Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA Champion Jake Eidson looks back at 2017

by Vince Pettit

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA champion Jake Eidson has been celebrating his 2017 title with the help of Porsche after receiving a brand-new 911 to use over the next year.

The Hurley Haywood scholarship winner wrapped up the title with one race weekend in hand, “At Sonoma, we knew that we could tie up the championship, but I had to win both races there and pole position,” Eidson said.

“It was probably the closest qualifying session I’ve ever had. I qualified on pole by one-hundredth of a second. There’s six to seven drivers on any given weekend who could win the pole and the race so it’s a lot of tough competition in this series.”

It has been a whirlwind year for the 22-year-old who says that a major moment of his racing career happened before the season even started when he got a call from the legendary Hurley Haywood to reveal that he had secured the inaugural Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship, backed by IMSA, Yokohama, Porsche and Haywood himself.

“Winning that scholarship was a bit of added pressure because a lot of people really want to see you do well,” Eidson said. “Trying to meet those expectations and standards was difficult at times, but I think if nothing else, it was more motivation.

“The amount of support I’ve received this year is overwhelming, I can’t thank everyone enough. First of all, I have to thank my team – Kelly-Moss Road and Race – I think they’re the best team at what they do.

“They’ve been a huge contributor with [owner and competition director] Jeff Stone and he’s been an enormous amount of help and support for me. He’s done a really good job of making us feel like we are part of the Kelly-Moss family – and it’s truly more of a family than a team.”

Although taking the title and winning the use of the 911 for the next year have been a career high for him, Eidson said that one of the most memorable things happened off-track when 100 children made the trip to Barber Motorsports Park in April with the Racing for Kids charity.

“Being able to meet some of those kids involved and put a smile on their faces has been really moving and memorable,” he said. “It was special watching them enjoy the sights and sounds of racing and all the excitement of a race weekend.”

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