INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Jacob Ruud, the 21-year-old college student from Racine, WI, didn’t know what to expect this year in the all-new TCX class, the latest category in the TC America portion of the SRO America sports car series.
But he couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season in his No. 81 Light Speed/Fast Track Racing BMW M2 CS Cup sedan with six feature wins in the first six TCX division events.
The senior at Rochester Institute of Technology wrapped up a “dream season” this weekend (Oct. 15-16) at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway by claiming two more TCX 40-minute sprint victories to conclude the 14-race inaugural TCX season with ten wins plus a drivers’ series championship and class titles for Fast Track Racing (team) and BMW (manufacturer). The Indy events were the final races under the Classic BMW banner for Fast Track Racing.
“It was another great weekend with the Fast Track Racing team and at an iconic track like Indy,” said Ruud. “It just feels fantastic. This season we have had is amazing, but unexpected. We didn’t know how things would go with the new BMW M2 Cup car, but the team has given me an incredible car this weekend and all season long.
“We learned about the new M2 pretty quickly and things went well immediately,” Jacob admitted. “When you win the first six races, you can’t ask for a better start to the season. I wasn’t sure how things would start with the new car. But the M2 Cup car is a strong machine and so much fun to drive. But it was a ‘dream season’ for us.”
In Friday’s rain-soaked 40-minute race, Ruud started from the pole position and never looked back for an easy 39-second win over veteran Steve Streimer and his teammate Olivia Askew.
Saturday’s feature race saw Ruud start second on the grid, but Jacob made the outside move into turn one to grab the lead with his BMW M2 machine. He quickly stretched the margin over Streimer and Askew for a 10-second victory at the checkered flag and race win No. 10 on the 2021 TCX season.
Askew, the former Freeride world ski champion from Salt Lake Lake, UT, reached the TCX podium for the first time this year with solid runs in her No. 3 DXDT/Fast Track Racing BMW M2 CS Cup car. A new driver to the Fast Track Racing squad in 2021, Olivia scored close third place finishes in both Indy TCX events to finish out a first-year TCX campaign.
“It was a great weekend in TCX for Jacob and Olivia with their BMW M2 cars,” said Toby Grahovec, team manager for Fast Track Racing. “We had a sensational season for the initial tour in the TCX class with the driver, team and manufacturer titles. We see this division growing more for 2022 now.”
In the Pirelli GT4 America competition at IMS, Grahovec and veteran Stevan McAleer teamed up in the No. 11 Fast Track Racing BMW M4 GT4 sports car for another podium finish (Top 3) and pole position by McAleer on Thursday as well as the CrowdStrike Fast Lap Award.
In the Indianapolis 8-Hour event Sunday at IMS, the driving trio of Alex Filsinger, John Capestro-Dubets and Dominic Starkweather drove the No. 111 Fast Track Racing BMW M4 GT4 car to seventh in the GT4 division.
Highlights from the TCX division races will be telecast on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday (Oct. 27) at 7 p.m. EDT with an encore showing at 11 p.m. EDT. The Pirelli GT4 America at Indianapolis Motor Speedway highlights will be shown on Wednesday (Oct. 27) at 9 p.m. EDT with a second on Thursday (Oct. 28) at 1 p.m. EDT on CBS Sports Network.