Pole winner Ryan Eversley took his No. 43 RealTime Racing Honda Civic Type-R TCR to a wire-to-wire 40-minute TCR victory Saturday at VIRginia International Raceway in the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Virginia presented by Audi Sport.
Eversley, 34, started from the pole and battled with COTA race winner Mark Wilkins for much of the 21-lap event before Wilkins, in the No. 99 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb/Agajanian Hyundai i30 N TCR, retired from the event with a mechanical problem.
The Honda racer then took the checkered flag by 17.226 seconds over Michael Lewis in the No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb/Agajanian Hyundai i30 N TCR. Lewis won Round 1 at COTA.
Eversley is the third different TCR winner in three events this year. Lewis and Wilkins won Rounds 1 and 2, respectively.
Third went to Jerimy Daniel in the No. 2 The Racing Company Audi Sport RS3 LMS followed by Mason Filippi in the No. 12 TFB Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR and Anthony Geraci in the No. 69 Heinlein Racing Development Audi Sport RS3 LMS.
“It was a great day for Honda, RealTime Racing, and everybody involved with the TCR program,” said Eversley. “Today our car won in America and another team won in Europe so a great day for Honda brand worldwide. I’m really happy with the car. The race was really clean, and the traffic was really good. Mark [Wilkins] and I were having a great battle. Hats off to him because every time we race, it’s always really clean and respectful, exactly what I expect from a top professional.
“I saw him brake (with a mechanical problem) and I was disappointed because I wanted him to be right there. He was my teammate from last year (at RealTime Racing Acura in GT). We’ll see what happens tomorrow (Sunday). The Hyundais are obviously very fast with the pole position, and it worked out exactly as I predicted that they would be stronger than they were yesterday.”
In the TCA class, it was another Honda in victory lane with former TCB class champion Tom O’Gorman scoring his second win of the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge campaign in the No. 94 TOMO Racing Honda Civic Si. It was a close race at the finish as O’Gorman held off Eric Powell in the No. 95 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS and Bryan Ortiz of Puerto Rico in the No. 4 Copeland Motorsports Mazda Global MX5 Cup.
“I don’t know anybody that doesn’t like this track,” said O’Gorman. “Today was the perfect scenario from start to finish. I got a good enough start to get out into the lead and the TCR guys were battling enough to give me a little bit of a gap. We were maintaining for a long time but as soon as the TCR guys started coming through, it’s way harder to get through when there’s four in a row than when there’s one.
“I was lucky enough to be by myself and I was able to clear them. As awesome as the Civic is and as awesome as the Pirelli tires are, they fell off really hard at the end and I just dropped like a rock so I’m glad it ended when it did.
“If we had one more lap I don’t know if I would be here. It’s a similar story tomorrow, I hope.
“There’s a lot of tire management and brake management, and then traffic management is really critical. As I said, if you’re in a row of four or five battling, it’s way harder to get the TCR cars past it so I was fortunate to get the luck today.”
Round 4 for the TCR and TCA divisions is set for Sunday at 10:20 a.m. EDT. The race will be live streamed on http://www.world-challenge.com as well as on SiriusXM Channel 383 and SiriusXM App 983.