As the green flag waved on TC America Race 1 at Circuit of The Americas, Copeland Motorsports’ Tyler Maxson and the No. 74 Hyundai Veloster N TCR jumped to the lead at Turn 1 around teammate Nikko Reger and the No. 51 Hyundai Veloster N TCR. From there 2019 TCA champ Maxson was able to control the race and went on to take the first victory of the 2020 season, in a 1-2 finish for the Copeland Motorsports teammates. “These Velosters were absolutely hooked up today, the team gave me a great car. It’s a great way to start the season and I can’t wait for Race 2!” said Maxson.
“We picked up right where we left off in 2019 at Las Vegas and it looks like it’s going well so far! Hyundai has been great and awesome to work with, it’s a great troup and I think this is just the beginning for the brand,” said Copeland Motorsports team owner Dean Copeland.
Nate Vincent in the No. 72 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI TCR came home third with 2019 TCR champion Michael Hurczyn fourth in the No. 71 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI TCR.
The TC class saw pole-sitting Johan Schwartz and the No. 31 Hard Motorsport BMW M240iR Cup keep the lead at the start with James Clay and the No. 36 Bimmerworld BMW M240iR slide into second over Texas’ Toby Grahovec and the No. 26 Classic BMW BMW M240iR Cup. Clay went on the attack and fight with Schwartz for the class lead.
In TCA, Tyler Gonzalez and the No. 57 Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster Turbo powered past Mark Pombo’s No. 61 MINI JCW Team Mini Cooper JCW for the lead and never look back. Gonzalez finished ahead of Caleb Bacon’s No. 18 Hyundai Veloster turbo with Pombo in third. “I just want to thank my team for giving me a great car and the perfect way to kick off the season,” said Gonzalez.
After sustaining damage on a Lap 1 incident, the No. 25 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS would pull off to the side of the circuit near Turn 12, causing the first and only safety car to be called with 35 minutes remaining.
The race went back to green with 29 minutes left on the clock with Maxson leading overall in TCR ahead of Reger and Vincent.
With 14 minutes left, Clay’s attack finally paid off and was able to move past Schwartz for the TC class lead at Turn 1 with Toby Grahovec then glued to Schwartz’s rear bumper as the battle for second raged on. While Grahovec and Schwartz fought, Clay broke away to the TC class victory.
“I knew Toby and Johan were going to be tough and I couldn’t make any mistakes today. I was able to capitalize on a few opportunities to get by, but then I was lucky those two battled because I was able to get a few car lengths on them. It was really great racing with Toby and Johan today.” said Clay.
Grahovec got past Schwartz with the two finishing second and third in class.
TC America Race 2 will go green on Sunday, March 8th at 10:45am local time. Follow the action live at https://www.tcamerica.us/watch-live.