ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Jeff Altenburg, from Ellicott City, Md., piloting the No. 15 HPA Motorsports VW Jetta GL1, clinched his first Pirelli World Challenge Series TC victory of the season in Round 8 of the TC/TCA/TCB race at the DeVILBISS Grand Prix at Road America presented by Cadillac. Tony Rivera, of Vista, Calif., in the No. 86 Tiburon Motorsports Brass Monkey Racing Scion FR-S nabbed his second straight win of the weekend in TCA, and Glenn Nixon accomplished the same feat by securing his second consecutive TCB win of the weekend in the No. 58 LaptopScreen.com/ClubRacing.com MINI Cooper. Meanwhile, Nixon earned his third win at the 14-turn, 4.048-mile road course at Road America, to go along with a 2014 victory.
From the standing start, pole-sitter Adam Poland, of Mt. Vernon, Texas, in the No. 33 Edge Addicts/Texas Track Works Mazda MX-5, pulled in the top TC spot followed by Ernie Francis Jr., of Davie, Fla., in his No. 98 Breathless Racing/Time4Learning Mazda MX-5, who got around Jeff Ricca for the runner-up position.
Of note, top qualifier in TCA, Rivera, was moved to the back of the grid because of a balance of performance decision.
Ricca, of Milford, Conn., settled into third spot in TC in his No. 78 GenRacer/Enthuspec Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T, as a full-course yellow was issued because of contact off the standing start between Gino Carini and Kris Wright, of Pittsburgh, Pa., in his No. 34 Wright Automotive Group Kia Forte Koup in TCA. Wright retired from Round 8 with a wounded car, as did Carini, of Fox Point, Wis., in his No. 23 TechSportRacing.com Mazda RX-8.
Poland, Francis, Ricca, Mikey Taylor, of Birmingham, Ala., and Altenburg paced the field heading into the thrilling lap 2 restart that featured shuffling among the top positions. Taylor, in his No. 26 Unitronics Volkswagen Jetta GLI, won the side-by-side battle to snare the TC lead from Poland in Turn 1.
At the restart, in TCA, Toby Grahovec, of Little Elm, Texas, in the No. 24 Classic BMW Motorsports BMW Z4 led Kevin Anderson, of Huntington Station, N.Y., in the No. 22 Tech Sport Racing Mazda RX-8 and Jason Wolfe, of Mount Vernon, Ohio in the No. 36 Wolfe Trucking Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koup. In TCB, Andrei Kisel, of North Vancouver, B.C. in the No. 57 Racing.ca / LaptopScreen.com MINI Cooper led teammates Nic Duynstee, of Vancouver, B.C. in the No. 59 Racing.ca / LaptopScreen.com / Nixon Prosports MINI Cooper and Nixon, in the No. 58 LaptopScreen.com / ClubRacing.com / Nixon Prosports/HPD Honda Fit.
Altenburg was in hot pursuit of the top spot, and methodically reeled in competitors – leap frogging two spots to third on lap 3, snaring second spot from Poland, and finally grabbing the lead ahead of Taylor in Turn 6 on lap 5.
As the race entered lap 4, Grahovec still led Anderson and Wolfe, while Rivera had already moved up to fourth in class. In TCB, Kisel led in class, while Nixon moved into second around Duynstee. By the end of lap 4, Rivera had moved up to second, closing within a two-second differential.
On lap 6, Rivera had closed to within a car length of Grahovec, and then on lap 7 Rivera moved into the lead. By lap 8, in TCB Nixon, moved into the lead over Kisel and Duynstee.
By lap 9, in TCA, Anderson moved into third around Wolfe. Grahovec moved around Rivera through turn 14 to take the lead down the front straight, but then by turn 2 working lap 10, Rivera re-passed Grahovec to retake the lead.
The top three of Altenburg, Taylor and Poland stayed in those same slots for the remainder of the race, and Altenburg posted a 2.34-second margin of victory to earn his sixth career win. Altenburg said patience was key to his race strategy in working his way toward the front of the field.
“On the restart, I began picking cars off one by one,” Altenburg said. “Frankly, I was little surprised to find myself in the lead. I was hoping for a podium but we got there and the car was fantastic.”
As the white flag flew, Rivera led over Grahovec and Anderson in TCA, while Nixon led Kisel and Duynstee in TCB. On the last lap Van Svenson, of Hyde Park, N.Y. in the No. 2 Hack Racing Chevrolet Sonic would move up into third for the final podium spot in TCB.
Nixon said he enjoyed the Honda strength up front for a portion of the race.
“The race went pretty well for us,” Nixon said. “Earlier on, we had all three of the teammates running together. Unfortunately, Nick (Duynstee) fell back a little late in the race and got into the clutches of the guys farther back and got taken out. It was looking like a 1-2-3 for Nixon Prosports Racing.ca, but we’ll get Nick’s car fixed for this afternoon’s race.”
Furthermore, Rivera said he was satisfied with running a competitive, clean race up front against Grahovec in the TCA class.
“He and I have raced together for a long time and I trust him,” Rivera said. “We have raced side by side in many places, and we give each room. He got back by me in the kink in traffic and I lost my momentum. I was patient there, and I was able to get him back later.”
Of note, Taylor’s surge from fourth to first off the first restart earned him the Invisible Glass Clean Pass Award, while Jason Wolfe, of Mt. Vernon, Ontario, piloting the No. 36 Wolfe Trucking Kia Forte Koup, received the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start Award for moving up six spots when the lights went out. For his deft pass overtaking Kisel for second place on lap 5, Nixon received the Cadillac Move of the Race Award. In addition, TCB driver Van Svenson, of Hyde Park, N.Y., piloting the No. 2 Chevrolet Sonic, moved up nine slots to claim the VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger Award.
Setting the stage for Round 9 on Sunday afternoon scheduled for 4:25 p.m. Central, Vesko Kozarov, of Salt Lake City, Utah in the No. 3 Skullcandy Nissan Altima posted a fast lap time of 2:28.582 to clinch the TC pole position. Rivera posted the best TCA lap for pole with a mark of 2:35.679, while Travis W. Washay, of Milford, Conn., in the No. 30 Indian Racing Summer MINI Cooper, took the TCB pole after a best lap time of 2:56.768. Watch the race via live streaming at world-challengetv.com and torque.tv. Results are provisional until posted final.
ELKHART LAKE, WI – Results from Sunday’s 15 lap 60.72 mile Pirelli World Challenge Championship TC/TCA/TCB Round 08 race, part of the DeVILBISS Grand Prix at Road America presented by Cadillac, with finishing position, class, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out (if any).
1. TC, (5), Jeff Altenburg, Ellicott City, Md., Volkswagen Jetta GLI, 15.
2. TC, (4), Mikey Taylor(R), Birmingham, Ala., Volkswagen Jetta GLI, 15, -2.342.
3. TC, (1), Adam Poland, Mt. Vernon, Texas, Mazda MX-5, 15, -6.168.
4. TC, (8), Austin Snader, Sealy, Texas, Mazda MX-5, 15, -10.988.
5. TC, (7), Alex Welch, Englewood, Colo., Volkswagen Jetta GLI, 15, -13.968.
6. TC, (6), Corey Fergus(R), Columbus, Ohio, Porsche Cayman, 15, -15.832.
7. TC, (2), Jeff Ricca, Milford, Conn., Hyundai GenesisCoupe20T, 15, -18.392.
8. TC, (10), Vesko Kozarov, Salt Lake City, Utah, Nissan Altima, 15, -48.578.
9. TC, (11), Randy Hale, Haddam, Conn., Mazda MX-5, 15, -53.169.
10. TC, (13), Paul Street(R), Anniston, Ala., Honda Accord, 15, -1:12.865.
11. TC, (9), John Weisberg, Webster, N.Y., Porsche Cayman, 15, -1:15.869.
12. TC, (16), Steve Burns(R), San Antonio, Texas, Ford Mustang V6, 15, -1:22.366.
13. TC, (14), Andrew Rains(R), Auburn, Ala., Volkswagen Golf, 15, -1:22.994.
14. TC, (15), Kevin Krauss, Fishers, Ind., Porsche Cayman, 15, -2:21.478.
15. TC, (17), Dinah Weisberg(R), Webster, N.Y., Mazda MX-5, 7, Mech.
16. TC, (3), Ernie Francis_Jr., Dania, Fla., MAZDA MX-5, 6, Mech.
17. TC, (12), Fred Emich, Denver, Colo., Volkswagen Jetta GLi, 4, Mech.
18. TCA, (28), Tony Rivera, Vista, Calif., Scion FRS Coupe, 15.
19. TCA, (19), Toby Grahovec, Little Elm, , BMW Z4, 15, -10.303.
20. TCA, (21), Kevin Anderson, Huntington Station, N.Y., Mazda RX8, 15, -11.740.
21. TCA, (25), Jason Wolfe, Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Kia Forte Koup, 15, -17.222.
22. TCA, (20), Patrick Seguin, Ottawa, Ontario, Honda Civic Si, 15, -34.524.
23. TCA, (23), Emilee Tominovich(R), Clarksville, Md., Honda Civic Si, 15, -37.902.
24. TCA, (26), Samantha Tan(R), Gormley, Ontario, Kia Forte Koup, 15, -1:00.084.
25. TCA, (27), Ron Yarab, Youngstown, Ohio, Honda Civic Si, 14, -1:14.826.
26. TCA, (18), Gino Carini, Fox Point, Wis., Mazda RX-8, 0, Crash.
27. TCA, (22), Kris Wright(R), Pittsburgh, Pa., Kia Forte Koup, 0, Crash.
28. TCA, (24), Chase Pelletier, Brampton, Ohio, Honda Civic Si, 0, DNS.
29. TCB, (31), Glenn Nixon, Mission, British Columbia, Honda Fit, 13.
30. TCB, (29), Andrei Kisel, N. Vancouver, British Columbia, MINI Cooper, 13, -.242.
31. TCB, (35), Van Svenson(R), Hyde Park, N.Y., Chevrolet Sonic, 13, -4.994.
32. TCB, (32), Randy Smith, Coldwater, Ontario, Honda Fit, 13, -5.091.
33. TCB, (33), Johan Schwartz, Huntersville, S.C., Chevy Sonic, 13, -5.312.
34. TCB, (30), Nic Duynstee, Vancouver, British Columbia, MINI Cooper, 13, -11.557.
35. TCB, (39), James Wilson, Kyle, Texas, Mazda 2, 13, -28.123.
36. TCB, (36), Jason Fichter, Jupiter, Fla., MINI Cooper, 13, -32.255.
37. TCB, (40), Marc Sherrin(R), Lucas, Texas, Ford Fiesta, 13, -53.274.
38. TCB, (38), Tom Noble, Medina, Minn., MINI Cooper, 13, -56.453.
39. TCB, (37), PJ Groenke, Toronto, Canada, MINI Cooper, 13, -1:11.150.
40. TCB, (34), Travis_W Washay(R), Milford, Conn., MINI Cooper, 12, Mech.
41. TCB, (41), Steve Kohli, Iowa City, Iowa, Honda Fit, 0, DNS.
Time of race: 41 minutes, 48.127 seconds.
Average speed: 87.153 mph
Margin of victory: 2.342 Seconds
Lap leaders: Laps 1-2, #33 Adam Poland; laps 3-4, #26 Mikey Taylor(R); laps 5-15, #15 Jeff Altenburg
Fastest race lap: #3 Vesko Kozarov, 2:28.582 (98.079 mph)
Fastest qualifier: #33 Adam Poland, 2:27.178 (99.014 mph)