For Tom O’Gorman, a Wrecked Car can become a Winning Car, With help from some Canadian friends, Now Ready for Lime Rock
LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Former Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car B champion Tom O’Gorman sat in his Shea Racing paddock area Saturday looking at his wrecked race car, thinking about what his team could do to prepare for Sunday’s TCA main event.
O’Gorman, the personable 25-year-old driver from Mason, Ohio, had just been involved in a four-car incident in turn three at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and his No. 94 HPD/Shea Racing Honda Civic Si was a mess. The front end of his race car was nearly wiped out.
“To be honest, we didn’t know what we would do for Sunday,” said O’Gorman, who’ll compete this Friday and Saturday (May 26-27) at Lime Rock Park in the PWC Memorial Day Weekend racing spectacular. “Then a passenger Honda Civic Si car drives by in the paddock area. Where did they get that car? Those new Hondas just hit the showroom floor this week.”
O’Gorman’s team chased down the street version of the Honda Civic Si and found out its driver was Scott Nichol, a design engineer for Honda of Canada and a fellow racer in the Canadian Touring Car division.
“We asked Scott if we could use some of the parts from his passenger car for our Civic Si race car,” explained O’Gorman. “He was very accommodating and we started pulling front end parts from his car.”
O’Gorman needed lot of help to get his Honda Civic Si into action for Sunday’s Touring Car 40-minute feature at CTMP.
“We basically needed everything forward of the radiator from the passenger car,” he said. “Body work, arm supports and various front end parts to put the race car back together again… We call it ‘Humpty Dumpty” now. But we were ready for Sunday’s TC race. I can’t thank Scott enough.”
Of course, O’Gorman had no idea how his new “makeshift” Honda would perform in Sunday event, but he was hoping for the best.
And now the story gets better.
Competing on a damp track surface on Sunday morning, O’Gorman made a sensational start to grab the lead in his TCA division and he never looked back. Tom recorded his first TCA feature win with “Humpty Dumpty” the pieced-together Honda that looked a bit worn from Saturday’s crash including a cracked windshield and smashed rear body.
“Our race car is a new one from Honda and we didn’t have enough parts to repair the car from Saturday,” Tom said. “If not for Scott driving by that day, we wouldn’t have been able to race or have a chance for the win.”
After a short celebration with his team Sunday, it was back to work in the paddock area for O’Gorman’s crew as they put Nichol’s passenger car back together so the Canadian racer could drive back home in the Toronto area.
“We even had about 100 racing fans sign the rear body work at the CTMP autograph session and we put that back on the Honda race car too,” said O’Gorman. “We will probably to do it again this weekend at Lime Rock Park as a tribute to the fans. We’ll race the wounded car again at Lime Rock before getting all of the proper parts for the future races.”
O’Gorman comes to Lime Rock Park as a winner with his Honda Civic Si in one of the most unique stories in the Pirelli World Challenge series this year.
“Yes, I think our team will remember this one for quite some time,” he said. “From wrecked car to winning car with a little help from your friends. It just adds to the kindness of fellow racers who are always available to help. This is one for the books.”
O’Gorman and over 100 other drivers and their sports cars will invade the popular Lime Rock Park 1.5-mile road racing facility for the annual Memorial Day Weekend racing extravaganza beginning this Friday (May 26). Doubleheader features will include the SprintX class (60-minute, two-driver, one pit stop races), GTS and Touring Car divisions.