Walsh and Ricca Dominate in TCX and TC, Garcia Claims TCA Win on Debut in Race 2

Walsh and Ricca Dominate in TCX and TC, Garcia Claims TCA Win on Debut in Race 2
  • Chris Walsh Continues Winning Streak in TCX Class 
  • Jeff Ricca Gets Back-to-Back Victories in TC
  • Alex Garcia Becomes First Time Winner in TCA
  • Final Results 

Temperatures were cooler as the TC America powered by Skip Barber Racing School competitors returned to Sebring International Raceway for Race 2 on Sunday morning. Their closing race of the weekend had a plethora of overtakes up and down the grid across all classes, with action unfolding at every corner. 

Chris Walsh and Jeff Ricca swept the weekend, securing wins in their respective TCX and TC classes. In TCA, it was newcomer Alex Garcia who claimed the Race 2 win. 

TCX Class

Chris Walsh started on pole position once again in his No. 104 Carrus Callas Raceteam BMW M2 CS (Cup), with Lucas Catania alongside him on the front row in the No. 17 Rigid Speed BMW M2 CS (Cup). Walsh had an excellent start as the green flag waved, and worked on building a gap right away. 

There was an early battle for second place between Lucas Catania and Celso Neto in the No. 22 Skip Barber Racing Acura Integra Type S, with Neto moving himself up into second place in the opening five minutes of the race. 

However, a couple of laps later, Neto ran wide into Turn 5 and dropped a couple of positions to fourth, but reclaimed third over Joseph Catania in the No. 16 Rigid Speed BMW M2 CS (Cup) again moments later. 

The shuffle for positions continued as Joseph Catania ran wide, allowing Cooper Broll and Aaron Kaplan to gain another spot in the No. 19 Skip Barber Racing Acura Integra Type S and the No. 18 Kaplan Racing Systems BMW M2 CS (Cup). Shortly after, Neto began experiencing issues and dropped down dramatically, further promoting Broll into podium position. 

However, the fight wasn’t over, as Kaplan completed the overtake for third place in the final five minutes, while also defending an oncoming attack from Joseph Catania as well. 

Walsh was unstoppable, claiming his fourth consecutive win of the season, with Lucas Catania adding another second-place finish to his tally. Kaplan fended off the attacks from the rest of the field to take the final step of the podium in third. 

“I do a lot of physical preparation, I know it's gonna be hot in the car, so I train pretty hard,” explained Kris Walsh after sweeping the weekend. “My job in the military makes sure of that as well. I also spend a lot of time in the simulator. We go through all the data, and we have a plan every time and a couple of branch plans if it doesn't go the way we want.” 

“The team does a great job putting the car where it needs to be,” he added. “And then my job is to get on the track to make sure I do what they expect.”

TC Class

Jeff Ricca led the TC class on board his No. 78 Ricca Autosport Hyundai Elantra N1 TC and was able to focus on the clear track ahead as the battle for second raged on behind between Ruben Iglesias Jr. in the No. 77 Ricca Autosport Hyundai Elantra N1 TC and Cristian Perocarpi in the No. 37 MINI JCW Team MINI JCW TC Pro. 

The two exchanged positions throughout the race, with Perocarpi moving up into second place in the first ten minutes, but Iglesias came back swinging to reclaim the spot shortly after the halfway mark. 

In the end, Ricca’s lead only continued to grow, taking the Race 2 win in dominant fashion as he crossed the finish line with a nine second gap over the rest of the field, and set the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap in the TC class. Ruben Iglesias Jr. made it a 1-2 finish for Ricca Autosport as he claimed second place, with Cristian Perocarpi returning to the podium in third. 

“I wouldn't be here without my team,” said Jeff Ricca. “This is for the guys back at the shop who put in countless hours. Everyone that is a part of this team is what makes us able to fight for the top step every weekend. I love the Hyundai USA guys, they gave me a very reliable car. I love it.” 

TCA Class

It was a thrilling drive for Alex Garcia in the No. 14 Skip Barber Racing Honda Civic Si FE1, who started the race from the back of the pack before making his way through the TCA field to slot himself into the lead ahead of PJ Groenke in the No. 62 MINI JCW Team MINI JCW. 

Groenke was fighting back hard as the halfway mark approached, but Garcia continued to extend his lead, driving on the edge lap after lap.  

Garcia was uncatchable, claiming the win on debut at Sebring in addition to earning the SUPERFUEL Hard Charger award. PJ Groenke finished second, with Maddy Lemke returning to the podium in third place in the No. 9 Ascent Racing Honda Civic Si FE1. 

“I had a good team behind me with a good strategy, and I just kept my head down and just focused on one corner at a time, one competitor at a time,” explained Alex Garcia. 

Up Next 

The TC America powered by Skip Barber Racing School field will return for Rounds 5 and 6 at Circuit Of The Americas from May 17th to 19th. 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.