Schwartz Takes Second Straight VIR TC Pole
Johan Schwartz chalked up his second consecutive Virginia International Raceway TC class pole position driving the West Virginia University-liveried #80 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M235iR.
Twelve months after sealing one VIR pole, Schwartz repeated the feat with a rapid time of 2:01.292 – some seven tenths quicker than his 2018 effort - to go top of the pile in Saturday morning’s 15-minute session.
The Danish driver was already on top when the first of two red flags brought proceedings to a halt five minutes in, following an accident for Joseph Federl in the #23 TechSport Racing Nissan 370z.
When track activity resumed, Schwartz continued to push and laid down an even quicker time to establish a gap of around two seconds to his next-closest competitor.
As other drivers dialled themselves in following a disjointed start, that gap began to close, with Jeff Ricca (#78 GenRacer Hyundai Genesis Coupe) and Richard Zulman (#84 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M235iR) slotting into second and third.
However, when Ricca had an unfortunate off coming through the tricky ‘Rollercoaster’ section, the red flags were waved again leaving Schwartz to take his first pole of the season after the stewards elected not to restart proceedings.
Just as the red flags were being prepared, Toby Grahovec nipped through with a quick time of 2:02.384 to plant the #26 Classic BMW-entered BMW M240iR on the front row ahead of Ricca, Zulman and Steve Streimer in the #81 Rooster Hall machine.
Round three of the TC America TC championship presented by Henry Repeating Arms is set to get underway at 12:10 p.m. EDT, with live coverage at TCAmerica.us.
Johan Schwartz, TC pole sitter (#80 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M235iR): “We had an unbelievable qualifying here for our car. We had two clean laps and then unfortunately a red flag came out and then a second red flag came. I’ve been in these situations before, so I know the importance of putting down a good first lap, maybe even a second lap. We did a couple of changes from the practice we had yesterday, and the car was spot on. I think we even had another five or six tenths in it.”