TCR Talk Reviews: TC America at Road America

Vincent Dominates TCR Race 1 Win At Road America; Haldeman Takes Exciting TCA Win

Under sprinkling skies, Michael McCann Jr. and the #3 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS lead the field to green, but as the field got to turn 5 the slippery tarmac would hurt the leader as he slid wide, falling from first to last, handing the lead to Nate Vincent in the #72 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI. Vincent would never look back and go on to cruise to the TCR victory. “It was tricky driving in the rain, just tip-toeing around. This was my first time racing here at Road America, so having it in the rain was something! The team did a great job of setting up the car to handle the wet conditions and that was really the trick to bringing it home,” said Vincent.

As the field reached Canada Corner, Victor Gonzalez in the #99 VGMC Honda Civic Type R then fell victim to the rain and would spin out of third place, falling down the order. Championship leader Michael Hurczyn and the #71 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI would slide into second place, where he would finish. Hurczyn would claim the race’s fastest lap, giving him pole for Sunday’s race 2. Gonzalez would fight his way back through the field and finish third.

James Walker in the #34 Risi Competizione Alfa Romeo Giulietta would come home fourth with Christian Cole and the #3 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS claiming the TCR Cup win, finishing fifth overall.

With 28 minutes remaining, Mark Pombo and the #59 MINI Team JCW MINI Cooper would pass Chris Haldeman in the #69 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si for the lead. Haldeman would then go wide defending at turn 3 and go off track, falling to eighth in the TCA class.

As the clock ticked down to the 21 minute mark, Nate Norenberg in the #60 MINI Team JCW MINI Cooper would go off at The Kink, hitting the barrier but would get the car back to pitlane, keeping a full course caution from falling. Nick Wittmer and the #91 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ sT would inherit second place momentarily as Pombo then had an off from the lead, putting Wittmer in first with Tomas Mejia in the #69 MINI Team JCW MINI Cooper landing in second. While that was going on, Haldeman would fight his way back to third place and start his pursuit for second.

With 11 minutes left on the clock, Haldeman’s attack would see him overtake Mejia for second going into turn 3. Mejia would come home third with Taylor Hagler and the #77 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si fourth. Stephen Jeu would round out the top five in the #02 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si.

On the last lap, Haldeman’s charge would not stop and would overtake Wittmer for the lead, claiming his first win of the season. “I started from pole and pretty much immediately put myself in last, so I had to charge back through the field. Luckily it ended with me still taking the win!” said Haldeman.


Gonzalez Conquers Slippery Road America to Claim TCR Victory; Mat Pombo Takes Wet and Wild TCA Win

After a slight delay due to rainy conditions, Race 2 for the TCR and TCA classes got underway with championship leader Michael Hurczyn leading the field to green in the #71 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI after two laps behind the safety car to test conditions.

Heading into turn 5 at the start, Michael McCann Jr and the #3 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS went wide, falling to the back of the field from fifth position. At the same time, Nick Wittmer in the #91 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS would shoot past Tomas Mejia’s #62 MINI Team JCW for the lead in TCA as Mejia would fall to third in class as Tyler Maxson and the #74 Copeland Motorsports Mazda Global MX5 Cup would slot into second position. Maxson would then have a moment and fall to fifth position in class seeing Chris Haldeman and the #69 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si inherit second in the TCA class.

At the start of lap two, leader Michael Hurczyn would go off track at the fast turn 1, handing the lead to Victor Gonzalez and the #99 VGMC Honda Civic Type R TCR. Hurczyn would continue, landing in fourth position. Gonzalez would pull out an eleven second lead over Nate Vincent’s #71 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI in second and James Walker’s #34 Risi Competizione Alfa Romeo Giulietta in third. Gonzalez would control the rest of the race, and go on to claim his second win of the season. “I’m so happy and I know everybody back home is watching the race and are happy too. I have to thank the team and HPD Honda for giving us such a great car, I’m looking forward to one more in Las Vegas!” said Gonzalez.

Two laps later Hurczyn would get past Walker for third and set off for his teammate in second position.

Late in the race Hurczyn would get past Vincent with the FCP Euro teammates finishing second and third overall, with Walker coming home fourth.

With 24 minutes remaining, Haldeman would get past Wittmer for the TCA lead at turn 14. Two minutes later, TCA championship Tyler Maxson would face engine issues and pull into the pits. Maxson would continue a few laps later in the twelfth position, one lap down.

At the 20 minute mark, Haldeman would then have a moment of his own, falling to third, giving Wittmer the class lead and promoting Mat Pombo and the #61 MINI Team JCW MINI Cooper to second.

With 15 minutes remaining, Mat Pombo would power past Wittmer for the TCA class lead with the top three in class running nose to tail. Three minutes later Wittmer would get past Pombo for the lead at the outside of turn 1 with less than a second separating the three TCA class leaders.

Four laps later, Pombo would make a move on the outside of turn 7 around Wittmer and take the class lead with under six minutes remaining in the race. Haldeman would follow Pombo through, demoting Wittmer to third in two corners. On the next lap, Haldeman would go wide at turn 5, giving second place back to Wittmer with only two laps remaining.

On the final lap, Wittmer would sneak past Pombo for the lead at Canada Corner, but Pombo would fall right behind the #91 at turn 14, then win the drag race up the front straight to claim the class victory by a mere one-tenth of a second. “It was a hard fight the whole time and everyone was respectful. On the last lap, I had to lift a little, but luckily Wittmer made a little mistake out of 14, so I was able to go left and drag race up the straight to take the win. It was a great race with Nick [Wittmer] and [Chris} Haldeman. Very fun,” said Pombo.

Taylor Hagler and the #77 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si would come home fourth with Stephen Jeu and the #02 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si fifth in class.

Bryan Putt and the #15 Bsport Racing Audi RS3 LMS would claim the TCR Cup win, finishing fifth overall.

TC America’s TCR and TCA classes will next be in action for the final two rounds of the 2019 season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway October 18th – 20th.

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PROVISIONAL RESULTS – PDF Link

TCR Talk Review: 2019 Michelin Pilot Challenge at Road America

A 1 hour, 40 minute rain delay shortened the 2019 edition of the Michelin Pilot Challenge Road America 120 to just 75 minutes in length, but a wet-dry-wet race threw the teams and fans plenty of action and curve balls.

Starting on dry tires on a wet, but drying track, Chad Gilsinger fought through the field from 12th position tp eventually take the lead before handing the car over to co-driver Ryan Eversley.  The team kept Gilsinger out longer on his stint as they waited for rain to return, making the decision to do a one-stop pit strategy.  It looked like the strategy would work out as the rain returned and Gilsinger pitted, swapping dry tires for wets and sticking Eversley in the driver’s seat.  It was all for naught however, as waiting to pit cost Eversley to miss the minimum drive time by a mere 8 seconds.  Despite crossing the finish line first, the #89 HART Honda Civic Type R would be sent to the back of the grid due to this penalty, handing the victory to the #21 Bryan Herta Autosport Hynundai Veloster.

The #37 LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R would be promoted to second place with the #61 Roadshagger Audi RS3 LMS inheriting 3rd.

Michelin Pilot Challenge will return to action at the end of the month, August 23rd – 25th at Virginia International Raceway.

(image courtesy of IMSA / Galstad)