Liefooghe, Murillo & O’Connell Score PWC TC Wins Saturday Afternoon at Utah Motorsports Campus
San Francisco Racer Records Double TC Victories at UMC
GRANTSVILLE, Utah – Greg Liefooghe, Kenny Murillo and Canaan O’Connell wrapped up Saturday at Utah Motorsports Campus with Touring Car class wins in the Pirelli World Challenge Round 8 40-minute race as part of the Security National Mortgage Supercar Grand Prix of Utah.
Liefooghe captured the double TC division victories with another solid start in the No. 20 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M235iR in the late afternoon 40-minute sprint race and cruised to a 5.642-second victory over veteran Nick Wittmer of Montreal, Que., Can., in the No. 91 ST Racing BMW M235iR.
As in the first TC competition of the day, Round 8’s start proved to be messy in turn one when pole sitter Paul Holden of Orlando, Fla., made contact with Tony Rivera of Oceanside, Calif., and numerous cars were involved in the incident. On the restart, Liefooghe moved out to a two-second advantage and extended his margin throughout the 18-lap contest.
Finishing out the podium in Touring Car for Round 8 was reigning TC series champion Toby Grahovec of Celina, Tex., in the No. 1 Classic BMW BMW M325iR. Rounding out the top-five in TC were Aristotle Balogh of Palo Alto, Calif., in the No. 19 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M235iR and CTMP race winner Mason Filippi of Alamo, Calif., in the No. 12 Winding Road Team TFB BMW M235iR.
“Fortunately, I was able to put down a good lap in race 1 so I stayed out of trouble on the first lap,” said Liefooghe. “It was a little bit of a dream race for me. I saw the guys behind me battling hard and I was just able to pull the gap. After that it was just managing the race. The car was really good – the Cameron Racing guys gave me an awesome car. The track is really good. It’s high tire wear, so you have to manage your tires, and that puts a lot of emphasis on the balance of the car.”
After a post-race technical infraction with Eric Powell’s Scion, young Kenny Murillo of Santa Rosa, Calif., was awarded the TCA victory late Saturday with his No. 33 Murillo Racing Mazda Global MX-5 Cup car.
Second went to VIR double winner Matthew Fassnacht of Madison, N.J., in the No. 74 S.A.C. Racing Mazda MX-5 followed by Tom O’Gorman of Mason, Ohio, in the No. 94 Shea Racing Honda Civic Si and Craig Stanton of Yorba Linda, Calif., in the all-new DG-Spec Toyota TMG 86 Cup car.
“After falling back to sixth from pole due to a crash in front of me, we fought all the way back to take the win,” said Murillo. “Super stoked with the victory! Huge thank you to the whole Murillo Racing crew who was on point the entire weekend!”
O’Connell, son of four-time GT champion Johnny O’Connell from Chandler, Ariz., raced against his TechSport Racing teammate for a second time Saturday but scored the victory in the 40-minute sprint event over P.J. Groenke of Richmond Hill, Ont., Can. O’Connell drove his No. 24 TechSport Racing Chevrolet Sonic under a second quicker than Groenke’s No. 25 TechSport Racing Chevrolet Sonic at the checkered flag. Third was Jasper Drengler of Shawano, Wisc., in the No. 01 Drengler Racing Honda Fit.
“We all re-started the race in the exact same position,” said O’Connell. “Big thanks to the track crew for cleaning everything up so quickly. Those guys are the unsung heroes of the sport so big thanks to the emergency crew here. I had a great race with P.J. again just like in the first race. He is so good to race with in this TCB class. It was a fun weekend for first and second place finishes and I also wanted to thank Jason Bondurant for his assistance in my racing program. I can’t wait to go to COTA on the Labor Day weekend.”
The Touring Car races from Utah Motorsports Campus will be televised on the CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, Aug. 23, at 8 p.m. EDT
Results for Touring Car Round 8 at Utah Motorsport Campus for the Pirelli World Challenge on Saturday, August 12, 2017. Results are provisional until posted Final.
1,1, ,Greg LIEFOOGHE,San Fransisco, CA,BMW M235iR,18,Running,41:57.233,
2,2, ,Nick WITTMER,,BMW M235iR,18,Running,42:02.876,5.642
3,3, ,Toby GRAHOVEC,Celina, TX,BMW M235iR,18,Running,42:03.426,6.193
4,4, ,Aristotle BALOGH,Palo Alto, CA,BMW M235iR,18,Running,42:05.365,8.132
5,5, ,Mason FILIPPI,Alamo, CA,BMW M235iR,18,Running,42:06.141,8.907
6,6, ,Anthony MAGAGNOLI,,BMW M235iR,18,Running,42:07.125,9.892
7,7, ,Stefan SAJIC,Belgrade, Serbia,BMW M235iR,18,Running,42:18.749,21.515
8,8, ,Karl WITTMER,,Honda Accord,18,Running,42:19.176,21.942
9,9, ,Steve BURNS,,Ford Mustang,18,Running,42:22.968,25.735
10,10, ,Jeff KEARL,San Clemente, CA,BMW M235iR,18,Running,42:47.277,50.043
11,11, ,Justin RAPHAEL,Franklin Lakes, NJ,BMW M235iR,18,Running,42:47.478,50.245
12,12, ,Paul HOLTON,,Audi RS 3 LMS Clubsport,18,Running,42:48.686,51.452
13,13, ,Max FEDLER,Denver, CO,BMW M235iR,18,Running,42:49.720,52.487
14,14, ,Daren JORGENSEN,,BMW M235iR,18,Running,42:49.743,52.509
15,15, ,Jason COUPAL,Rochester, NY,Audi RS 3 LMS Clubsport,18,Running,42:50.209,52.975
16,16, ,Anthony GERACI,,Audi RS3 LMS Clubsport,18,Running,42:50.650,53.417
17,17, ,Jacob RUUD,,BMW M235iR,18,Running,42:53.951,56.718
18,18, ,Andrew McCUBBINS,Salt Lake City, UT,BMW M235iR,18,Running,43:04.650,1:07.417
19,19, ,Greg WARNOCK,Salt Lake City, UT,BMW M235iR,18,Running,43:09.001,1:11.767
20,20, ,Chris OHMACHT,,BMW M235iR,18,Running,43:18.112,1:20.879
21,21, ,Jayson CLUNIE,Prince Albert, Saskatchewan,BMW M235iR,18,Running,43:31.737,1:34.504
22,1, A,Eric POWELL,Orlando, FL,Mazda MX-5,18,Running,43:53.858,1:56.625 **
23,2, A,Kenny MURILLO,Santa Rosa, CA,Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Car,18,Running,44:06.532,2:09.299
24,3, A,Matthew FASSNACHT,,Mazda MX-5,17,Running,41:58.662,1 LAP
25,4, A,Tom O’GORMAN,,Honda Civic Si,17,Running,42:02.378,1 LAP
26,5, A,Craig STANTON,,Toyota TMG 86 Cup Car,17,Running,42:02.668,1 LAP
27,6, A,Jeff SEXTON,,Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Car,17,Running,42:21.901,1 LAP
28,7, A,Daniel WILLIAMS,,Mazda MX-5,17,Running,42:26.370,1 LAP
29,8, A,Breton WILLIAMS,Clinton, IA,Scion FR-S,17,Running,42:30.707,1 LAP
30,9, A,Daniel MOEN,,Mazda MX-5,17,Running,43:48.898,1 LAP
31,1, B,Canaan O’CONNELL,Chandler, AZ,Chevrolet Sonic,16,Running,42:50.223,2 LAPS
32,2, B,P.J. GROENKE,Richmond Hill, Ontario,Chevrolet Sonic,16,Running,42:51.178,2 LAPS
33,3, B,Jasper DRENGLER,Shawano, WI,Honda Fit,16,Running,43:09.083,2 LAPS
34,4, B,Jake PIPAL,Oakdale CA,Honda Fit,16,Running,43:15.604,2 LAPS
35,10, A,Shea HOLBROOK,,Honda Civic Si,14,Not Running,35:16.800,4 LAPS
36,22, ,Robert NIMKOFF,Newtown, CT,BMW M235iR,13,Not Running,32:56.390,5 LAPS
37,11, A,Elivan GOULART,,Mazda Gobal MX-5 Cup Car,8,Not Running,21:42.647,10 LAPS
38,23, ,Chetan PURANIK,,BMW M235iR,4,Not Running,13:32.994,14 LAPS
39,24, ,Tony RIVERA,Oceanside, CA,Nissan 370Z,1,Not Running,5:00.225,17 LAPS
40,25, ,Travis WASHAY,Milford, CT,Audi RS 3 LMS Club Sport,0,NC,0.000,
41,26, ,Samantha TAN,,BMW M235iR,0,NC,0.000,
** Disqualified after post-race technical inspection
Article revised 8/14/17 at 8:00am MDT to reflect post-race penalties.