ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — Vesko Kozarov, from Salt Lake City, Utah, in the No. 3 Skullcandy Nissan Altima clinched his second Pirelli World Challenge Series TC victory of the season in Round 7 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 third win of the season in TCA, while Glenn Nixon, secured his second TCB victory of the year in the No. 58 LaptopScreen.com/ClubRacing.com MINI Cooper. In addition, Nixon earned his second win at the 14-turn, 4.048-mile road course at Road America, to go along with a 2014 victory.
From the standing start, Ernie Francis, of Davie, Fla, in the No. 98 Breathless Racing/Time4Learning Mazda MX-5 pulled into the top spot, followed by Corey Fergus, from Columbus, Ohio, in the No. 00 USLED/Axis Roofing/AERO/RSS Porsche Cayman and Jeff Altenburg, from Ellicott City, Md., in the No. 15 HPA Motorsports VW Jetta GLI. Pole-sitter Jeff Ricca, of Milford, Conn., tucked his No. 78 GenRacer/Enthuspec Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T behind the lead pack.
In TCA, second-on-the-grid Kevin Anderson, of Huntington Station, N.Y. in the No. 22 TechSportRacing.com Mazda RX-8 took the lead from pole-sitter Rivera, with Jason Wolfe, of Mount Vernon, Ohio, the TCA Drivers’ Championship points leader entering Road America, in third in his No. 36 Wolfe Trucking Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koup. In TCB, pole-sitter Nixon led over teammate Andrei Kisel, of North Vancouver, B.C. in the No. 57 Racing.ca/LaptopScreen.com MINI Cooper, and Travis W. Washay, of Milford, Conn., in the No. 30 Indian Summer Racing MINI Cooper.
On lap 2, Rivera passed Anderson for the lead as Wolfe battled Toby Grahovec, of Little Elm, Texas, in the No. 24 Classic BMW Motorsports BMW Z4 Classic BMW for third position. Wolfe would go wide on turn 14 and go off into the sand trap, losing positions but re-entering the race. Nixon continued to lead in TCB, with Kisel in second and their teammate Nic Duynstee, of Vancouver, B.C. in the No. 59 Racing.ca/LaptopScreen.com/Nixon Prosports MINI Cooper, who had passed Washay, into third.
Meanwhile back in the pack on lap 2, the No. 27 GSpeed/Steadfast Funding Ford Fiesta of Mark Sherrin, from Lucas, Texas, in TCB, went off and sat disabled in turn 14, bringing out a full-course yellow.
On the restart, Kozarov rocketed from third to first, leaving Fergus, Francis and Altenburg tangled in a heated TC battle through turn 1. Francis went off track with a mechanical issue, and retired from the race and would post a 16th overall finish.
A full-course yellow was implemented then on lap 4 for the safety crew to remove oil on the track in turn 1 from Francis’ Mazda as well as to remove the No. 11 American Honda/Carsquare.com Garrett Racing Honda Civic Si of Chase Pelletier from Brampton, Ontario that sat wounded in turn 11.
Kozarov paced the leaders on the lap eight restart with 10 minutes to go in the race, while Rivera still led Anderson and Grahovec in TCA, with Nixon leading Kisel and Duynstee in TCB.
On lap 10, Rivera continued to lead over Anderson with Anderson’s teammate Gino Carini, of Fox Point, Wis. in the No. 23 Tech Sport Racing Mazda RX-8 into third over Grahovec. In TCB, Nixon continued to lead over teammate Kisel, with Washay passing Duynstee for third, and TCB Drivers’ Championship points leader Johan Schwartz, in Huntersville, N.C. in the No. 25 Tech Sport Racing/ZERO Cancer Chevy Sonic into fourth.
Rivera then set a blistering fast lap in class with a 2:33.683 to pull away in TCA. At the checkers it was Rivera, over Anderson and Grahovec, who repassed Carini, for third. On the final lap in TCB, Schwartz would pass Washay to secure third.
Kozarov won the 40-minute race with a .784-second margin of victory ahead of TC Driver’s Championship points leader Fergus. Mikey Taylor, of Birmingham, Ala., completed the TC podium, piloting the No. 26 Unitronics Volkswagen Jetta GLI to a third-place finish.
“We are at Road America which always means a good time and racing Nissans which is even more of a good time,” said Kozarov. “The car is prepared by CA Sport and Skullcandy, and it is a fantastic car to drive. Actually my job is the easy part. I definitely had to get my elbows out today. We clearly don’t have the fastest car, but we can race well with this Nissan.”
For his performance in winning the TCB race, Nixon claimed the Stop Tech Brake Late Finish First Award. “You have to think about the draft with these cars,” Nixon said. “It takes all momentum. If you make one little mistake and miss the draft, your day is pretty much done. And I have 100 horsepower at best, so you can’t lose the draft.”
Meanwhile, Rivera was pleased to celebrate in victory circle at his favorite venue. “If you can roll speed through the corners here, you can excel,” Rivera said. “That’s why I like to race here. It’s not about late braking. It’s actually getting off the brakes and letting the car coast through the corner and start squeezing back on the throttle. This track just really fits my driving style.”
Of note, Fergus’ pass on Altenburg off the second restart earned him the Invisible Glass Clean Pass Award, while Andrew Rains, of Auburn, Ala., piloting the No. 10 National Bank of Commerce Volkswagen Golf, received the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start Award for moving up three spots when the lights went out. For his deft restart overtaking Francis Jr. for the lead, Kozarov 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 12 slots to claim the VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger Award.
Setting the stage for Round 8 on Sunday scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Central, Poland posted a fast lap time of 2:27.178 to clinch the TC pole position. Rivera posted the best TCA lap for pole with a mark of 2:33.683, while Kisel took the TCB pole after a best lap time of 2:56.757. Watch the race via live streaming at world-challengetv.com and torque.tv.
Results are provisional until posted final.
ELKHART LAKE, WI – Results from Saturday’s 13 lap 52.624 mile Pirelli World Challenge Championship TC/TCA/TCB Round 7 race, part of the DeVILBISS Grand Prix
at Road America, with finishing position, class, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out (if any).
1. TC, (5), Vesko Kozarov, Salt Lake City, Utah, Nissan Altima, 13.
2. TC, (4), Corey Fergus(R), Columbus, Ohio, Porsche Cayman, 13, -.784.
3. TC, (6), Mikey Taylor(R), Birmingham, Ala., Volkswagon Jetta GLI, 13, -3.201.
4. TC, (7), Adam Poland, Mt. Vernon, Texas, Mazda MX-5, 13, -3.627.
5. TC, (2), Jeff Altenburg, Ellicott City, Md., Volkswagon Jetta GLI, 13, -6.309.
6. TC, (8), Alex Welch, Englewood, Colo., Volkswagon Jetta GLI, 13, -8.467.
7. TC, (15), Randy Hale, Haddam, Conn., Mazda MX-5, 13, -13.804.
8. TC, (11), Austin Snader, Sealy, Texas, Mazda MX-5, 13, -14.298.
9. TC, (10), John Weisberg, Webster, N.Y., Porsche Cayman, 13, -14.821.
10. TC, (13), Andrew Rains(R), Auburn, Ala., Volkswagon Golf, 13, -21.264.
11. TC, (16), Steve Burns(R), San Antonio, Texas, Ford Mustang V6, 13, -34.330.
12. TC, (12), Paul Street(R), Anniston, Ala., Honda Accord, 13, -36.123.
13. TC, (9), Fred Emich, Denver, Colo., Volkswagen Jetta GLi, 11, -2 lap.
14. TC, (1), Jeff Ricca, Milford, Conn., Hyundai GenesisCoupe20T, 11, -2 lap.
15. TC, (3), Ernie Francis_Jr, Dania, Fla., MAZDA MX-5, 5, Crash.
16. TC, (14), Kevin Krauss, Fishers, Ind., Porsche Cayman, 5, Mech.
17. TC, (17), Dinah Weisberg(R), Webster, N.Y., Mazda MX-5, 3, Mech.
18. TCA, (18), Tony Rivera, Vista, Calif., Scion FRS Coupe, 13.
19. TCA, (19), Kevin Anderson, Huntington Station, N.Y., Mazda RX8, 13, -12.876.
20. TCA, (22), Toby Grahovec, Little Elm, , BMW Z4, 13, -13.428.
21. TCA, (21), Gino Carini, Fox Point, Wis., Mazda RX-8, 13, -13.429.
22. TCA, (26), Patrick Seguin, Ottawa, Ontario, Honda Civic Si, 13, -14.114.
23. TCA, (27), Ron Yarab, Youngstown, Ohio, Honda Civic Si, 13, -40.739.
24. TCA, (28), Samantha Tan(R), Gormley, Ontario, Kia Forte Koup, 13, -41.061.
25. TCA, (24), Emilee Tominovich(R), Clarksville, Md., Honda Civic Si, 13, -1:11.110.
26. TCA, (20), Jason Wolfe, Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Kia Forte Koup, 12, -1 lap.
27. TCA, (23), Kris Wright(R), Pittsburgh, Pa., Kia Forte Koup, 11, -2 lap.
28. TCA, (25), Chase Pelletier, Brampton, Ohio, Honda Civic Si, 4, Mech.
29. TCB, (29), Glenn Nixon, Mission, British Columbia, Honda Fit, 13.
30. TCB, (30), Andrei Kisel, N. Vancouver, British Columbia, MINI Cooper, 13, -.221.
31. TCB, (33), Johan Schwartz, Huntersville, S.C., Chevy Sonic, 13, -4.681.
32. TCB, (36), Van Svenson(R), Hyde Park, N.Y., Chevrolet Sonic, 13, -4.964.
33. TCB, (31), Nic Duynstee, Vancouver, British Columbia, MINI Cooper, 13, -5.066.
34. TCB, (32), Travis_W Washay(R), Milford, Conn., MINI Cooper, 13, -5.912.
35. TCB, (37), Randy Smith, Coldwater, Ontario, Honda Fit, 13, -6.741.
36. TCB, (34), Jason Fichter, Jupiter, Fla., MINI Cooper, 13, -9.293.
37. TCB, (40), PJ Groenke, Toronto, Canada, MINI Cooper, 13, -9.796.
38. TCB, (41), James Wilson, Kyle, Texas, Mazda 2, 13, -16.155.
39. TCB, (38), Tom Noble, Medina, Minn., MINI Cooper, 13, -22.959.
40. TCB, (39), Marc Sherrin(R), Lucas, Texas, Ford Fiesta, 2, Mech.
41. TCB, (35), Steve Kohli, Iowa City, Iowa, Honda Fit, 1, Mech.
Time of race: 41 minutes, 14.260 seconds.
Average speed: 76.566 mph
Margin of victory: .784 Seconds
Lap leaders: Laps 1-4, #98 Ernie Francis_Jr; laps 5-13, #3 Vesko Kozarov
Fastest race lap: #33 Adam Poland, 2:27.178 (99.014 mph)
Fastest qualifier: #78 Jeff Ricca, 2:27.044 (99.105 mph)