Local racer Johan Schwartz of Huntersville, N.C., used his track knowledge in Friday practice at Virginia International Raceway by setting the fastest lap in the Touring Car class in the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Virginia presented by Audi Sport.
Schwartz, the 2015 TCB class series champion, has been a regular at the VIR racing facility for the past decade and took his No. 80 Rooster Hall Racing/West Virginia University BMW M235iR sports sedan to the quickest lap time of practice rounds Friday with a time of 2m2.570s clocking at an average speed of 96.04mph
“We didn’t run this morning with the wet conditions and prepared for this afternoon’s dry track,” said Schwartz, the Guiness World Record holder for the “Longest Continuous Drift” in a car of over eight hours. “VIR is a very technical track and some places with some serious commitment for a driver. So, track knowledge is very important. I’m pleased with the car’s setup and we have some college students from the West Virginia University engineering department helping us this weekend. It’s fun to work with them.”
Second in the Touring Car practice runs Friday was Robert Nimkoff of Newtown, Conn., in the No. 20 AutoTechnic Racing BMW M235iR with a 2m03.146s, followed by Matt Travis of The Woodlands, Tex., in the No. 26 Classic BMW BMW M235iR at 2m03.360s.
Two Nissan machines rounded out the top-five TC spots in practice with Steve Streimer of Portland, Ore., in the No. 23 TechSport Racing Nissan 370Z TC Spec at 2m03.558s and Paul Terry of Filmore, Utah, in the No. 33 Rearden Racing Nissan 370Z TC Spec at 2m04.136s.
Qualifying for the Touring Car category is scheduled for Saturday at 10:10 a.m. ET with Round 3 of the TC division set for 5:45 p.m. ET. Sunday’s Round 4 TC event is to begin at 3:05 p.m. ET.