Former series champion Johan Schwartz grabbed the pole for today’s TC America Race 1 at Sonoma Raceway’s 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course. Schwartz posted the quickest time in Saturday morning’s 15-minute qualifying session.
Early in the session as tires came up to temperature, Schwartz driving the No. 80 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M240iR Cup topped the charts with a 1:52.712, while teammate Steve Streimer piloting the No. 81 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M240iR Cup slotted into second with a 1:53.350.
The former series champion (2015 TCB) and current TC championship points leader coming into the weekend bettered his time to a 1:52.488. Toby Grahovec, the 2016 TC Driver’s Champion then slotted into a second with a 1:52.780. Grahovec driving No. 26 Classic BMW M240iR Cup comes into the weekend second in the driver’s championship standings.
The top three on the charts then all bettered their times with Schwartz at 1:52.221, Streimer slotting back into second on the grid with a 1:52.699 and Grahovec third at 1:52.758.
With under three minutes to go in the session, Auto Technic Racing’s Robert Nimkoff in the No. 20 BMW M240iR Cup pushed into the top 3 with a 1:52.720.
At the checkered, the times held – Schwartz scored his second pole of the 2019 season (first of the season was at VIR). Teammate Streimer will start alongside, while Nimkoff and Grahovec fill in the second row. Results are provisional until posted final.
“It was an interesting qualifying session, said Schwartz. “I didn’t really have any lap times out there, so I had the crew guys telling me what I was doing out there and I looked at the board. Fortunate for the West Virginia rooster Hall Racing team, we did it again and I can’t thank those guys enough. They work relentlessly until we think we have the best package out there. NLW BMW is on board as well this year so I’m super excited about that. Car ran great, now we just have it set it up for race pace.”
TC teams and drivers now get set for the 40-minute Race 1 of the weekend scheduled to go green today at 1:45 pm PDT. All races will be streamed live on TCAmerica.us, with race highlights on CBS Sports Network.