Victor Gonzalez and the No. 99 VGMC Honda Civic TCR led the TC America field to the green flag for Friday’s Race 1 with Tyler Maxson, who started fourth due to a qualifying technical infraction, jumping to second from the get go. By the end of the second lap, Maxson got past Gonzalez for the lead and never look back, going on to take his sixth straight win to open the season. Maxson also ran the fastest lap of the race, giving him pole for Saturday’s Race 2.
“The Copeland Motorsports guys had the Hyundai Veloster N really hooked up today. Our handling is a little off right now, but the guys spent all night getting this thing right and it’s really on rails now!” said Maxson.
Gonzalez Jr ended the day in second with Roy Block and the No. 5 KMW Motorsports w/ TMR Engineering Alfa Romeo Giulietta in third.
In TC, James Clay and the No. 36 BimmerWorld BMW M240iR moved past the pole-sitting No. 31 Hard Motorsports BMW entry of Johan Schwartz for the lead to start the race. Clay and Schwartz would battle nose to tail for the next 40 minutes. Joseph Federl and the No. 23 Tech Sport Racing Nissan 370Z stalked the two leaders.
In TCA the pole-sitting No. 60 MINI JCW Team MINI Cooper of Tomas Mejia maintained the lead at the green flag with Tyler Gonzalez, who started fourth the No. 57 Copeland Motorsport Hyundai Veloster Turbo, jumping immediately to second and hunting Mejia for the class lead.
With 20 minutes to go, Gonzalez got past Mejia for the lead going into Turn 4 and took the TCA class victory, his second straight.
“I was able to get a good start and manage the tires and that was really the key today,” said Gonzalez.
With 19 minutes on the clock, TC class challenger Toby Grahovec and the No. 26 Classic BMW M240iR suffered a flat tire while running in fourth position and was forced to pit, handing the position to his teammate Bryson Lew and the No. 27 Classic BMW M240iR. Lew would then get past Federl for third in class, where he would ultimately finish. Clay took the TC victory followed by Schwartz and Lew.
“I was able to get a good start and settle into first, but had a great race-long battle with Johan. It really came down to tire management and the BimmerWorld guys giving me a great car,” said Clay.
With just under 6 minutes left on the clock, Mark Pombo and the No. 61 MINI JCW Team MINI Cooper got past Mejia at the final hairpin for second position in the TCA class with the twin MINIs taking the final two podium positions.
TC America Race 2 is Saturday, August 8 at 11:30 a.m. PT. Stream it live at https://www.tcamerica.us/live.