TCR competitors Ryan Eversley and Michael Lewis each scored their second 2018 TCR class victories Saturday at Lime Rock Park in the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Lime Rock powered by M.
Eversley, the current TCR point leader in his No. 43 RealTime Racing Honda Civic Type-R TCR., started from the pole position Saturday morning at the 1.5-mile, seven-turn legendary road circuit and never looked back in the 31-lap event with a 1.682-second victory.
“The Honda Civic is a great car,” said Eversley. “Overall, I’m very happy with the result. I’m happy that there’s a global BoP (Balance of Performance) and that it’s not just (PWC’s) results that dictate the BoP. It also shows what’s happening in the World Touring Car series. We were able to show that the Honda Civic Type R is as capable as any other car out there. The whole point of this exercise is to sell Honda racecars and street cars, so if we’re up front on the pole, leading every lap, and winning the race. That’s a great day for the brand and a job well done for RealTime.”
Taking second and third in the TCR Round 5 race were the Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb/Agajanian Hyundai i30 H TCR tandem of Mark Wilkins in No. 99 BHA Hyundai i30 H TCR, and Lewis in No. 98 BHA Hyundai i30 H TCR.
Fourth in TCR went to Michael Hurczyn of nearby Granby, Connecticut, in the No. 71 FCP Euro by HRD Volkswagen Gold GTI TCR with young Mason Filippi, rounding out the top-five Saturday morning.
In the Saturday afternoon TCR Round 6 event, it was Lewis starting from the pole in his Hyundai i30 N and holding off his teammate Wilkins to the checkered flag. Lewis won by 1.24 seconds over Wilkins.
“This weekend we came in thinking we weren’t going to be the strongest due to the changes in BoP (Balance of Performance),” said Lewis. “It ended up being okay, but we couldn’t make any mistakes. Mark (Wilkins) executed great in qualifying and Race 1. I did some qualifying antics in race 1 to get pole position for Race 2 because that seemed to be the only way for me to get a win, which was to get in front of everybody and just work on keeping them behind me. That was my plan and it pretty much ended up working out. I have so much respect for Mark, but as long as we don’t touch we’re expected to race.”
Wilkins took two second places in the TCR doubleheader Saturday, while Bryan Ortiz of Puerto Rico secured the third-place finish in the Round 6 40-minute race to record Volkswagen’s first podium of the year. Ortiz drove the No. 18 Copeland Motorsports/Tilton Engineering Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR for regular driver Jarett Andretti Saturday.
“Michael drove a perfect race in the afternoon with the Hyundai,” said Wilkins. “It was a big point scoring weekend for the Bryan Herta Autosport team. This is a tricky place to race and the short schedule can catch out sometimes. Now we move on to the Portland weekend with a tight point race.”
“Thanks to Copeland and Tilton for giving me the opportunity this weekend,” said Ortiz. “We’ve been talking about making the step up to TCR and it was a good opportunity with a team that I know, and I really love those guys. When I got here, we had some problems on the initial setup, but I knew we would be able to make the right adjustment. Here it’s pretty much a one-lane track. So, we used the first race as practice on where and how to adjust the car. So, for the second race the setup was very good. I don’t know if we had enough to handle the factory teams, but for the rest we were the best. So, we’re very happy to get Volkswagen a podium and we’ll see how the rest of the season goes.”
In the TCA category, Eric Powell also of Atlanta scored his third TCA victory of the year in the TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS sedan with a 1.27-second win over Tom O’Gorman in the No. 94 TOMO Racing Honda Civic Si.
Completing the podium in TCA Saturday was former Rookie of the Year Jeff Sexton in the No. 89 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS.
“It’s a great day and that feeling of winning, that’s why we do this,” said Powell. “I’m glad to be here. It was a fight in the beginning, a little reminiscent of last year, in a battle where I had to go around the outside. That was what ultimately decided my finish in the race. If you don’t know the TCR guys are coming, you probably shouldn’t be out here, but I think it’s both of our jobs to find the mutual respect. The traffic made the race interesting, and I’m glad I came out on top today.”
In the second TCA round Saturday, O’Gorman came back to score his third 2018 win in the No. 94 TOMO Racing Honda Civic Si over Jeff Sexton in the No. 89 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS and Travis Washay of Milford, Connecticut, in the No. 30 Indian Summer Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI.
“This race could not have gone any more perfect for us,” said O’Gorman. “I got the jump on the start. When the TCR cars started coming through, my TCB experience kicked in and I basically knew how to manage the traffic a little better than the rest of the field at this point. I got a big gap, and then each caution flag came out at the perfect time for me. I find the track challenging because my weakness tends to be the long run with the front-wheel drive car. From the outside, I haven’t been able to identify the weakness of the little sports cars, but I’m sure they have them and at this point in the season around the halfway point, it’s turning out to be an exciting season.”
Round 7 and 8 for the TCR/TCA class is set for Portland International Raceway on July 13-15.