Jacob Ruud, the defending TCX series champion from Racine, WI, had a very busy winter as he prepared to graduate from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a Masters’ degree in Cybersecurity. In fact, he had little time to even concentrate on his 2022 racing campaign.
But, after winning ten of 14 races in the TCX division in 2021, the 22-year-old driver didn’t miss a beat in the TC America season opener as he jumped back to the top of the podium in winning in two TCX features last month at Sonoma Raceway.
Now, Ruud comes to the NOLA Motorsports Park with his No. 1 AmeriClenz/Fast Track Racing BMW M2 CS (Cup) race car in search of another double victory weekend in the SRO America road racing action set for May 20-22 at the 2.748-mile, 17-turn circuit.
Joining Ruud in the Fast Track Racing TCX contingent, sponsored by Sewell Automotive Companies, this weekend will be two more youngsters with Garrett Adams of Oviedo, FL, and Olivia Askew of Salt Lake City, UT, who’ll pilot the No. 54 Garrett Adams Racing BMW M2 and No. 29 SmartCert BMW M2 respectively.
“We are going to a new track for TC America and the TCX class this weekend,” said Toby Grahovec, Fast Track Racing team manager and former TC class series champion. “So, we definitely need to be prepared with our BMW M2 cars and our young drivers. Jacob hopes to continue his winning ways, but he has never seen the NOLA track before and the competition will be tough there. We also have two additional college students in our Fast Track Racing cars, but Garrett and Olivia have shown some good potential. We are anxious for this weekend’s TCX action at a new venue.”
Ruud knows he needs a good qualifying performance with limited passing area at the NOLA Motorsports Park, but he is confident his Fast Track Racing crew will have his BMW M2 CS (Cup) machine primed for another double win weekend.
“I’ve never race at that track before, so it should be an interesting challenge getting up to speed,” said Ruud. “The simulator laps I’ve done have been enjoyable. The track has a nice flow to it.
“But there are not a lot of good places to pass, so qualifying is going to be important. Heat is also going to play a big role, making sure the car has clean air during the race will be key.”
Adams put his No. 54 Fast Track Racing BMW M2 CS (Cup) car on the podium (top 3) in his first race with the team last year at Sebring and is expected to battle for a contending position again this weekend.
“I’m very happy to be at NOLA Motorsports Park this week,” said Adams, a college student at Seminole University in Orlando. “This track is fun and fast, and I’m excited to see what the competition is like. I’m sure the Fast Track Racing team has a strong car for me too.”
Askew, who also recently graduated from college (University of Utah as a math major), saw the NOLA circuit last week for a few days of testing and has a new confidence when practice begins this Friday.
“This upcoming race weekend at NOLA should be a good one,” said Askew, the former Freeride World Junior skiing champion. “After testing at the track recently, I feel pretty confident and excited going into this event. The track is very high speed, but also has some more technical sections which will make the racing a blast. It will be a battle in the heat for sure, but hopefully the entire Fast Track Racing team will have a great weekend with some podium results.”
The TCX division begins its on-track action Friday (May 20 with two rounds of practice set for 9:50 a.m. CDT and 2:45 p.m. CDT. Qualifying runs begin at 9:50 a.m. CDT Saturday (May 21) with Race 1 scheduled for 11:20 a.m. CDT. Race 2 will begin at 8:45 a.m. CDT on Sunday (May 22).