- McCann final-lap pass decides a dramatic Saturday contest
- Hurczyn comes away with an extended TCR points lead
- Wittmer Beats Maxson in epic race-long TCA fight
Michael McCann Jr defied expectations to claim the overall provisional victory with his TCR Cup-class Audi in the first TC America TCR/TCA race of the weekend at Virginia International Raceway presented by Henry Repeating Arms.
McCann Jr overtook his teammate and long-time race leader Britt Casey Jr on the final lap of the 40-minute contest after the #83 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR encountered an unexpected power drop-off.
This enabled McCann Jr, driving the DSG-gearboxed #3 McCann Racing entry, to sprint through to an eight-second margin of victory over Michael Hurczyn who produced a remarkable charge to finish second in the #71 FCP Euro Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.
Hurczyn started the final lap of the 17-turn, 3.27-mile VIR road course in fifth position but made up three spots in a dramatic run through the final sequence of corners.
The FCP Euro driver got ahead of both Victor Gonzalez (#99 VGMC Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR) and Christian Cole (#27 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR) – in addition to the slowing Casey Jr - to snatch second overall and the TCR class win.
Casey Jr nursed his Audi home to an outright podium on an eventful SRO America competition debut for the 21-year-old TCR formula champion, who will no doubt be aiming to go one or even two better in tomorrow’s 40-minute return race.
Hurczyn, meanwhile, extended his championship lead after his closest points competitor and teammate Nate Vincent missed the start with a mechanical problem.
Hurczyn, Casey Jr and Gonzalez – who finished a solid fourth on his TC America debut – all crossed the line within six tenths of a second of each other.
Behind them was TCR Cup runner-up Cole, while Bryan Putt rounded out the top six in his #15 e.Europarts.com ROWE Racing DSG Audi.
In TCA, Nick Wittmer emerged victorious in a standout battle for the class win with Tyler Maxson and Mark Pombo.
Wittmer, driving the #91 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS, got past Pombo’s #59 JCW Mini Cooper with seven minutes to go to seal his third straight victory this year.
Pombo had been at the head of the TCA contingent ever since making an acrobatic two-wheeled move past Maxson’s #74 Copeland Motorsports Mazda MX-5 Global Cup heading through the ‘Rollercoaster’ sweepers in the early stages.
Maxson never strayed far from Pombo’s rear bumper but was passed by pole man Wittmer before getting a chance to make a move of his own for the win.
Maxson ended the race in second position after Pombo pulled off-track late on with a puncture, leaving his JCW Mini teammate Nate Norenberg to assume the final podium place in front of Chris Haldeman (#69 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si).
More textbook TC America action is expected to thrill the fans at VIR during tomorrow’s second race of the weekend, which is set to take place at 3:15 p.m. EDT.
Live coverage will be available at TCAmerica.us.
Michael McCann Jr, TCR Cup and overall Race 1 winner (#3 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR): “The #3 car felt pretty good today, we did pretty well in qualifying. We kept the same setup and came away with the win. It feels really good.”