Victor Gonzalez Jr. (VGMC Honda Civic Type-R) led the field to the green flag, but Tyler Maxson (Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster N TCR, photo above), starting third, made quick work of both Scott Smithson (DXDT Racing Honda Civic Type-R) and Gonzalez, grabbing the lead at the end of the first lap and never looking back. A car in the tire wall brought out the yellow flags with just minutes to go and the race would finish under yellow — no problem for Maxson who claimed his fourth straight TCR win to open the 2020 TC America season.
“We’ve had a great start to the season, going four for four, so we’re excited. It’s difficult to pass here at VIR, especially through traffic, but we made it work and got the win!” said the points leader.
In TC, Race 1 winner Johan Schwartz (Hard Motorsport BMW M240iR Cup) led all the way, with the BMW M240iR’s of James Clay (Bimmerworld) and Toby Grahovec (Classic BMW) finishing second and third.
“VIR is such a fun track that allows us to run on the outside of the corners, especially at Turns 1 and 2,” said Schwartz. “I was able to get to the lead and was then able to manage the gap and save the tires. The Hard Motorsport crew has given me a great car, but I think there’s still a little improvement we can make for tomorrow. I want to give the crew a huge thanks!”
Back in TCA, Tyler Gonzalez (Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster Turbo) led through the opening laps, Race 1 winner Tomas Mejia (MINI JCW Team Mini Cooper) close behind, with Mejia’s teammate, Mark Pombo, back in third.
With under 20 minutes to go, Pombo got a run on his teammate and overtook Mejia for second; then closed to withing half a second second of Gonzalez for the class lead.
With 12 minutes on the clock, Pombo shot past Mejia at Turn 3 just before a full-course caution was called for an incident where Chandler Hull, running second in TC hat the time, crashed into the tire wall at The Snake.
With the race finishing under caution, Pombo notched the TCA class win, with Gonzalez holding onto second and Mejia third.
“It was a crazy race!” Pombo exclaimed. “SRO has done a great job with the BoP for the class with a lot of close and back and forth racing. Luckily I got past the Hyundai at the right time when the yellow came out and got the lead. Thanks to the MINI JCW Team!”
TC America Race 3, the Lime Rock make-up event, will run tomorrow, Sunday, July 12th at 11:20am ET. Follow live at www.tcamerica.us and listen via SiriusXM channel 383 and app channel 984.