Johan Schwartz Kicks off 2019 with Win in TC America TC Class
In changing conditions, the TC America championship kicked off with the TC class at Circuit of the Americas on Saturday. Capturing the first win of the season, Johan Schwartz drove the #80 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M235iR Cup to a close victory. Only a half-of-a-second separated the Top 3 as they crossed the finish line.
On a wet track, seventeen TC challengers took the green for the first time in 2019. Schwartz battled all race long with Jeff Ricca and Toby Grahovec, besting the two over the 40-minute contest.
Grahovec, driving the #26 Classic BMW M240iR Cup, and Ricca drag raced to the line, with Grahovec crossing the line ahead of Jeff Ricca’s GenRacer Hyundai Genesis Coupe by a slim two-hundredths of a second.
Joseph Federl, making his TC America debut with TechSport Racing, drove the #23 Nissan 370z to a solid fourth-place finish. Rounding out the Top 5, Robert Nimkoff drove the Auto Technic Racing BMW M235iR
Mason Filippi Earns First Victory for New Hyundai Veloster N TCR
After losing his qualifying time, Mason Filippi and TFB Performance came from the back to earn Hyundai’s first victory with the new Veloster N TCR racecar debuted earlier this year. Filippi ended the 2018 season with a pair of podiums last season in TCR and continued to build on that momentum with his first victory in TCR competition.
The FCP Euro duo were set to start on the front row together, but the #72 VW GTI TCR of Nate Vincent slowed on the pace lap with technical issues. Vincent’s teammate Michael Hurczyn led the field into Turn 1 and battled with Filippi ultimately settling for his first podium with a second place finish in the #71 FCP Euro VW GTI TCR.
After falling back behind the entire field of TCR and TCA cars, Vincent stormed back to join his teammate on the podium with a hard earned third place finish.
Alain Lauziere and the Alphasonic Motorsport team debuted at COTA in the DSG Cup class taking victory in the #47 Audi RS3 LMS. eEuroParts.com ROWE Racing’s Bryan Putt finished 2nd, with Lauziere’s teammate Nelson Chan taking third.
Nick Wittmer and Subaru Claim Victory in TCA
The TCA class featured a 17-car strong grid with over half the drivers making their series debut. TechSport’s Racing Nick Wittmer piloted the #91 Subaru BRZ tS to victory holding off a strong push by Mini JCW Teams Mark Pombo and Copeland Motorsport’s Tyler Maxon.
Nick Wittmer, who spent last season in GT4 competition, leveraged his experience and speed to bring victory to his TechSport team.
Mini joined TCA this season and brought their Mini John Cooper Works racer to take on Honda, Mazda, and Subaru. Matt Pombo and Tyler Maxon enjoyed a race long battle for second with Pombo able to edge Maxon late in the race.
Former TCB Champion P.J. Groenke returned for his second season in TCA with TechSport Racing and Subaru. The Canadian held off local Austin based X-Factor Racing’s Chris Haldeman for forth with Haldeman in fifth.
TC America is back in action at Circuit of the Americas on Sunday with TC Race 2 at 9:05am CST and TCR/TCA Race 1 at 11:45am CST.
Follow all the action at world-challenge.com. Each race will be streamed live at stream.world-challenge.com.