Tom O’Gorman kicked off his 2016 Pirelli World Challenge championship run at Circuit of the Americas with two 2nd place finishes in TCB in the #94 Track Night In America, Black Armor Helmets, Honda Performance HPD Honda Fit.
In the week leading up to the race weekend, O’Gorman and teammate David Daughtery determined their new 2015 Honda Fit would not be prepared in time for Circuit of the Americas, leaving less than 7 days to re-vamp O’Gorman’s 2010 Honda Fit with which he earned two podium finishes at Laguna Seca in the final round of the 2015 PWC season.
“Our only objective for the weekend was championship points. Without the new 2015 Fit and with limited time to get my old car ready, we knew we may not have the outright pace to go for race wins – all we needed was two clean races and two solid finishes to start the season off right,” said O’Gorman. “Luckily, Honda Racing/HPD, Carbotech, Kutney Automotive, and Danny Popp helped us get get our 2010 Fit race ready and we had the most reliable and consistent equipment on the TCB grid. ”
After a crash course in learning the 3.4-mile Circuit of the Americas in Friday morning’s Practice session, O’Gorman qualified his Honda Fit 5th in TCB. Following post-qualifying tech inspections, he would ultimately start Race 1 in 3rd position as the top two qualifiers were found to be underweight in qualifying. At the start of Race 1, O’Gorman grabbed and early lead and pulled a gap as the rest of the TCB field jockeyed for position. As the other competitors sorted into position, O’Gorman ultimately settled into 3rd position behind Will Rodgers and Ted Hough, both piloting Mazda2s.
On the merit of fast laps from Friday evening’s race, O’Gorman would start Saturday’s Race 2 in 4th position. Race 2 featured the season’s first standing start for the TC field, a personal favorite feature of the Pirelli World Challenge for O’Gorman. From the start, O’Gorman once again found his Honda Fit at the front of the pack on the first lap. From the opening laps, a battle commenced amongst the top 6 in TCB, including multiple lead changes. After a hard battle in the closing laps with the Mazda2s of Henry Morse and Ted Hough, O’Gorman held on to earn another 2nd place.
“The standing starts are always a blast, and I think my autocross [ProSolo] experience really helps me optimize them . We learned in Race 1 I had to keep the Mazdas behind me as long as I could, pacing the race and relying on drafting wasn’t going to be an option. I was able to use traffic and strategy to keep myself in this race and it really paid off, absolutely ecstatic to bring home another 2nd place finish,” said O’Gorman after Race 2.
“Last year, we crowdfunded our effort to get me to Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca. This year, we’ve kind of crowd-sourced crew for help at each race. I have the best friends and family in the world helping me, friends back home helping get my car ready on short notice, my parents, Black Armor teammates, and friends Andy and Ann Hollis here making sure I had the best equipment at the track – everyone worked so hard and I’m thrilled to get a good result for them.”
O’Gorman assumes 2nd position in the Driver Championship point standings leaving Circuit of the Americas and helped carry Black Armor Helmets into the Team Championship points lead.
The Pirelli World Challenge Touring Cars take a two-month break before heading to the next round on the calendar at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park May 19-22. Catch highlights of Race 1 and coverage of Race 2 from Circuit of the Americas May 17th at 9:00 PM EST on CBS Sports Network.
Tom O’Gorman is a young professional race car driver and driving instructor from Cincinnati, OH. Tom has made his way through autocross and club racing ranks to pursue a career in pro racing. In a short period, he has earned multiple podium finishes in Pirelli World Challenge, dozens of SCCA Club Racing victories, and is a a multi-time SCCA Solo National Champion and Solo Driver of the Year. O’Gorman currently drives the SCCA Track Night In America, Black Armor Helmets, Honda Racing HPD #94 Honda Fit in Pirelli World Challenge TCB. Visit tomoracing.com and follow Tom on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@tomo.racing) to keep up with his racing adventures.