Mark Wilkins Leads Hyundai i30 N TCR Sweep Sunday With Another 1-2 Finish in Round 2 TCR Race at COTA
Kozarov Sweeps TC Class, O’Gorman Takes Honda to TCA Victory Saturday
Austin, Texas – On Sunday at Circuit of the Americas (COTA), Mark Wilkins of Mulmur, Ont., Canada, led the 1-2 Hyundai sweep with his Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian teammate Michael Lewis in Round 2 of the opening TCR Class events in the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Texas.
Wilkins, pole winner in both TCR contests at COTA this weekend, protected his position entering turn one at the 3.427-mile, 20-turn race track southeast of Austin. The 34-year-old sports car veteran kept a strong pace throughout the 14-lap race in the No. 99 BHA Hyundai i30 N TCR and held off Lewis, the Saturday TCR winner, by 0.512 seconds at the checkered flag.
The impressive performance by the Hyundai i30 N TCR sedans saw Wilkins sweep practice, qualifying and Round 2 with Lewis, the Laguna Beach, Calif., driver in the No. 98 BHA Hyundai i30 N TCR, capturing the Round 1 40-minute sprint race. Third for the second consecutive TCR race was veteran Ryan Eversley of Atlanta, Ga., in the all-new No. 43 RealTime Racing Honda Civic Type-R TCR car.
“My race car arrived later than Michael’s car and we just ran it first time out this past Thursday,” said Wilkins, a race winner in various categories including PWC GT and GTS classes. “The car ran flawless and it was a great first weekend for Hyundai and Bryan Herta Autosport. It’s going to be a very exciting season with many top drivers, teams and TCR cars. It’s always great to win and this weekend seemed like a perfect way to start the year for us. Now, we move to VIR (April 27-29) and hope to continue this trend.”
“For today’s race, Mark got off the starting line well and it is a team effort for me,” said Lewis. “It really didn’t matter if I won or Mark won, and he had a strong Hyundai i30 N TCR this afternoon. Yesterday, I got in a good move to take the lead on the first lap and today, it was Mark’s turn. As long as we are 1-2, that is the goal. Once Mark grabbed the lead, I want to slot in right behind him and protect the 1-2 for Hyundai. Ryan is tough, and I had to watch my mirrors to see where he was. In the end, it was a spectacular debut for the Bryan Herta Autosport team and the Hyundai i30 N TCR at COTA.”
“This new TCR platform debuted here this weekend with Pirelli World Challenge and it looks like it is a hit already,” said Eversley, the former GT race winner for RealTime Racing. “This Honda Civic Type-R TCR is based off the street car and it is marketed globally now. Before we didn’t get the cool cars and part like Europe, now we get the awesome street cars and the race cars in the U.S. The driving talent and racing teams like Bryan Herta’s and our RealTime Racing team coming to the TCR class is a big asset for the new series in this country. I think you’ll see more growth soon in TCR.”
Finishing out the top-five TCR positions Sunday were Anthony Geraci of Glen Head, N.Y., in the No. 69 Heinlein Racing Development Audi Sport RS3 LMS and Nate Vincent of Pomfret, Conn., in the No. 72 FCP Euro by HRD Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.
The top five TCR finishers drove four different auto makes in Sunday’s 40-minute sprint event.
Nissan’s Vesko Kozarov of Salt Lake City, Utah, dominated the two Touring Car features this weekend with another win Sunday in his Rearden Racing Nissan 370Z TC Spec with a 2.885-second triumph over his Tony Rivera of Escondido, Calif., in the No. 97 Brass Monkey Racing Nissan 370Z TC Spec and former TCB champion Johan Schwartz of Huntersville, N.C., in the No. 80 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M235iR.
In the TCA action, Tom O’Gorman of Mason, Ohio, in the No. 94 RealTime Racing Honda Civic Si, came back to defeat Saturday’s race winner Eric Powell of Orlando, Fla., in the No. 95 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS sedan followed by his teammate P.J. Groenke in the No. 25 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS.
The TCR, TC and TCA classes return to Pirelli World Challenge competition on April 27-29 at the pretty VIRginia International Raceway in Danville, Va. The next PWC event will be a GT/GTS event in the streets of Long Beach, Calif., as part of the 44th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 13-15.
AUSTIN, Tex. – Results of the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Texas TCR, TC and TCA sprint races Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA).
1,1, TCR,Mark WILKINS,Mulmur, Ontario,CAN,Hyundai I30 N TCR,14,Running,41:13.029,
2,2, TCR,Michael LEWIS,Laguna Beach, CA,USA,Hyundai I30 N TCR,14,Running,41:13.541,0.512
3,4, TCR,Ryan EVERSLEY,Atlanta, GA,USA,Honda Civic Type-R TCR,14,Running,41:18.119,5.090
4,3, TCR,Anthony GERACI,Glen Head, NY,USA,Audi Sport RS3 LMS,14,Running,41:17.948,
5,5, TCR,Nate VINCENT,Pomfret, CT,USA,Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR,14,Running,41:21.489,8.460
6,6, TCR,Jerimy DANIEL,Montreal, QC,CAN,Audi Sport RS3 LMS,14,Running,41:22.614,9.585
7,7, TCR,Mason FILIPPI,Alamo, CA,USA,Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR,14,Running,41:22.997,9.968
8,8, TCR,Michael HURCZYN,Granby, CT,USA,Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR,14,Running,41:23.233,10.204
9,9, TCR,JT COUPAL,Bloomfield, NY,USA,Audi Sport RS3 LMS,14,Running,41:26.959,13.930
10,10, TCR,Dwight MERRIMAN,New York, NY,USA,Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR,14,Running,41:31.605,18.576
11,11, TCR,Nick ESAYIAN,Encinitas, CA,USA,Honda Civic Type-R TCR,14,Running,41:32.091,19.062
12,1, TCA,Tom O’GORMAN,Mason, OH,USA,Honda Civic Si,14,Running,42:14.890,1:01.861
13,2, TCA,Eric POWELL,Atlanta, GA,USA,Subaru BRZ tS,14,Running,42:22.473,1:09.444
14,3, TCA,P.J. GROENKE,Richmond Hill, ON,CAN,Subaru BRZ tS,14,Running,42:24.233,1:11.204
15,4, TCA,Kenny MURILLO,Santa Rosa, CA,USA,Mazda Global Mx5 Cup,14,Running,42:29.835,1:16.806
16,5, TCA,Jeff SEXTON,Austin, TX,USA,Subaru BRZ tS,14,Running,42:30.441,1:17.412
17,6, TCA,Spencer PATTERSON,Pittsburgh, PA,USA,Subaru BRZ tS,14,Running,42:30.958,1:17.929
18,7, TCA,Bryan ORTIZ,Bayamon, PR,PRI,Mazda Global Mx5 Cup,14,Running,42:31.156,1:18.127
19,8, TCA,John MAURO,Cincinnati, OH,USA,Mazda Global Mx5 Cup,14,Running,42:46.059,1:33.030
20,9, TCA,Austin ALLISON,Cincinnati, OH,USA,Mazda Global Mx5 Cup,14,Running,42:56.153,1:43.124
21,10, TCA,Moisey URETSKY,Yekaterinburg, RU,RUS,Mazda Global Mx5 Cup,14,Running,42:56.533,1:43.504
22,11, TCA,Jose DA SILVA,Acushnet, MA,USA,Mazda Global Mx5 Cup,14,Running,42:56.802,1:43.773
23,12, TCR,Jarett ANDRETTI,Indianapolis, IN,USA,Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR,10,Not Running,32:42.950,4 LAPS
24,13, TCR,Matt FASSNACHT,Lancaster, PA,USA,Audi Sport RS3 LMS,6,Not Running,21:07.613,8 LAPS
25,12, TCA,Jenny GANNETT,Steamboat Springs, CO,USA,Mazda Global Mx5 Cup,5,Not Running,18:12.417,9 LAPS
26,13, TCA,Travis WASHAY,Milford, CT,USA,Volkswagen Golf GTI,4,Not Running,15:28.863,10 LAPS
27,14, TCR,Martin JENSEN,Copenhagen, DK,DNK,Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR,2,Not Running,9:46.385,12 LAPS
28,14, TCA,Breton WILLIAMS,Clinton, Iowa,USA,Subaru BRZ tS,2,Not Running,10:13.145,12 LAPS