34-car field set for COTA TC America opener

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34-car field set for COTA TC America opener

SRO America

34-car field set for COTA TC America opener

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A  34-car TCR, TC and TCA field is set to open the TC America season at Circuit of The Americas, March 6-8. The field features two returning 2019 champions and a host of talented racers who will pilot machinery from nine of the world’s top manufacturers in a pair of 40-minute TC America sprint races on the 3.431-mile road course.

Michael Hurczyn, last year’s TCR driver’s champion, returns to defend his title behind the wheel of the No. 71 FCP Euro Volkswagen Golf GTI. Last year he took three race wins and only finished outside the top 3 twice in 16 races. Hurczyn’s closest competitor was his teammate Nate Vincent, who will again drive the No. 72 FCP Euro Volkswagen Golf GTI. Vincent scored two wins in 2019. The duo will also look to help Volkswagen repeat as the TCR manufacturers’ champion.

Looking to challenge the two FCP Euro drivers at COTA and throughout 2020 is last year’s TCA driver’s champion and Rookie of the Year Tyler Maxson. He moves up into the TCR class to drive the new No. 74 Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster N. Copeland Motorsports also brings its No. 51 Hyundai Veloster N for Nikko Reger. Another racer that could see victory circle at COTA is Honda Civic Type-R pilot Victor Gonzalez. The No. 99 VGMC Racing racer won twice in 2019 and in a partially run season managed to finish fifth overall in the TCR championship.

DXDT Racing brings two Honda Civic Type-Rs to the COTA grid for CJ Moses and Scott Smithson. Moses will drive the No. 04 machine, while Smithson will be behind the wheel of the No. 17 machine. Rounding out the TCR field for COTA is Roy Block in the No. 5 KMW Motorsports w/ TMR Engineering Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

Defending TC champ Johan Schwartz returns to the series after a dominating the 2019 season, but with a new effort in the No. 31 Hard Motorsport BMW M240iR. Schwartz took eight wins in 14 races last season, only finishing off the podium once. Schwartz’ stiffest competition last year came from Toby Grahovec. After finishing second overall in 2019, the 2016 TC champion and his No. 26 Classic BMW M240iR look to get back on top starting with a strong showing at COTA. Grahovec, a former race winner at COTA, took one win last season and finished second seven times. Classic BMW will field two other cars with Phil Bloom in the No. 11 BMW M240iR and John Rader in the No. 27 machine.

Chandler Hull will drive the No. 94 BimmerWorld BMW M240iR. He finished third overall in 2019 on the strength of four podium results last year. Team principal and series veteran James Clay will run the second Bimmerworld entry in the No. 36 BMW M240iR. Clay ran in the Pirelli GT4 SprintX East Am championship last season, scoring two wins.

GenRacer’s Jeff Ricca returns but with a new look swapping his Hyundai Genesis Coupe for the new Veloster N TC. Entering his seventh year of competition in the series, Ricca scored his first two TC America wins in 2019 and looks poised for a break-out season. He’ll drive the No. 78 Hyundai Veloster N.

Auto Technic Racing brings a three-car line-up to COTA led by Tom Capizzi, who finished ninth in points last year. Capizzi will drive the No. 52 BMW M240iR. Rob Slonaker will run the team’s No. 20 machine with Bruce Robson in the No. 21 entry.

Josef Federl returns to compete at his home track in the No. 23 TechSport Racing Nissan 370Z. Federl’s best finish of third last season came at Road America. Two new Honda Civic Type Rs will see the grid in Austin with the first coming from VGMC Racing and Ruben Iglesas in the No. 8 entry, and Team HMA with Karl Hertel in the No. 93 machine. Rounding out the TC grid is the No. 48 Lone Star Racing BMW M235iR Cup for Zane Hodgen.

With Maxson moving up to the TCR class, 2020 will see a new TCA champion crowned and there are 12 drivers entered in class at COTA ready to begin the battle for the title.

Three teams that fielded strong efforts in 2019 will again be on the grid at COTA. Kevin Anderson’s TechSport Racing crew will have P.J. Groenke, Damon Surzyshyn, and Joey Essma running the team’s Subaru BRZ tS. Groenke, the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge TCB driver’s champion, brings the most experience and will look to help lead the team to victory circle – he’ll run the team’s No. 25 machine, while Surzyshyn will be in the No. 24 entry and Essma in the No. 22 car.

The MINI JCW Team returns to help defend the manufacturer’s championship secured for that marque last season. Its two-car Mini Cooper COTA effort will have Tomas Mejia in the No. 60 machine, while Mark Pombo will be in the No. 61 entry.

Another TCA team to watch in Austin will be Copeland Motorsports, which will grid the new No. 57 Hyundai Veloster Turbo for driver Tyler Gonzalez. Also fielding a pair of Hyundai Veloster Turbo at COTA is new team CB Racing with Caleb Bacon in the No. 18 machine and Matt Forbush entered to drive the team’s No. 33 entry.

Kevin Boehm, a four-time SCCA National Champion with more than a decade of racing experience including touring car starts at the professional level will drive the No. 9 AWS, Crowdstrike supported Boehm Racing Honda Civic Si. With cars entered in both TCR and TC, VGMC will also field a two-car TCA Honda Civic Si effort with Juan Diego Hernandez in the No. 59 car, and Jonathan Newcombe in the No. 178 machine. Looking to put Mazda on the top step at COTA is Jose DaSilva, who will drive the No. 07 Ives Motorsports Mazda Global MX5 Cup.

On-track action begins at 11:40 a.m. Central Friday, March 6 with a combined TCR/TC/TCA practice session. The first TC America race of the weekend is scheduled to go green Saturday, March 7 at 3:25 p.m. local time, while Sunday’s Round 2 race will start at 11:15 a.m. Central. All races will be streamed live on TCAmerica.us/live, with race highlights airing later on CBS Sports Network.

 

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