ALTON, Virginia - Under sunny skies, Tyler Maxson and the #74 Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster N led the field to the green flag for TC America Race 3 at VIRginia International Raceway. Maxson would quickly gap the field and never look back as he would go on to grab the victory, sweeping the weekend and going five for five to start the 2020 season. “This is an awesome achievement for the team, exactly how you’d want the season to go. The Copeland team has been great and we’re excited!” said Maxson.
The TC division saw Race 1 and 2 winner Johan Schwartz and the #31 Hard Motorsport BMW M240iR Cup jump from third on the grid to take the lead at turn 1 with Toby Grahovec and the #26 Classic BMW M240iR Cup and James Clay in the #36 BimmerWorld BMW M240iR Cup slotting into second and third respectively.
TCA saw Roy Fulmer IV and the #186 CCR team TFB Honda Civic Si pass the #61 MINI JCW Team Mini Cooper of Mark Pombo at the start for second position with Tyler Gonzalez and the #57 Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster Turbo impressively slotting into fourth after starting last. Later in the lap Pombo would run wide just before Oak Tree allowing Gonzalez to get by for third in class.
On the next lap, Gonzalez would sneak past Fulmer IV and grab second position, just behind class leader Tomas Mejia in the #60 MINI JCW Team Mini Cooper.
Minutes later it was Pombo’s turn to attack and get past Fulmer IV for third position and start tracking down Gonzalez.
With 20 minutes to go, and as the TCR leaders worked through the TCA field, Gonzalez was able to catch then pass Mejia for the TCA lead down the back stretch.
With 18 minutes to go, as the TC leaders went through traffic, Grahovec was able to take advantage and make a daring pass on Schwartz for the class lead on the outside of Snake. The top three in TC would run nose to tail for the next few minutes.
With 14 minutes left on the clock a full course caution was called as Caleb Bacon in the #18 CB Motorsports Hyundai Veloster Turbo would face a brake failure at turn 1 and end up in the tires.
The race would end under caution with Tyler Maxson taking his fifth straight TCR victory to open the season with Victor Gonzalez in the #99 VGMC Honda Civic Type-R finishing second and Scott Smithson in the #17 DXDT Racing Honda Civic Type-R third.
Toby Grahovec would take the TC class win with Johan Schwartz second and James Clay third.
TCA saw Tyler Gonzalez claim the win with Tomas Mejia second, and Mark Pombo taking the final podium position. “I need to thank Copeland Motorsports and Hyundai for giving me a great car. I was able to work my way up and pass the field. It’s unfortunate the race ended under caution, but we’ll take the win!” said Gonzalez.
TC America will return to action August 7th - 9th at Sonoma Raceway for rounds 6, 7, and 8 of the 2020 season.
TC America VIR Race 3 Results (provisional) - PDF