Tom O’Gorman returns to Pirelli World Challenge competition for the 2018 season driving a Honda Civic Si in Touring Car A. With support from Honda Performance Development (HPD) and both new and returning partners, the TOMO Racing effort moves under the RealTime Racing tent for the year.
O’Gorman seeks to build on a successful development season in 2017, placing 3rd in the TCA Championship and earning the new Civic Si it’s first win, plus 5 podium finishes, in Pirelli World Challenge. “We learned so much about this new car in competition last year and certainly had our share of hills to climb,” he says. “Being the only front wheel drive and only turbo-powered car in TCA meant working closely with the series to be able to run competitively with the Mazda and Subaru platforms, but we’ve learned our strengths and had a year to identify weaknesses. We certainly have a contender for race wins and the championship this year.”
Developed by HPD, the TCA-spec Honda Civic Si race car debuted in Pirelli World Challenge competition last season to coincide with the launch of the all-new 10th-generation Honda Civic platform. The 2017 Civic Si, with it’s 1.5l turbo engine, was the first of Honda’s new era of turbo vehicles to turn a wheel in competition. “We’re excited to work with Tom and his crew again in 2018,” said Jeff Barrow, Commercial Motorsports Manager at HPD. “In 2017, Tom took a brand new Civic and had multiple wins and podium finishes, so we’re expecting even more this year. The Civic Si and our HPD performance parts create a modern, capable racing platform that continues the great legacy of Civic racing success, in Pro and Amateur motorsports competition.”
As a test driver for the program through it’s development, O’Gorman worked closely with HPD and gained extensive time behind the wheel of the Civic Si race car before the 2017 PWC season. “It’s a new kind of Honda race car – the engine makes incredible torque, and the longer wheelbase makes it very stable and forgiving at the limit. I haven’t experienced a front wheel drive chassis that makes as much grip as these new Civics – it makes for a great all-around package,” O’Gorman adds. HPD offers the Civic Si race car through a body-in-white program eligible for multiple series across pro and amateur racing with race parts offered through the HPD Racing Line program.
TOMO Racing’s TCA program is supported by new and returning partners; “I feel very lucky to work with a group of partners I’m personally connected to and passionate about. Gridlife, Carbotech Brakes, and Eibach are back after being a part of our 2017 program. I’m also excited that SCCA Track Night In America is back on my car this year, along with our newest partner, Fifteen52 Wheels. These are all companies that do awesome things in the motorsports world, and I’m proud to represent them in the PWC paddock.”
O’Gorman, better known as “Tomo,” starts 2018 as his 3rd full season in Pirelli World Challenge competition. Growing up a race fan, he started his motorsports career in his later teens similarly to RealTime Racing’s Peter Cunningham; cutting his teeth in grassroots autocross and road racing with the SCCA. A successful crowdfunding campaign gave him the opportunity to step into pro racing in 2015. In 2016, he partnered with HPD to campaign the latest Honda Fit in TCB, where he went on to win the Driver’s Championship and earned the step up to TCA with HPD’s Civic Si in 2017. He tells, “It’s surreal to think about the progression of the last few years – I can’t thank the people who have helped get me here, from everyone in the autocross days, to the crowdfund contributors, to HPD giving me the opportunity to be involved with their programs recently. And now, to have the support of RealTime – a team I’ve idolized for as long as I can remember – is both a dream come true and an intense motivator to perform well this year.”
RealTime Racing has a history of success in touring car racing, earning eleven of it’s 14 Championships in World Challenge Touring Cars. The team recently announced its entry into the TCR class with a pair of Honda Civic Type R TCRs. “RealTime is raring to go with its Civic Type R TCR program and we are also pleased to have Tom O’Gorman’s Civic Si TCA class machine under our tent as well,” says Team Principal Peter Cunningham. “Tom is a winning driver and we will hope to lend a hand as he fights for the championship in this ultra-competitive TCA category!”
The Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car seasons consists of 6 double-header weekends, kicking off at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX, March 23-25. The PWC Grand Prix of Texas is the first time all classes come together in 2018 and will see over 100 entries, including nearly 50 competitors across 3 Touring Car classes. Touring Car A, a limited-preparation class for accessible performance cars like the Honda Civic Si, Mazda MX-5, and Subaru BRZ, will see 14 drivers take the green, including O’Gorman in the #94 2017 Civic Si.
Each session of the race weekend will be supported with live timing, including live video streams of both races, at world-challenge.com. Touring Car Rounds 1 & 2 will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network on Thursday, April 12 at 8:00 PM E.T. Check out the event schedule below, and follow Tom O’Gorman online (TOMORacing.com), on Facebook (TOMO Racing), and on Instagram/Twitter (@tomoracing) for updates throughout the weekend.
Friday, March 23
11:35AM – Practice 1
4:55PM – Practice 2
Saturday, March 24
10:55AM – Qualifying
4:55PM – Race 1
Sunday, March 25
12:15PM – Race 2