HPD Honda Civic Type R racers finished 1-2 in the SRO TC America Drivers’ Championship, sweeping the 2021 season finale weekend on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as Honda also claimed the TC Manufacturers’ crown.
TC Honda Civic Type R
Friday’s opener became a race of tire choice and management, as the 45-minute event was run on a wet-but-drying IMS road course. Starting third, Kevin Boehm used rain tires to grab an early advantage in his #9 DXDT Honda Civic Type R, leading the TC class by as much as four seconds. But as the laps wound down and the track dried rapidly, Mike LaMarra began a late-race charge in his ‘slick’ shod LA Honda World Civic Type R, snatching the victory from Boehm on the white-flag lap.
That result set up a championship showdown for Saturday’s season finale between Boehm and fellow Honda driver Eric Powell, who finished fifth on Friday. On Saturday, Boehm did all he could – leading every lap for his third win of the season. But Powell’s sixth-place result was more than enough to claim the title by a narrow 7.5-point margin.
TCA Honda Civic Si
Tires also were the tale in Friday’s TCA contest, as Jose Blanco took the early lead on wet weather tires in his VGMC Racing Honda Civic Si. But late in the race, the cars fitted with dry-weather ‘slick’ tires had the advantage, and late-race contact resulted in an unrepresentative 12th-place finish. TCA Championship contender Carter Fartuch also struggled in the changing conditions, finishing seventh.
Fartuch again led the way for Honda on Saturday, taking the checkers fifth in his Honda Civic Si, but lost out in his TCA championship battle, finishing third in the final points tally to Caleb Bacon and Luke Rumburg.
Eric Powell (#28 Skip Barber Racing School Honda Civic Type R) 2021 TC America champion; Honda also wins TC Manufacturers’ Championship: “I’m kind of at a loss for words. It’s such an amazing feeling. I’ve been at this for a long time, racing for almost 25 years. I’ve won a lot of races, but never a championship, and a lot of times that was due to reliability issues. But this Honda Civic Type R that HPD has put in my hands has been rock-solid reliable all year. It’s incredible. The Skip Barber School has given us the resources to succeed, and I couldn’t ask for anything more. It’s super exciting.”
Kevin Boehm (#9 DXDT Racing Honda Civic Type R) Saturday TC class winner, finished 2nd in the TC Drivers’ Championship: “It’s the teamwork we had as a group. We have Operation Motorsport on board, and they’re donating their time, to basically come and learn how to work on these race cars. Together, we really just try to make it go as fast as it can. That’s the most memorable thing, along with having my wife and my dad working alongside me as well, it’s been incredible. To finish at the top of the podium, in the last race of the season, was just great.”
Mike LaMarra (#37 LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R) Friday TC class winner: “It’s fantastic [to win at Indianapolis}. This is the second time I’ve won here in sports car racing and it’s a real special place, obviously. It feels great. I took a gamble by starting on slicks, hoping that they would take me up to first [place]. It paid off, big time, and I couldn’t be happier!”
This weekend’s races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway closed out the 2021 SRO Touring Car America championship season. The 2022 season gets underway April 15-17 at Sonoma Raceway, just north of San Francisco, California.