Gonzalez Jr Takes First Win of 2020; Clay Wraps Up TC Title

3 October 2020 TCR, TC, TCA

The final TC America race of the season got underway under sunny and cool skies but it was Victor Gonzalez Jr who was hot and took the overall and TCR win, his first of the 2020 season. The TC class was once again won by Mat Pombo with Eric Powell claiming the TCA victory.

“It’s amazing! I was crying the whole last lap because of the all the hard work we’ve put in this season. This is what racing is all about! I have to thank SRO, Honda, and the team for getting us here to victory lane. I also want to congratulate Tyler Maxson on the championship, he deserved it!” said Gonzalez Jr. 

At the start of the 40 minute contest it was CJ Moses and the #04 DXDT Honda Civic Type-R TCR that led the field to the green flag and much like Friday’s Race 1 the TCR field saw some bumping as teammates Moses and Olivia Askew in the #17 DXDT Honda, collided, seeing Askew spin and allow Race 1 winner, Tristan Herbert, grab the lead in the #44 New German Performance Audi RS3 LMS with Victor Gonzalez sliding into second position in the #99 VGMC Racing Honda Civic Type-R TCR. 

In TC, Mat Pombo and the #73 LA Honda World Honda Civic Type-R would keep the lead as title contender Toby Grahovec in the #26 Classic BMW M240iR would sit second. Championship leader James Clay, in the #36 BimmerWorld M240iR, would slot in fifth.

Clay would quickly get around teammate Chandler Hull in the #94 BimmerWorld BMW and move into fourth position in class with 33 minutes left on the clock. 

The TCA field would see Eric Powell, driving the #22 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS, lead with recently crowned class champion, Kevin Boehm, sitting second in the #9 Boehm Racing Honda Civic Si.

With 24 minutes left on the clock, Gonzalez Jr would close to within .183 seconds of leader Herbert and make an attacking inside move at Turn 7, grabbing the overall and TCR lead. 

As the clock ticked past the 15 minute mark, Gonzalez Jr would grow his lead to over 4 seconds in TCR, Pombo would extend his TC lead to over 11 seconds, and Powell would hold a nearly 3 second lead in TCA.

With under 10 minutes to go, Johan Schwartz, in the #31 Hard Motorsport BMW M240iR, would make two quick moves around James Clay and Chandler Hull to grab fourth position in TC, then on the following lap sweep around Mike LaMarra’s #37 LA Honda World Honda Civic Type-R for third in class. LaMarra would seemingly face an issue and fall five spots. 

On the next lap Schwartz would run wide at Turn 12, allowing Clay to get on the outside of the #31 and drag race around the #31 down the front straight. At the same time, Bryson Lew, driving the #27 Classic BMW M240iR, would slip stream with Clay, then pass both Schwartz and Clay going into Turn 1, to grab third position in class. 

As the checkered flag flew, Gonzalez Jr would claim the TCR and overall win, Pombo would take his second TC win of the weekend, and Powell would claim the TCA victory, his first of the season.

“Two days in a row for us! The LAP guys got this car about a month ago, and they have worked so hard to make it go, so I think everyone sees we have a contender here in TC. The car was lights out all day, I have to thank everyone who put in the work to get us here!” said TC Winner Pombo.

“What an absolutely awesome race! I could not be more proud of the guys on the team, they put it all together and we’re in victory lane at Indianapolis, how cool is that!” said an excited Powell. 

A fourth place finish in TC would be enough for BimmerWorld owner/driver James Clay to claim the Championship over Grahovec, 251 points to 237.