- Weekend sweep for Colin Garrett, BMW, in TCX to narrow points battle
- Kevin Boehm, CrowdStrike Racing by Skip Barber Racing Honda takes the win and clinches championship in TC
- Gresham Wagner, TechSport Racing Subaru dominates in the TCA class to move into a tie for points lead
- Provisional Results
Sebring, Florida - The TC America powered by Skip Barber field returned to the Sebring track one last time for the second race of the weekend. The sun continued to shine down for the 40-minute event, and the on-track battles were more intense than ever. As the drivers charged down the exhilarating Florida circuit in hot pursuit of important points, championship results in all three classes saw massive impacts.
Race 1 winner Colin Garrett started first off the line and made no faults as he sped away in the #44 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M2 CS (Cup). He managed to build up a small yet healthy gap within the first ten minutes of the race, which was further aided by misfortunes for his competitors behind.
Jacob Ruud (#1 Fast Track Racing BMW M2 CS (Cup)) made an immediate move into the first corner to get the jump on Stephen Cugliari (#57 Accelerating Performance BMW M2 CS (Cup)). However, his efforts went unrewarded as the championship leader suffered a tire puncture on the opening lap and had to scramble back to the pits. After doing a bit of damage control, Ruud returned to the track but had a lot of work ahead of him in order to cut through the pack and catch up to the leaders. Without any caution flags to slow the field, Ruud was unable to catch up.
As the clock ticked away, Cugliari and Lucas Catania (#26 Rigid Speed BMW M2 CS (Cup)) began to turn up the heat near the halfway mark of the race battling for second. Garrett was given a slight amount of breathing room as the two behind continued to battle each other, but in the back of his mind he knew he had no room for error.
Traffic from the other classes helped Cugliari close the gap to Garrett until he was less than one car-length away from the race leader. The intensity ramped up, and Catania was eager to join the battle and capitalize on any possible mistakes from the two ahead. Garrett used every inch of the road in an attempt to maintain the lead and break the draft. He crossed the finish line in first place, scoring a crucial double win at Sebring. Cugliari and Catania finished closely behind in second and third.
“This is probably my favorite win so far,” exclaimed Garrett. “Obviously there’s still a lot of work to do, but today definitely helped us. To come here and get a weekend sweep is amazing. I’m super happy and looking forward to going to Indianapolis in a couple of weeks.”
A double win from Garrett combined with a less-than-ideal weekend for Ruud has had massive implications for the points swing in the championship. The two contenders are now only separated by 30 points going into the final rounds at Indianapolis.
Clay Williams showed calm confidence behind the wheel of his #60 MINI JCW Team Mini JCW Pro TC in the TC class. He led the competitive pack ahead of Kevin Boehm (#9 CrowdStrike Racing by Skip Barber Racing Honda Civic Type-R) and built up a slight lead. This wasn’t of much concern to Boehm, who was in a comfortable position to clinch the class championship as long as he finished the race in the top 5.
However, Boehm is not one to pass up the opportunity for a win. He remained patient and waited for the right time to charge. Although Williams looked poised to take a strong win, Boehm was ready to pounce. With just over 10 minutes remaining in the race, Williams briefly lost a bit of pace and it opened the door for Boehm to sweep past into the lead and speed away.
Kevin Boehm clinched the race win in style and crossed the finish line as the class champion, much to the excitement of his team cheering him on from the sidelines. This marks his eighth win of the season, demonstrating just how dominant and consistent he has been throughout each round. Clay Williams crossed the finish line in second place, adding another podium to his tally. Jeff Rica rounded off the podium in third in the #78 Genracer / Ricca Autosport Hyundai Veloster N DCT TC.
“It all comes down to teamwork,” said Boehm with a big smile. “There’s so much work that goes on behind the scenes that goes unnoticed and I want to thank every single person on the team for their dedication. To win and clinch the championship is a surreal feeling. Wow, what a season!”
After making an incredible comeback to take the win in Race 1, championship leader Gresham Wagner was lined up on pole position in the #21 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ for Race 2. However, his rivals were determined to make the race challenging for him. Branyon Tiner had some sensational opening laps in his #98 Bryan Herta Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Hyundai Veloster and was able to take over the lead from Gresham Wagner. The two continued to tangle lap after lap, with Wagner taking the opportunity to strike back and regain the lead.
From there, Wagner had a relatively calm race. He was able to build and maintain a gap to the drivers behind, and strategically used traffic from other classes to protect his lead. He remained focused, kept his head down, and stormed into another victory. Tiner secured his second podium of the weekend with another second place finish, with Devin Anderson (#22 Techsport Subaru BRZ) following suit in third. It was a duplicate of the Saturday afternoon podium.
Wagner’s strong performance this weekend has drastically tightened the championship battle, as championship rival Carter Fartuch (#16 Skip Barber Racing School Honda Civic Si) struggled to show pace around Sebring. The two will now head to Indianapolis tied on points, leaving no room for error for either party in the final rounds of the championship.
“Despite some of the issues we’ve had this year, I’ve always been confident,” explained Wagner. “I knew we could win some races here and we’ll be trying to replicate this performance at Indianapolis. It’s going to be a great showdown, I’m excited.”
The SRO Motorsports America season will conclude at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 7-9. Tickets for this weekend, which will include the Indianapolis 8 Hour presented by AWS race, are on sale now.