17 and got a bad run onto the front straight and lost my lead, falling back to P2. A full course caution came out and I tried to regain the lead by going around the outside in Turn 1 but fell short and finished P2.
In race 2 I had another great start, put my head down in the opening laps and worked as hard as possible to build a gap. By the midpoint of the race I had built a 7-second gap, but then I saw what every driver hates to see when leading a race: wa full course caution. On the restart and the opening laps, I regained the gap on P2 and came across the line to win my first IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge race!
Finishing the weekend with a win and a second-place finish was an incredible start to the season and it couldn’t have happened without the help of everyone at Kelly-Moss Road and Race to get me here as well as the support of the Hurley Haywood Scholarship and Porsche.