TC championship points leader Johan Schwartz scored his sixth win of the 2019 season Sunday at Watkins Glen International, part of the TC America weekend presented by CrowdStrike. Schwartz’s teammate Steve Streimer finished second, while Saturday’s winner Paul Terry crossed the line in third.
Pole sitter Schwartz, in the #80 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M240iR Cup led the field to the green to begin the 20-lap, 40-minute contest. Behind him teammate Streimer, in the #81 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M240iR Cup got a great jump and pushed into second from his third-on-the-grid starting position, while Jeff Ricca, in the #78 GenRacer Hyundai Genesis Coupe slotted back into third. Rearden Racing’s Terry in the #33 Nissan 370z slotted into fourth. Of note, Toby Grahovec who came into Sunday trailing Schwartz by 59 points in the driver’s championship standings started from the back after being unable to compete in most of Saturday’s Round 9 race – his Classic BMW #26 BMW M240iR Cup sustained heavy damage after contact with Streimer early in the race.
While Schwartz and Streimer settled in up front by lap 2, action behind them was fierce as Cameron Evans in the #82 Copart / BimmerWorld Racing BMW M240iR Cup charged up to pass Terry for fourth through turn 1 and then Ricca leading up to the bus stop complex. Lap 3 saw Terry execute a pass by Ricca through turn 1. Terry then passed Evans later in the lap to move into third.
By lap 12, Schwartz and Streimer had pulled away from the pack, while Ricca closed on Terry for third and by lap 15 Ricca slid by Terry leading into the bus stop complex. Ricca then set his sights on closing in on the leaders while fending off any challenges from Terry. On the white flag lap Terry closed on Ricca and through turn 10 executed a clean pass for third. At the line, Schwartz won over Streimer by .246 seconds, Terry crossed 3.3 seconds behind in third. Classic BMW driver Jacob Ruud in the #810 BMW M240iR Cup, and Evans rounded out the top 5. Ricca ended the day in sixth.
“It was quite an interesting race being at the front in the beginning,” said Schwartz. “We (Streimer) were working together to pull away and then Steve started racing me at the end. I was a little between big picture racing and taking the win but I also knew he wasn’t going to push the issue too hard so obviously we’re in the championship hunt and points are the most important thing right now, so it’s good to have 25 (points for the win) but if I would’ve gotten 18 (for second place), that would’ve been okay too.”
Results are provisional until posted final. Schwartz leaves Watkins Glen with 193 points and now holds a commanding lead over Grahovec (109 points). TC teams and drivers now head to Road America, September 20-22 for Rounds 11 and 12 of the 2019 Championship. Watch the races from Watkins Glen International on CBS Sports Network, September 11 at 7pm EST.
McCann sweeps TCR field at Watkins Glen; Pombo again in TCA
TCR championship leader Michael Hurczyn and his #71 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI lead the TC America field to the green flag with race 1 winner, Michael McCann Jr and the #3 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS, quickly moving past Nate Vincent in the #72 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI for second place. James Walker and the #34 Risi Competizione Alfa Romeo would also slip by Mason Filippi’s #12 Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster N for fourth. Filippi would need to pit for a mechanical issue a few minutes later, essentially ending his race.
With 27 minutes remaining, Michael McCann Jr would take the lead after slip-streaming past Hurczyn going into the bus stop and instantly gap the field, pulling a 1.2 second lead. McCann would go on to cruise to the overall victory, his second of the weekend. “It was a really good weekend. The Audi had really good pace, especially in a straight line. The guys got the car ready and we made it happen!” said McCann.
In TCA, Mark Pombo and the #59 MINI Cooper JCW would lead from the start with Nate Norenberg in the #60 MINI Cooper JCW in second, Tomas Mejia in the #62 MINI Cooper JCW third with Tyler Maxson and the #74 Copeland Motorsports Mazda MX5 Cup fourth. Taylor Hagler, who spun on lap 1 and fell to the back of the grid, would fight her way back through the field and find herself fifth in class with 20 minutes remaining.
Maxson would get past Mejia for third with 19 minutes left on the clock and would start his pursuit of Norenberg for second. With 11 minutes left in the race, Maxson would catch and pass Norenberg going into turn 1 while Mejia would get past Norenberg on the next lap. Later in the lap both Norenberg and Halger would suffer flat tires and retire.
Mark Pombo would control the TCA field and go on to take the class win with Tyler Maxson second, and Tomas Mejia third. “Early in the season we had some trouble with the MINIs, but the guys at LAP Motorsports have really found something with the car and this weekend has saved our season,” said Pombo. PJ Groenke in the #44 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS and Sally McNulty in the #780 TEAMSALLY Honda Civic Si would round out the top 5.
TCR Cup saw the #41 TWOTh Autosport Audi RS3 LMS of Travis Hill grab his second win of the weekend with Stephen Vajda and the #18 EXR Team by Premat Audi RS3 LMS finishing second and Christian Cole in the #27 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS third.
The TC America TCR/TCA classes will next be in action September 20th-22nd at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.