Mason Filippi won Saturday’s action-packed TC America TCR/TCA contest at Portland International Raceway, part of the 59th Annual Rose Cup Races presented by Fastlife.TV. Bryan Putt was victorious in the TCR Cup division, while Nick Wittmer won in TCA.
At the green, pole-sitter Filippi, in the No. 12 Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster N (photo above) grabbed the lead as second and third qualifiers Nate Vincent (No. 72 FCP Euro Golf GTI TCR) and James Walker (No. 34 Risi Competizione Alfa Romeo Giulietta) battled side by side through Turn 1.
Vincent just held off Walker, while right behind, FCP Euro’s Michael Hurczyn, who started fourth in the No. 71 Golf GTI TCR, slotted in right behind.
In TCR Cup, polesitter Putt, driving the No. 15 eEuroparts.com ROWE Racing Audi Sport RS3 LMS (DSG), grabbed the lead over Stephen Vajda (No. 18 EXR Team by Premat Audi Sport RS3 LMS [DSG]) and Christian Cole (No. 27 McCann Racing Audi Sport RS3 LMS [DSG]).
In TCA, X-Factor Racing’s Chris Haldeman in the pole-winning No. 69 Honda Civic Si went three wide through Turn 1 with Wittmer (No. 91 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS) and Nate Norenberg (No. 60 MINI JCW Team MINI Cooper JCW), the trio emerging in qualifying order, Haldeman-Wittmer-Norenberg. Tyler Maxson (No. 74 Copeland Motorsports Mazda Global MX5 Cup ND.2) settled into fourth.
Through lap 4, Filippi continued to lead Vincent with Hurczyn moving into third in TCR, while Putt, Vajda, and Cole held positions in TCR Cup. In TCA, Haldeman and Wittmer held their positions while Maxson moved past Norenberg for third.
By lap 9, serious battles ensued as Vincent started to pressure Filippi for the lead in TCR, while in TCA Wittmer was all over Haldeman, with the driver of the No. 91 machine eventually taking the lead on the back straight through Turns 8 and 9. Haldeman would drop back to third, with Maxson moving into second.
By lap 12, the TCR leaders began catching the TCA pack with Maxson using the traffic to help him move into the lead over Wittmer.
At the mid-point of the race, Filippi led over Vincent and Hurczyn in TCR, while Putt held the lead over Vajda and Cole in TCR Cup and Maxson paced Wittmer and Haldeman in TCA.
Race control then issued a full-course yellow on lap 16 to remove the disabled No. 07 Mazda Global MX5 Cup ND.1 of Jose DaSilva. On the lap 19 restart, Filippi led the pack to the green flag for a 11-minute shootout to the checkered. In TCR Cup, Cole got the jump on the restart and moved into the lead over Putt. In TCA, Wittmer would regain the lead passing Maxson.
By lap 22, Race Control issued a drive-through penalty to Cole for a passing violation on the restart, giving the lead back to Putt in TCR Cup.
At the checkered, Filippi crossed the line ahead of Vincent and Hurczyn in TCR, while in TCR Cup, Putt won over Vajda and Cole. In TCA, Wittmer took the win over Norenberg and Maxson.
“It was a great day,” said Filippi in Victory Circle. “The Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster was awesome and held the tires under it for the entire race. I’m looking forward to Sunday’s race.”
The weekend’s second TCR/TCA race (Round 10 for TCR and TCR Cup, and Round 8 for TCA) is scheduled to start Sunday at 12:40 pm PDT. All races will be streamed live on TCAmerica.us. CBS Sports Network coverage for TC America races at Portland airs July 24 starting at 7 pm EDT. Check your local listings for additional broadcast time and channel information.