Chris Walsh, Ruben Iglesias Jr., and PJ Groenke Clinch Race 2 Wins in TC America Powered by Skip Barber Racing School at Sonoma Raceway

Chris Walsh, Ruben Iglesias Jr., and PJ Groenke Clinch Race 2 Wins in TC America Powered by Skip Barber Racing School at Sonoma Raceway
  • Chris Walsh Sweeps the TCX Class 
  • Ruben Iglesias Jr. On Top in TC
  • PJ Groenke Dominant in TCA
  • Final Results

TCX Class

The second race of the TC America series saw Chris Walsh starting on pole position in the No. 104 Carrus Callas Raceteam BMW M2 CS (Cup), with Lucas Catania joining him on the front row in his No. 17 Rigid Speed BMW M2 CS (Cup). From the get-go, Walsh held onto his lead, but Catania was hot on his heels, showcasing an increasing pace as the race unfolded.

As the laps ticked by, Catania's persistence paid off, and he began to close the gap on Walsh. The battle between the two intensified as they went side by side through multiple corners, with Catania ultimately seizing the advantage and moving into the lead with 25 minutes left on the clock.

However, Walsh wasn't ready to concede just yet. With 12 minutes remaining, he managed to reclaim the lead from Catania but ran wide in the process, nearly allowing Catania to pounce once again. Nevertheless, Walsh was able to firmly hold on to the top spot, crossing the finish line to clinch his second win of the weekend in addition to the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap Award. Catania stood on the podium once again in second place, with third position going to Mike Lamarra in the No. 73 LA Honda World Racing Acura Integra Type S. 

“Lucas and I are super close on pace, and he kept me honest because I was pushing really hard to see if I could build a gap at the beginning of the race,” explained Race 2 winner Chris Walsh. “He hung right in there, and I made a mistake out of the Carousel so he pulled the same move on me that I pulled on him in Race 1, he snuck up on me and made a good pass.” 

“I settled in, and he got loose out of Turn 11 and so we went two wide into Turn 1. We got saved by the safety car in some regards, but it would have been a good finish if that hadn't happened.” 

TC Class

Jeff Ricca started the race from pole position in the TC class in his No. 78 Ricca Autosport Hyundai Elantra N1 TC, enjoying a clean start as he maintained his lead early on. However, Cristian Perocarpi showcased impressive overtaking skills right from the beginning of the race, quickly gaining multiple positions.

Ricca managed to build a comfortable lead of 10 seconds over his teammate Ruben Iglesias Jr. in the No. 77 Ricca Autosport Hyundai Elantra N1 TC. However, the race took a dramatic turn when Ricca's car caught fire, which subsequently brought out the safety car.

With the race ending under safety car conditions, Iglesias Jr. emerged as the victor, followed by a return to the podium for Joey Jordan, this time in second place in the No. 71 FTG Racing Mazda 3, while Sally McNulty also scooped up another Top 3 finish in her No. 780 Ricca Autosport Hyundai Elantra N1 TC.

“This win means the world to me,” said an emotional Ruben Iglesias Jr. at the podium celebrations. “I hope it's the first of many more to come. I have to thank my parents and Victor Gonzalez. I owe everything to him, I wouldn't be here without him. I want to thank the team, I had a great car to compete in. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend.” 

TCA Class

In the TCA class, PJ Groenke continued his dominant performance from the previous race on, as the No. 62 MINI JCW Team MINI JCW driver swept the weekend. He was accompanied on the podium by Maddy Lemke in the No. 9 Ascent Racing Honda Civic Si FE1. 

“It's definitely the way we wanted to start the season,” confirmed PJ Groenke. “This is how MINI JCW Team MINI USA does things. We always have the best platform and the best team. We've got the best support and the best car. To sweep the weekend was absolutely incredible.” 

Up Next 

The TC America powered by Skip Barber Racing School field will return for Rounds 3 and 4 at Sebring International Raceway from May 3rd to 5th. Tickets can be purchased here

To follow the action from home, be sure to tune-in to SRO’s free livestreams on YouTube (GTWorld) and Twitch (SROMotorsports) and follow all the action through our social media channels.