Jacob Ruud took his No. 81 Classic BMW M2 CS Cup car to the winner’s circle once again in TC America presented by Skip Barber Racing School Race 2 at Sonoma Raceway. After leading practice session 2, taking pole position and both race wins, it was a dream weekend for Ruud to kick off the 2021 season.
“The guys at Classic BMW have put together a perfect car for me this weekend. The tires are the key and this car is very light on them, so that’s where the real advantage is. I am very happy with how we are starting out 2021!” said Ruud.
Round 2 went green but as soon as the TC field got to Turn 1 the action started and the first caution was called.
Race 1 winner Eric Powell and the No. 92 Skip Barber Racing School Honda Civic Type-R, the No. 52 Auto Technic Racing BMW of Tom Capizzi, and the No. 26 Classic BMW M240iR of Toby Grahovec collided at Turn 1 while fighting for the apex of the fast, sweeping corner. Grahovec spun but continued as more cars would tangle as the field flew up to Turn 2, including Mark LaMarra and the No. 37 LA Honda World Racing Honda Civic Type-R. Like Capizzi, LaMarra would not continue.
The race went back to green with 26 minutes of the 40-minute event remaining, as Ruud pulled away in TCX, Kevin Boehm’s No. 9 DXDT Honda Civic Type-R on top of the TC class and Jose Blanco’s No. 99 VGMC Honda Civic Si leading the TCA field.
As the clock ran down to the 21-minute mark, the TCA action would heat up as Race 1 winner Jesse Love moved his No. 22 TechSport Racing Toyota 86 past Blanco for the class lead. Mark Pombo and the No. 61 Mini also slipped past Blanco, dropping the polesitter from first to third in just two corners. Pombo stalked Love staying within a half second of the class leader for the next few laps.
As the race continued, Ruud extended his overall lead to just over three seconds and Boehm would stretch his TC class lead to over 4s, with Rob Hines and the No. 21 TechSport Racing Nissan attacking Powell for second in class.
Hines’ pressure would finally pay off as the sunny yellow Nissan would get past Powell for second in class at the final hairpin. Austen Smith and the No. 51 Auto Technic Racing BMW followed Hines through a few turns later, dropping Powell to fourth in class with under five minutes, remaining with Michael Sousa’s No. 88 Hyundai fifth.
At the checkered flag, Ruud took the TCX and overall win over McCarthy and Roy Block’s No. 5 BMW.
Boehm, in only his second TC race, cruised to the class victory ahead of Hines and Smith with Love claiming the TCA victory over Pombo and the No. 62 Mini of Clay Williams.
TC America returns to the track April 30-May 2 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas for Rounds 3 and 4. Follow all of the action live at https://www.tcamerica.us/live.