Britt Casey Jr. claimed his first victory in TC America competition with a resilient drive in the second race of the weekend at Virginia International Raceway presented by Henry Repeating Arms.
Casey Jr., who started from the back of the TCR class field after being disqualified from Saturday’s race for a technical infringement, successfully worked his way through the pack in the No. 83 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR.
Using all of his prior TCR formula experience, series debutant Casey Jr went on to make the pass for the win on championship leader Michael Hurczyn midway through Sunday afternoon’s 40-minute contest.
Hurczyn made a textbook getaway from pole in the No. 71 FCP Euro Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR and stayed out front until Casey Jr surged ahead after a 10-lap pursuit.
The McCann Racing driver drew alongside Hurczyn into Turn 1 of the 3.27-mile VIR road course with the cars staying glued side-by-side through the next couple of corners.
Casey Jr. eventually got through with a courageous lunge down the inside at the Left Hook and went to claim the win despite Hurczyn’s best attempts to reclaim the position.
Third place went to Nate Vincent who ensured both FCP Euro Volkswagens got on the podium, while Victor Gonzalez finished fourth to cap a solid debut weekend for the No. 99 VGMC Racing Honda Civic Type-R TCR drivers.
Behind them was Christian Cole, who started second on the overall grid in his TCR Cup-class Audi RS3 LMS TCR and went on to take a top-five finish overall plus a maiden career category win.
Cole, driving the No. 27 McCann Racing machine, earned his first trip to TC America victory lane with a stoic defence from series points leader Bryan Putt in the similar No. 15 eEuroparts.com ROWE Racing Audi.
Putt settled for second but nonetheless extended his championship advantage over Race 1 Michael McCann Jr who ended up third in class.
In the TCA rarnks, Nick Wittmer collected a second winner’s trophy of the weekend for another fine performance out front in the No. 91 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS.
Second place went to Tyler Maxson, driving the No. 74 Copeland Motorsports Mazda Global MX-5 Cup, who prevailed in a gripping multi-car battle for the next-highest step on the podium.
Maxson spent most of the race trading places with Nate Norenberg (No. 60 JCW Mini Cooper) and Chris Haldeman (No. 69 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si) with the trio even going three-wide at speeds of up to 125 mph along the VIR back straightaway.
Norenberg dived underneath Maxson into the ‘Rollercoaster’ sequence at the end of the straightaway on one occasion to snatch third position, which then turned into second when his JCW Mini teammate Mark Pombo picked up a left-front puncture further up the road.
With Maxson and Haldeman continuing to apply the pressure, Norenberg stepped a wheel onto the grass at Turn 3 which enabled his pursuers to slip past.
Maxson held off Haldeman’s Honda in the closing stages to claim his second consecutive second-place result of the weekend and move ahead of Pombo to second in the drivers’ championship.
Haldeman came through in third, followed by his X-Factor Racing teammate Taylor Hagler and Norenberg, who did well to complete the race after his Mini’s trunk became stuck open.
Jenny Gannett rounded out the TCA top six in the No. 10 Ian Lacy Racing Mazda, in front of Sally McNulty’s Honda.
With a packed weekend at VIR in the books, the TCR and TCA fields can now look ahead to their next meeting of the season when a full TC America bill travels to California’s Sonoma Raceway on June 7-9.