top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Therese Lahlouh scores first ever podium finish in Porsche Sprint Challenge North America

Therese Lahlouh claimed her first ever podium finish of her Porsche Sprint Challenge North America career at Watkins Glen with a superb drive and, as a result of gaining the most positions of any competitor, she was also awarded the Hard Charger award - a fully deserved acknowledgement after bouncing back superbly from an unfortunate qualifying session.


Therese Lahlouh, JDX Racing, Porsche 992 GT3 Cup, Porsche Sprint Challenge North America, 2024 Watkins Glen
Photo credits: Colin McCarty

Scoring her first ever podium in Porsche Sprint Challenge North America, Therese Lahlouh took a significant step forward at Watkins Glen. After qualifying was shortened following a red flag, the JDX Racing driver had to fight back in the pair of races and displayed superb racecraft to earn the Hard Charger award in race two.


Therese finished race one in sixth, before a late-race incident in race two saw her finish on the 992 Pro/Am podium for the first time after taking the checkered flag in third.


Lahlouh arrived at Watkins Glen with her best run of results under her belt, placing inside the top-6 of the 992 Pro/Am class in the previous four races. Although now having slipped behind rival Conrad Geis in the championship standings, Therese entered the weekend just ten points adrift of the MDK Motorsports driver while comfortably remaining inside the top-5 overall. Aiming to add to her tally of two top-5 finishes so far this season, the JDX Racing driver was looking ahead to the challenge of Watkins Glen.


Drivers were given just two practice sessions ahead of the weekend with Lahlouh taking full advantage of the track time. It was a day of improvement for the JDX Racing driver who was sixth fastest in class during the first session, before finding almost one second of lap time improvement during the second practice.


As a result, Therese was finished the day inside the top-5 within 992 Pro/Am and less than half a second away from the fourth placed driver overall.


Therese Lahlouh, JDX Racing, Porsche 992 GT3 Cup, Porsche Sprint Challenge North America, 2024 Watkins Glen
Photo credits: Colin McCarty

Qualifying was the next session in which Therese was targeting improvements in her JDX Racing machine. Lahlouh was only able to complete one lap in the session before a red flag led to a curtailment of qualifying due to an incident for a competitor which led to a substantial cleanup process for the marshals. As a result, the session was not resumed with Lahlouh’s only time placing her 13th overall, seventh in 992 Pro/Am.


"A very interesting qualifying session resulting in everyone only getting one lap, which was still a warmup lap for me", Therese said. "So I’ll be starting in P14 overall today."


Lahlouh knew she had the speed to move forward in the first race of the weekend and the JDX Racing driver made a fast start as she overtook Eric Lapp on lap one to move into sixth in class. Therese now had the 991 class car of Niels Meissner ahead and passing him would be vital in order to move up the 992 Pro/Am order. Class rival Shane Leathers also began to apply the pressure to Lahlouh, however a nice move on Meissner saw Therese moved ahead on lap ten.


On lap 14, the safety car was deployed following a spin for Francisco De Jesus and this allowed the JDX Racing driver to close in on her class rivals. Lahlouh made an excellent restart and she completed clean overtakes while negotiating slower cars to move up into eighth position overall.


Although she did not gain any positions within class, Therese displayed excellent racecraft and ensured Leathers remained behind. Now in the closing stages of the race, John Gilliland had stopped out on track and following a second safety car period, the race restarted with one lap remaining. Lahlouh again managed the restart well and this saw her take the checkered flag in eighth place overall, sixth among the 992 Pro/Am competitors.


"Started P14 and finished P8 overall and P6 in class", she summed up after Saturday's race. "We start P15 overall tomorrow and will try to charge as far forward as we can again. We have the pace and the race craft just need to keep calm and carry on! Proud to have come up to speed well my first time here at the legendary Glen."


Therese Lahlouh, JDX Racing, Porsche 992 GT3 Cup, Porsche Sprint Challenge North America, 2024 Watkins Glen
Photo credits: Colin McCarty

Race two of the weekend took place on Sunday morning with Lahlouh once again aiming to make progress. Lining up from 14th overall, seventh in 992 Pro/Am, it was a clean start for Therese who held her position well. Frank Vitiello was the driver ahead in the early stages and the JDX Racing driver was applying pressure to the 992 Masters runner.


On lap five, Lahlouh set a new personal best time and was faster than the five drivers ahead which underlined her potential as she gained more experience at Watkins Glen.


After starting lap seven just a tenth of a second behind Vitiello, Lahlouh was able to make a superb move to take 13th position away and then set her sights on the duel between Jody Miller and class rival Shane Leathers. Quickly catching the pair, Therese’s pace was strong and after Miller overtook Leathers on lap ten, she had a fellow 992 Pro/Am racer directly ahead. As a recovering John Gilliland closed in, Lahlouh made a fantastic move on Leathers on lap 13 to elevate herself into 12th overall, sixth in class.


Lahlouh’s pace continued to improve in clean air and this saw her set a new personal best time on lap 15. The next lap saw a significant incident take place at the front of the field, eliminating the top-three drivers in 992 Pro/Am. Therefore, Therese moved into a provisional podium position as the safety car was deployed in order to recover the cars of Ashley Freiberg, Jared Thomas, Paul Bocuse and the 991 class machine of Francisco De Jesus.


Due to the damage caused and the little time remaining, the race finished behind the safety car with Lahlouh taking the checkered flag in ninth position overall, third in 992 Pro/Am.


Therese claimed her first ever podium finish of her Porsche Sprint Challenge North America career at Watkins Glen with a superb drive. As a result of gaining the most positions of any competitor, Lahlouh was awarded the Hard Charger award and this was fully deserved after bouncing back superbly from an unfortunate qualifying session.


"I still can’t believe I’m coming home from The Glen with my first podium and the hard charger award!" - Lahlouh commented. "I’m really proud of getting the Yokohama Apex Award after fighting my way into the top 10 in both races from 14th", she continued. "I kept it clean and raced hard and inherited the podium today."


"Thank you Porsche North America, Mobil1 for the support to get me here, and JDX Racing and Zebulon Motorsport for always giving me the best equipment."


The JDX Racing driver will be aiming to carry this momentum forward into the next round which takes place at Road America on the weekend of August 10th/11th.


Therese Lahlouh, JDX Racing, Porsche 992 GT3 Cup, Porsche Sprint Challenge North America, 2024 Watkins Glen
Photo credits: Colin McCarty

0 comments

Comentarios


bottom of page