Johan Schwartz Holds Off Karl Wittmer For TC Victory Sunday; Vesko Kozarov Secures TC Drivers Title at Watkins Glen
Classic BMW Takes Team Crown; BMW Wins Manufacturer Championship
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – After losing Saturday’s race on the last lap, Johan Schwartz redeemed himself Sunday with a sensational Touring Car victory over Karl Wittmer in the Pirelli World Challenge TC Round 12 event at Watkins Glen International in the PWC Grand Prix of Watkins Glen presented by TM Performance.
Schwartz led most of the Saturday 40-minute TC sprint race before Wittmer slid past him in turn eight on the final lap. Johan had to settle for the runner-up spot in the No. 80 Rooster Hall Racing/West Virginia University BMW M235iR in Round 11.
Sunday’s Round 12 contest was a similar scenario, but the North Carolina driver didn’t allow Wittmer the chance for a last-lap move with an 0.130-second victory. It was Schwartz’ third Touring Car victory of the 2018 PWC season.
Wittmer, looking for his third 2018 TC win, tried every angle he could to slip by Schwartz again like he did on Saturday. But the driver of the No. 91 Classic BMW BMW M235iR was forced to finish second Sunday. Matt Travis drove his No. 26 Classic BMW BMW M235iR to third place for the second straight day.
In the TC driver championship, veteran Vesko Kozarov of Salt Lake City, Utah, unofficially captured the TC Drivers’ title by four points over Wittmer, 260-256, in the No. 3 Rearden Racing Nissan 370Z TC Spec. Classic BMW won the Team points title with BMW taking the top spot in the Manufacturers’ points.
“I drove the track many times in my mind last night, thinking about what to do in certain places,” said Schwartz, who finished third in the final 2018 TC points. “Having Karl behind me and in front of me yesterday taught me a lot about what I could do. I changed my racing strategy a little bit for today, figuring out where I was supposed to push my front tires and where I shouldn’t push my front tires because he wasn’t able to pass. You could see people bunching up behind us because I was driving fairly conservatively, using the left front tire when I needed to.
“Also, we broke a sway bar link yesterday and that didn’t happen today. Luckily, with BMW, as far as reliability, you are not concerned about those kinds of things at all. I drove the line yesterday, so I know that it would stick if I tried it and it was obviously successful and worked out for me today.”
It’s been a terrific season,” said Wittmer. “I owe everything to the guys at FastTrack Racing, Classic BMW, and BMW Motorsports. The car was impeccable all year and it’s always fun when you can come to the track and do what you have to do and not worry about reliability or anything like that. It’s been a positive season. I’ve been on the podium every weekend. Sure, I didn’t get the driver championship, but I don’t care because we got the team championship and the manufacturer championship and those are what counts.
“I just tried to find a way to pass them,” said Travis. I was a little faster in a couple of spots, but they were also faster in a couple of key spots. In the end, I just couldn’t find the way to get past them. But Classic BMW and BMW Motorsports gave me a great car. Johan and Karl are the best of the best and it’s hard to find a way around them. So, I hope everyone enjoyed the show that these guys put on and for two days in a row and I’ve had the best seat in the house.”
Rounding out the top-five Sunday in the 18-lap TC feature was Robert Nimkoff in the No. 20 AutoTechnic Racing BMW M235iR in fourth and Jayson Clunie in the No. 27 Classic BMW BMW M235iR.
Kozarov placed sixth in the Sunday 40-minute Round 12 event.
“It was a great season with the Rearden Racing team and I thank them for this championship,” said Kozarov. “It wasn’t easy. We had our hands full with the BMW group all year. Many times this year we had the lone Nissan against a contingent of BMW cars. However, it feels good to finish out the year with the Touring Car title.”
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Results for Touring Car Round 12 40-minute sprint race in the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Watkins Glen presented TM Performance at Watkins Glen International. Results are provisional until posted Final.
1,1, ,Johan SCHWARTZ,Huntersville, NC,DNK,BMW M235iR Cup,18,Running,40:26.424,
2,2, ,Karl WITTMER,Montreal, QC,CAN,BMW M235iR Cup,18,Running,40:26.554,0.130
3,3, ,Matt TRAVIS,The Woodlands, TX,USA,BMW M235iR Cup,18,Running,40:27.076,0.652
4,4, ,Robert NIMKOFF,Newtown, CT,USA,BMW M235iR Cup,18,Running,40:27.486,1.062
5,5, ,Jayson CLUNIE,Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, CA,CAN,BMW M235iR Cup,18,Running,40:27.826,1.402
6,6, ,Vesko KOZAROV,Salt Lake City, UT,USA,Nissan 370z TC Spec,18,Running,40:30.390,3.966
7,7, ,Mark BRUMMOND,Charlotte, NC,USA,BMW M235iR Cup,18,Running,40:37.235,10.811
8,8, ,John WEISBERG,Webster, NY,USA,Mazda MX5 TC Spec,18,Running,40:44.951,18.527
9,9, ,Henry SCHMITT,San Francisco, CA,USA,BMW M235iR Cup,18,Running,40:47.763,21.339
10,10, ,Jason STANLEY,Fayetteville, NC,USA,Genesis Coupe,18,Running,40:56.524,30.100
11,11, ,Joshua FORAN,Odenville, AL,USA,Honda Civic Type R,18,Running,40:58.224,31.800
12,12, ,Greg NITZKOWSKI,La Canada, CA,USA,BMW M235iR Cup,18,Running,41:15.652,49.228
13,13, ,John ALLEN,Denver, CO,USA,BMW M235iR Cup,18,Running,41:25.108,58.684
14,14, ,Bruce WEXLER,Babylon, NY,USA,BMW M235iR Cup,18,Running,41:26.328,59.904
15,15, ,Dinah WEISBERG,Webster, NY,USA,Mazda MX5 TC Spec,17,Running,40:41.015,1 LAP
16,16, ,Dennis HANRATTY Jr,,USA,Lotus Exige,16,Not Running,36:42.257,2 LAPS
17,17, ,Paul TERRY,Filmore, UT,USA,Nissan 370z TC Spec,12,Not Running,28:14.648,6 LAPS
18,18, ,Jeff RICCA,Milford, CT,USA,Genesis Coupe,3,Not Running,6:37.478,15 LAPS
19,19, ,Steve STREIMER,Portland, OR,USA,Nissan 370z TC Spec,2,Not Running,4:19.067,16 LAPS
20,20, ,Jacob RUUD,Franksville, WI,USA,BMW M235iR Cup,1,Not Running,2:40.815,17 LAPS