LAKEVILLE, Conn. – RealTime Racing earned a second Pirelli World Challenge victory for the Honda Civic Type R TCR at Lime Rock Park, when Ryan Eversley led every lap of the Round Five race. A top five finish for Eversley in Round Six ensured he remained the TCR Championship leader.
FRIDAY – QUALIFYING
The Honda Civic Type R loved the short and fast 1.474-mile Lime Rock circuit straight off the RealTime truck. Eversley was second-quick in Practice 1 and fastest in Practice 2. When it came time to qualify Friday afternoon, Eversley’s No. 43 was the car to beat, as he posted a pole time of 53.429 (99.31 mph).
Adam Merzon’s experience racing a front-wheel drive car for the first time at VIRginia International Raceway with RealTime was so much fun, he signed up for more, taking the wheel of the No. 44 Honda Civic Type R once again for the Lime Rock weekend. After setting the fourth-quickest time in Practice 2, Merzon qualified the car 11th on the TCR grid.
SATURDAY – RACE 1
Both Round Five and Round Six of the Pirelli World Challenge TCR Championship took place on Saturday to accommodate local restrictions on Sunday racing.
Round Five began with a rolling start that saw polesitter Eversley and the Hyundai of Mark Wilkins drag race into Turn One, but Eversley had the advantage exiting the corner and safeguarded his lead. From there he never put a wheel wrong, even surviving a restart from full-course caution, to take a flag-to-flag victory.
“What a perfect race!” Eversley smiled. “The start was clean and Mark and I raced hard into Turn One, but I had the inside so after that I just put my head down and tried to get a gap. We had some good luck with the traffic and that took the pressure off, so I just focused on hitting my marks and brought it home!”
Merzon tangled with another car on the opening lap of the race, which damaged his Honda Civic, but he soldiered on without further incident to finish 11th.
“I love racing this TCR Honda and racing for RealTime,” Merzon said. “Lime Rock is my home track and I was really happy to get into the top five during practice. Unfortunately, in the race, I got hit by another car and my Civic took some damage. I didn’t want to push too hard after that to conserve the car for Race Two.”
A wise decision by Merzon, considering the RealTime crew had less than three hours between races to ready the cars.
SATURDAY – RACE 2
Fast lap times from Round Five set the grid for Round Six. This placed Eversley second and Merzon 13th on the TCR grid.
Round Six began with a standing start, which ultimately proved to be Eversley’s undoing; a small movement before the start lights went out resulted in a drive-through penalty. Eversley was running third when he came through the pit lane and came out at the tail end of the field.
Determined to make his way back to the front, Eversley clawed all the way back to fifth before the checkered flag. Following the race, a competitor who finished ahead of Eversley on track was issued a post-race penalty that promoted the No. 43 to fourth in the final results.
“On the standing start, I moved about four feet before the lights went off and came to a stop,” Eversley explained. “We went green and I immediately dropped to third so no advantage was gained. The rule states it’s a drive through penalty, which meant I had to go to the back of the field and work my way back up to fifth. Punishment doesn’t fit the crime in my opinion, but we rebounded with a top five and still have the points lead, so we’ll learn from it and move forward. Thanks to RealTime, Honda and HPD for an awesome race car and I’m already looking forward to Portland.”
With a healthy car, Merzon was able to pick up two positions in Saturday afternoon’s race and finished 10th.
“Since we didn’t get a great lap in the first race before I got hit, I wasn’t able to set a very representative lap time to what this Honda can really do,” Merzon said of his starting position. “I tried to move up at the start, but once we settled in, I worked on my line and trying to roll more speed through the fast corners here. Thanks to RealTime for having me in the No. 44 again and I look forward to doing more races with them!”
Eversley continues to lead the TCR Drivers’ Championship by seven points over Wilkins. RealTime Racing and Honda are second in the TCR Team and Manufacturer Championship, respectively.
Rounds Five and Six from Lime Rock Park will air on CBS Sports Network, Sunday, June 10, at 1pm ET.
The next stop on the Pirelli World Challenge TCR calendar is Portland International Raceway, July 13 – 15.