Race One in the TC America Powered by Skip Barber championship at Sebring International Raceway was an intense battle across all three classes, with impressive overtakes and dramatic duels occurring throughout the 40-minute event. Two full course cautions punctuated the race, but drivers made the most of the green flag conditions and fought for every opportunity on track.
Colin Garrett, Jeff Ricca, and Spencer Bucknum clinched the first victories of the weekend in the TCX, TC, and TCA classes.
As the green flag waved to kickstart the action in Race One, Colin Garett wasted no time speeding away into the clear road ahead. He started from pole position in the No. 44 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M2 CS (Cup) and worked quickly to establish a gap between himself and his competitors chasing behind. Although he had to contend with two restarts throughout the race, he maintained his composure, and the lead of the race, all the way to the finish line. This marks his fifth win of the 2023 season.
Joseph Catania had a challenging start in the No. 24 Rigid Speed Company BMW M2 CS (Cup), which allowed Lucas Catania to move up into second place in the No. 26 sister car. Meanwhile, Maddie Aust was on the move in her No. 09 Fast Track Racing BMW M2 CS (Cup), climbing up to third by the end of the opening lap.
Garrett held a comfortable lead throughout the race, with Lucas Catania also able to establish a two-second gap to the battle that was raging on behind him. Meanwhile, Aust was defending with everything she had to fend off a threat from behind, perfectly placing her machine in the right places to hold on to third position.
Jeff Ricca claimed another race win in the No. 78 Genracer/Ricca Autosport Hyundai Elantra N TC, but he did not go unchallenged. Celso Neto was able to pull off a move into the lead at the start of the race in the No. 7 Skip Barber Racing School Honda Civic Type-R, but Ricca was quick to reclaim the top spot once again before the halfway mark passed.
Clayton Williams soon found himself battling from second place in the running order, driving with all his might in the No. 60 MINI JCW Team Mini JCW Pro TC to stay close to Ricca as the two continued to battle for crucial championship points.
After initially falling outside of the Top 3, Neto commenced his comeback efforts in the final stages of the race as he made his way through the field to climb back up into podium position.
Ricca secured his sixth win of the second, and Williams followed in second position to stand on the podium for an impressive ninth time this season. Neto concluded the race in third place, which marks his eighth podium finish in the past nine races.
Spencer Bucknum kept his cool in the No. 5 LA Honda World Racing Honda Civic Si FE1 and retained his lead from start to finish in the TCA class. He went on to clinch his fourth race win of the year, while Devin Anderson and William Lambros were involved in an intense wheel-to-wheel scrap behind him for second place.
However, Anderson tumbled down the order in the final minutes of the race due to an issue with his No. 22 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ, promoting Lambros to second place on the podium in the No. 77 Skip Barber Racing School Honda Civic Si FE1. It was a drag race to the finish line between Bucknum and Lambros, but Bucknum was able to stay ahead, even after momentarily running wide off track through the final corners.
After initially starting fifth in class, Shaoyi Che was able to make up ground, rising through the TCA class before putting himself up into podium position in the No. 23 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ in the final 10 minutes of the race.
The series will be back on track for Race Two on Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m ET. Fans can follow progression with Griiip Live, live timing. The studio makes it easy to follow class battles, lap times, and pit strategy for the five SRO America series. Stream the races live on the YouTube page, GT World or join the conversation on Twitch.