TCR Talk Review: 2019 TC America – Sonoma

Race 1

Gonzalez Takes Shock TC America TCR Victory at Sonoma Raceway

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.


Race 2

Filippi Dominates TCR Race 2 at Sonoma; Maxson Sweeps in TCA

Mason Filippi and the #12 Copeland Motorsport Hyundai Veloster N brought the grid to the green flag for the final TC America race of the weekend at Sonoma Raceway under warm and sunny skies.  After a difficult race 1, Filippi would dominate race 2 to take his third win in 2019.

Just three minutes into the race saw the first full course caution as the #02 X-Factor Honda Civic Si of Stephen Jeu hit the wall coming out of turn 7.  The race would restart with 28 minutes on the clock and would see championship leader Nick Wittmer in the #91 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ move up to 6th after starting 14th.

The second full course caution of the day would be called just minutes later after the #24 TechSport Subaru of Robert Crocker came to a halt at the final hairpin, suffering his second DNF of the weekend.

The race would restart with 17 minutes to go and Filippi would gap his FCP Euro rivals of Michael Hurczyn and Nate Vincent by 1.2 seconds by the end of the lap.  Filippi would never look back and continue to pull away, grabbing the TCR win.  “Complete redemption after yesterday,” said Filippi, “The racing was great, it was clean and a lot of fun to be out here at Sonoma Raceway.  We started on pole and won, so I’m looking forward to the next race.

Race 1 winner Victor Gonzalez started from fourth and would have a race-long game of cat and mouse with Vincent in the #72 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI for third.  With four minutes to go, Gonzalez would stuff his #99 VGMC Honda Civic Type-R on the inside of the #72 and move into the third position.

With under 1 minute to go, Gonzalez would then bump past the #71 FCP Euro VW Golf GTI of Michael Hurczyn at the turn 9 chicane to claim second position.

The TCR grid would finish Filippi, Gonzalez, Hurczyn, Vincent, with the #34 Risi Competizione Alfa Romeo of James Walker rounding out the top five.

Bryan Putt in the #15 eEuroparts. Rowe Racing Audi RS3 LMS would take the TCR Cup win, his second of the weekend, finishing sixth overall.

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