The TC America powered by Skip Barber series was a spectacle to see at NOLA Motorsports Park with two sprint races featuring tight battles turning into nail-biting finishes. Jeff Ricca and Spencer Bucknum swept their respective classes, with TCX being split between Honda drivers Dai Yoshihara and Kyle Loh.
At the end of Race One it looked to be Loh in the No. 73 LA Honda World Racing Honda Civic Type-R taking home his second win of the season after starting from pole. However, post-race a technical infraction set second-place finisher Dai Yoshihara in the No. 99 VGRT Honda Civic Type-R as the winner.
The race was redemption for Dai after being unable to run at Sonoma Raceway though he won the pole for both races at the venue. Colin Garret in the No. 44 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M2 CS steered clear of contact to take home second. Garret has finished on the podium or won every race thus far. Lucas Catania inherited a third-place finish post-race.
Jeff Ricca in the No. 78 Genracer/ Ricca Autosport Hyundai Elantra N TC continued to dominate the TC Class. This marks three wins in a row for Ricca. He was followed across the finish line by Celso Neto in the No. 7 Skip Barber Racing School Honda Civic Type R. This was Nato’s first podium of the year. Third place went to Cristian Perocarpi in the No. 37 MINI JCW Team Mini JCW Pro TC. His second podium of the season showed the MINI JCW Team is going to be tough to beat as a consistent podium contender and finisher.
Spencer Bucknum in the No. 5 LA Honda World Racing Honda Civic Si FE1 started from the pole and never looked back taking home another win for LA Honda World and his second win of the year. William Lambros pressured Bucknum in his No. 77 Skip Barber Racing Honda Civic Si FE1 to no avail. Third place went to PJ Groenke who earned his first podium of the year after tough battles and dodging cars.
It was a clean start off the line in the TCX class, Yoshihara pushed to break away from the field. Loh was a man on a mission as he rocketed away from the back of the grid in his No. 73 Honda Civic. Yoshihara built up a four-second gap to Loh but as Loh continued to set the fastest lap times the gap between the two was reduced to just under two seconds in the closing stages of the race. With only a few laps separating him from the checkered flag, Yoshihara suddenly experienced an issue, allowing Loh to pass for the lead of the race.
Meanwhile, the No. 44 BMW of Garrett and the No. 26 Rigid Speed Company BMW M2 CS (Cup) of Lucas Catania battled for the second position. The two made contact, which sent Catania swerving off the track before regaining control and putting himself back in the hunt for the final spot on the podium. Catania would fall in line behind Garrett to take the checkered flag third overall for his second podium of 2023.
Ricca built up a comfortable gap to his fellow TC Class competitors as he powered ahead in his No. 78 Hyundai Elantra. Celso Neto ultimately followed in second behind the wheel of the No. 7 Honda Civic after Christian Perocarpi was plagued with an issue on the first lap before ultimately retiring from the race. The No. 60 MINI JCW Team Mini JCW Pro TC of Clayton Williams was also in the mix, as all three drivers drove with tenacity for the entirety of the 40-minute event. Ricca crossed the line to pick up his second win of the weekend, with Neto and Williams completing the podium.
In the TCA Class Bucknum charged to the front of the pack as he moved down the inside around the first corner. Pole sitter Devin Anderson dropped back two spots in the opening turns on board his No. 22 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ. As the race progressed, Bucknum’s lead gradually began to diminish, with William Lambros on a mission to get to the front in his No. 77 Honda Civic, and Anderson closing in behind him as well, both waiting for the right moment to strike. However, Bucknum seemed to thrive under pressure, fending off the threats from his fellow competitors behind and crossing the finish line to complete a weekend sweep in the second round of the season at NOLA Motorsports Park.
Y’all gather the horses and circle the wagons for the next event on the SRO Motorsports America calendar, Circuit Of The Americas. The Austin, Texas, circuit welcomes SRO America, home to another doubleheader weekend packed with racing, cowboys, grid walks and much more. Tickets are now on sale. Camping at the United States-only FIA Formula 1 purpose-built track is also available. Check out ticket bundles here.