Newly crowned TC America TC driver’s champion Johan Schwartz scored his seventh victory of the season at Road America in a rain-shortened Round 12. Saturday’s Round 11 winner James Clay finished second, while Toby Grahovec finished third.
Mother Nature made her presence felt on Sunday as a steady rain fell throughout the morning and during the race. From the drop of the green, polesitter Clay in the No. 63 Copart / BimmerWorld Racing BMW M240iR held the lead through Turn 1, with second-on-the-grid Grahovec, in the No. 26 Classic BMW BMW M240iR Cup and third-on-the-grid Schwartz, in the Rooster Hall Racing No. 80 BMW M240iR Cup maintaining their positions. Joseph Federl in the No. 23 TechSport Racing Nissan 370z and No. 78 GenRacer Hyundai Genesis driver Jeff Ricca held the fourth and fifth positions respectively.
Schwartz deftly moved around Grahovec through Turn 5 and up into second and began his pursuit of Clay in the lead. Then on Lap 2 Clay and Schwartz ran side by side through Turns 5, 6 and 7 jockeying for the lead and the two contacted through Turn 7 with Clay’s No. 63 machine running slightly off the track. Clay regained control and resumed but not before Schwartz moved into the lead. Grahovec remained in third.
By Lap 3, Schwartz had built a 0.754s lead over Clay, while Grahovec, Federl and Ricca pursued in third, fourth and fifth.
Race control issued a full-course yellow on Lap 4 as the Dynamic Racing Solutions No. 09 BMW M240iR Cup driven by Greg Nitzkowski went off in Turn 12 and required removal. Nitzkowski was not injured.
With crews working to remove the No. 09 machine, rain began to fall more heavily, and visibility worsened. Race control then issued a checkered flag and the safety car led the field across the line to end the race.
“It was wet out there, and I tried to find grip wherever I could,” said Schwartz. “I tried to do it on my pace lap to find out where it was and started to find it. I actually had a good time out there so I was a little disappointed to see the checkered, but we’ll take it whichever way we can.”
TC teams and drivers now get set for the final race weekend of the season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, October 18-20. CBS Sports Network coverage for TC America races at Road America airs October 2 at 7 pm ET.