- Colin Garrett, BWM, scores his third win of the year in TCX class
- Matching MINI-Honda-Hyundai podiums in TC and TCA
- Clay Williams takes the TC win with Christian Perocarpi in TCA
- Provisional Results
Watkins Glen, New York - It was an intense battle to the checkered flag for the 30 cars on track, with Watkins Glen International delivering an action-packed race on all accounts. The first of the two TC America powered by Skip Barber races at Watkins Glen was marked by small gaps from start to finish and plenty of exciting passes.
After a relatively clean start across the grid, Jacob Ruud (#1 Fast Track Racing BMW M2 CS (Cup)) and teammate Garrett Adams (#54 Fast Track Racing BMW M2 CS (Cup)) sped away from the rest of the field, creating a gap to the competitors behind while simultaneously battling for the top spot. Meanwhile, a battle for third was taking place between Stephen Cugliari (#57 Accelerating Performance BMW M2 CS (Cup)) and Lucas Catania in his #26 Rigid Speed BMW M2 CS (Cup).
After only 13 minutes of racing, Ruud entered the pits with a front-left puncture, giving the initial impression that his chances at a podium finish were slim after claiming pole position earlier in the day.
However, a full-course caution occurred on the following lap, allowing Ruud to return to the track without losing a lap to the leaders, which reignited the team’s hope!
With 15 minutes to go following the restart, Colin Garrett (#44 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M2 CS (Cup)) was leading the way in the TCX class. The race was nothing short of thrilling, with action and overtakes throughout the field. Garrett came under threat from New York resident Stephen Cugliari for the win.
However, Cugliari's chances of a podium finish were lost when he made contact with the #30 HARD Motorsport BMW M2 CS (Cup) car of Steve Streimer at Turn 1 with six minutes remaining. Meanwhile, Jacob Ruud made a fantastic comeback to take second place in the closing stages of the race.
Colin Garrett and Jacob Ruud crossed the finish line separated by only 0.469 seconds. Garrett won the race while Ruud recorded the fastest race lap. Garrett Adams rounded out the podium in his #54 Fast Track Racing BMW M2 CS (Cup), ahead of Brett Scroggin, Olivia Askew, Steve Streimer, Joseph Catania, Jessica Tracy, Lucas Catania, and Stephen Cugliari.
This was Garrett’s third win of the season and allowed him to gain seven valuable points on TCX championship points leader Ruud.
“I thought I had a comfortable gap but I looked in my mirrors and saw Ruud coming from behind and realized I had to go! ” exclaimed Garrett in his post-race interview on pit lane. “I picked up the pace and we ended up having a good race. I made sure I kept the pressure on him (Ruud) and thankfully we had a good car and we were able to claim the victory. The aim is to just keep chipping away at it for the Championship points!”
TC pole sitter Clay Williams in his #60 JCW Team MINI Pro TC was quickly able to build a 1.5 second lead over Jeff Ricca ( #78 Genracer / Ricca Autosport Hyundai Veloster N DCT TC) in the opening laps of the race. Meanwhile, Kevin Boehm (#9 CrowdStrike Racing with Skip Barber Honda Civic Type-R), Nicholas Barbato (#88 Genracer / Ricca Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TC) and Matthew Ibrahim (#6 DRS & Garagistic BMW M240iR) were battling it out for third place.
A caution came out 15 minutes into the race, caused by Ricca who stopped on track at the start/finish line. Immediately after the restart, the spectacular battle for third place resumed once again.
Williams led the race from start to finish in an impressive display of on-track dominance for his second win of the year. Boehm and Barbato completed the podium. This was the second consecutive podium finish for Barbato. Boehm maintains his TC championship points lead having scored five wins in the first seven races.
Williams remarked that, “Overall it was one of the toughest races I had. We have been developing this car all season and we are still working the bugs out. I’m super thankful to everyone at LAP Motorsports, Joey’s Coffee Co, and Donate Life America. Starting from the front tomorrow. Looking forward to it!”
The win moved Williams from fourth to second place in TC championship points, leapfrogging both Mat Pombo (#37 LA Honda World Honda Civic Type-R) and Ricca. The MINI team was racing in honor of legendary MINI racer Paddy Hopkirk who passed away at age 89 earlier this week.
The TCA category offered some of the most electrifying moments of the race. Qualifying on pole, Gresham Wagner (#21 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ) led for the first 30 minutes of the event but was under pressure from Spencer Bucknum (#5 LA Honda World Racing Honda Civic Si) and Cristian Perocarpi (#61 JCW Team MINI) up until the caution.
As soon as the race restarted, the Top five cars battled wheel-to-wheel across several laps. A display of Touring Car racing at its best saw Wagner, Bucknum, Perocarpi, PJ Groenke and Carter Fartuch separated by less than a second.
The race ended prematurely for Wagner and P.J. Groenke (#62 JCW Team MINI), as mechanical problems plagued both of them.
In the end, the win went to Cristian Perocarpi, ahead of Carter Fartuch (#16 Skip Barber Racing Honda Civic Si) and Tyler Delgado (#33 Bryan Herta Autosport W/ CURB-Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N-Line). Spencer Bucknum (#5 LA Honda World Honda Civic Si) and Colin Harrison (#5 Skip Barber Racing Honda Civic Si) just missed the podium. This was the first win of the year for Perocarpi and gave MINI their first double race win with victories in both TC and TCA. It was also a season best performance by Delgado who enjoyed his first podium finish.
Perocarpi remarked, “It’s nice to get my first win, after having spent many summers at the Glen as a kid. It was definitely a hard race – to quote my mechanic it was ‘redonkulous’. I’d like to thank my team, MINI, my parents, and everyone in the paddock. This win is for Paddy Hopkirk. I can’t wait to get to Road America.”
With rivals Wagner and Anderson having problems, Fartuch extended his TCA championship points lead. In seven races so far, Fartuch has scored three wins and has been on the podium in all seven races.
Race 2 starts at 10:05 AM ET on Sunday.
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