Victor Gonzalez would charge from fifth to first and take a surprising TCR win in VGMC Racing’s fourth race as a team.
Mason Filippi took the TCR field to the green flag in the #12 Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster N TCR and would lead for most of the race until championship leader Michael Hurczyn in the #71 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI would make a daring pass on the outside of turn 1 over the Filippi-driven Hyundai for the lead with under 10 minutes to go.
With 8 minutes remaining Nate Vincent in the #72 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI and Filippi would then make contact at the final hairpin while fighting for second position, allowing the stalking Victor Gonzalez in the #99 VGMC Honda Civic Type-R to slip into second place. James Walker would also pounce to claim third in his #34 Risi Competizione Alfa Romeo. Vincent would salvage fourth position with Filippi coming home fifth. Filippi will start Sunday’s race 2 from pole.
With only 47 seconds remaining, Gonzalez would chase down Hurczyn and make a diving pass for the lead into the final hairpin and go on to take the TCR win. “I’m so happy. We’re such a small team from Orlando and we did not know what to expect this weekend,” an excited Gonzalez added, “We knew our setup would allow us to come on later in the race, so I saved the tires until the halfway point of the race and then went for it. I have to thank HPD, the series, our partners, and LA Honda for letting us borrow some extra parts, we could not have done this without them!”
In TCR Cup Bryan Putt, in the #15 eEuroparts.com Rowe Racing Audi RS3 LMS, would leapfrog Stephen Vajda and the #18 EXR Team by Premat Audi for the lead with 17 minutes remaining to score his third class victory of the season, finishing sixth overall, and expand his championship lead. Vadja would fall to third with Christin Cole in the #27 McCann Racing Audi RS3 LMS coming home second.
In TCA, MINI JCW Team’s Mark Pombo would jump from fourth to first in his #59 Mini Cooper at the start of the race and hold the lead until 21 minutes remained when pole-sitter Tyler Maxson would nab the lead back in his #74 Copeland Motorsports Mazda MX5 Cup car and go on to score his first win of 2019. Pombo will start race 2 from pole after laying down the fastest race lap of 1:58.850. Chris Haldeman, in the #69 X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si, would finish on the final podium step ahead of Nate Norenberg’s #60 MINI JCW Team Mini Cooper and Jose DaSilva’s #07 Ives Motorsports Mazda MX5 Cup car.
Of note TCA championship leader Nick Wittmer and his #91 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS would face transmission issues early in the race and would fall to 12th in class.
TC America TCR/TCA race 2 goes green on Sunday at 12:55pm local time, live on the series streaming platform at live.sro-america.com.