SEBRING, FL – Jacob Ruud of Racine, WI, secured his first TC America series championship this weekend at Sebring International Raceway by taking two runner-up finishes in Saturday and Sunday’s 40-minute sprint features with his No. 81 Light Speed/Fast Track Racing BMW M2 Cup sedan at the historic 3.74-mile, 17-turn race circuit.
Making his debut at the famed Sebring track, Rudd encountered a Friday morning race incident that nearly took him out of the entire weekend when his machine hit the turn 17 barrier during test runs. A sensational performance by his Fast Track Racing crew repaired the No. 81 BMW M2 Cup machine for Saturday and Sunday’s Round 11 and 12 in the TCX campaign.
Taking parts and pieces from other M2 Cup cars to get Rudd’s vehicle ready for action was an impressive feat by the team, and Jacob battled eventual race winner Stephen Gugliari before settling for second in Saturday’s 17-lap TCX main event. But the second-place finish was good enough for Ruud to claim the TCX drivers’ point title with Classic BMW/Fast Track Racing taking the team honors and BMW securing the manufacturers crown.
“I’m thrilled to win the first TCX drivers’ championship and give Classic BMW/Fast Track Racing the team title as well as BMW claiming the manufacturers honors,” said Rudd, the 21-year-old college student at Rochester Institute of Technology. “We are prepared to fight for wins each weekend and I can’t thank the Fast Track Racing crew enough for their great work repairing me car after Friday’s crash. The car looked like Frankenstein from parts of various cars, but the No. 81 machine was still good for the two races at Sebring.
Ruud’s impressive point margin in securing the TCX was 241 to second place Steve Streimer’s 139.
“The season is a long one and the team worked hard to get us to victory lane each week,” said Jacob. “This weekend was especially difficult with the Friday incident, but it shows the strength of the racing team to get everything together and produce a solid car. I think the TCX class will be growing, and the competition level will be getting better as well.”
Joining Ruud at Sebring for the Fast Track Racing squad was young Garrett Adams of Oviedo, FL, in his initial runs in the No. 54 BMW M2 Cup car with impressive third and fourth place finishes in the TCX doubleheader events at Sebring. In addition, another young racer, Olivia Askew of Salt Lake City, UT, made her return to TCX action with fourth and sixth in her No. 3 DXDT/Fast Track Racing BMW M2 Cup mount.
“We are very excited to celebrate Jacob’s TCX drivers’ championship this weekend,” said Toby Grahovec, the former TC America series titleholder and team manager for Fast Track Racing. “And bringing home titles for Fast Track Racing and BMW as well is a thrill for the whole team. This weekend was tough with the Jacob’s Friday incident, but the team made an incredible comeback to put the No. 81 Light Speed/Fast Track Racing car on the podium once again. It shows the skill, experience and knowledge of this team to perform under pressure.”
The season finale for the TCX series is scheduled for Oct. 15-17 at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Rounds 13 and 14 set for Saturday, Oct. 16, and Sunday, Oct. 17.