The TC America powered by Skip Barber championship kicked off the 2022 season at Sonoma Raceway presented by CrowdStrike. It was an impressive 31 car grid across the TCX, TC, and TCA classes representing a diverse group of manufacturers including BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Mini, and Subaru.
Prior to the green flag for race 1, the family and friends of Joe Jordan gave the ceremonial command for the drivers to start their engines in memory of Jordan who was the lead commentator for the public address system and SiriusXM radio during SRO America races for the past three seasons. Jordan passed away in late 2021.
Starting at the front of the field on pole, Jacob Ruud (No. 1 Fast Track Racing BMW) led from the drop of the green flag and never looked back to the checkered flag finish with the CrowdStrike fastest lap time of 1:52.331. Ruud was able to hold off Stephen Cugliari (No. 57 Accelerating Performance BMW), and Lucas Catania (No. 26 Rigid Speed BMW).
“I think it’s going to be a great season — I’m glad that we’ve got more cars involved this year, and that will hopefully make for closer racing and more TV time for TCX this year,” said Ruud.
In TC action, Kevin Boehm (No. 9 Skip Barber Racing Honda) ran with school instructor precision to win by 10.890 seconds. “It was patience. We got to the lead fairly quick, then it was a matter of getting into a rhythm,” said Boehm. Coming in second place was Mat Pombo (No. 37 LA Honda World Racing Honda), and in third was Clay Williams (No. 60 MINI JCW Team Mini)
Carter Fartuch (No. 16 Skip Barber Racing School Honda) captured the win in the TCA class. Placing second in class was Gresham Wager (No. 21 TechSport Racing Subaru ). He was followed by rookie Spencer Bucknum (No. 5 LA Honda World Racing Honda) making his series debut
“We did a lot of preparation this year, new equipment and everything and it showed today,” said Fartuch.
Warm track temperatures and hotly contested positions were the name of the game when TC America Powered by Skip Barber took to the track for the final race of the Sonoma Raceway powered by CrowdStrike SRO weekend. After Race 1 seeing several incidents, including a lengthy yellow flag, Sunday’s race was quite the opposite: green flag all the way.
This enabled some truly swift lap times for the flowing-yet-tricky NorCal tarmac. The CrowdStrike Fastest Lap award went to Lucas Catania (No. 26 Rigid Speed BMW) in TCX, clocking in a 1m52.246s. Mat Pombo (No. 37 LA Honda World Honda) claimed it in TC with a 1m53.974s, followed by TCA winner Gresham Wagner (No. 21 TechSport Racing Subaru) with a 1m58.349s.
In TCX, Jacob Ruud (No. 1 Fast Track Racing BMW) was the first to see the green flag and never looked back, scaling the top of the podium for the second time this weekend. Lucas Catania (No. 26 Rigid Speed BMW) wasn’t too far behind in second, followed by Stephen Cugliari (No. 57 Accelerating Performance BMW) in third.
“Everybody at Fast Track Racing knows what exactly they’re doing,” Ruud said of his team’s effort this weekend. “We’ve been here before, we know how to set up the car for this track, and I’m looking forward to the competition this year. [My competitors] did a great job running the race that they did today.”
The top five spots in TCX kept each other honest in their pursuits for podium glory, especially between Garrett Adams (No. 54 Fast Track Racing BMW), Colin Garrett (No. 44 Rooster Hall Racing BMW), and bottom podium spot beneficiary Stephen Cugliari (No. 57 Accelerating Performance BMW). The pack stayed tight for the race’s entire duration, with some truly nail-biting moments.
In TC, long-time TC America contender Kevin Boehm (No. 9 CrowdStrike Racing by Skip Barber Honda) saw the checkered flag first, giving him the second sweep of the weekend. Clay Williams (No. 2 Mini JCW Team Mini) nabbed second place 2.273s later. Mat Pombo (No. 37 LA Honda World Honda) completed the podium.
“I think taking advantage of the few moments you’re going to get,” Boehm spoke when asked what his recipe for success was for Race 2. “I knew Clay was fast from yesterday, so getting a good start today was key.”
Joey Jordan (No. 70 FTG Racing Mazda) displayed deep front-wheel drive talent by fending off a group of attacking Veloster Ns and Civic Type Rs during the first-half of the race, proving that there truly is no such thing as “wrong-wheel drive.”
Teammates Jeff Ricca and Nicholas Barbato (No. 78 and 88 Genracer / Ricca Autosport Hyundai) sparred periodically throughout the race’s 40-minute duration, demonstrating the team’s development of Ricca’s dual-clutch transmission-equipped Veloster N in real time.
In TCA, Gresham Wagner (No. 21 TechSport Racing Subaru) gained some real estate on the rest of the field and drove home to a first place finish, followed by Carter Fartuch (No. 16 Skip Barber Honda) 6.255 seconds later, and Spencer Bucknum (No. 5 LA Honda World Honda) in third.
Battling between Carter Fartuch (No. 16 Skip Barber Honda) and Gresham Wagner (No. 21 TechSport Racing Subaru) was non-stop for the first half of the race, and once Wagner was faced with a clear track in front of him, eventually got a sturdy lead and never looked back.
“Staying close to Carter, especially in the beginning,” Wagner responded when asked what got the win on Sunday. “The cars are around the same speeds, but in very different ways. Today, I was sticking my nose in and trying to put him under pressure, getting him to use the tires, and taking advantage of where my car was strong. Once I got in front and got a bit of a gap, I knew I could get a cushion and build it.”
Check out the recap on CBS Sports Network on April 23 at 6:30 p.m. ET.