Fassnacht, Washay Collect Victories in TCA, TCB
ALTON, Va. – Greg Liefooghe of San Francisco, Calif., recorded the Touring Car overall victory Sunday at VIRginia International Raceway when he piloted his No. 20 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M235iR coupe to his first 2017 Pirelli World Challenge win in the PWC Nissan Grand Prix of VIR.
In other classes, Matthew Fassnacht of Madison, N.J., won his second TCA race of the weekend while Travis Washay of Milton, Conn., captured the TCB category.
Liefooghe, who finished second in Saturday’s TC main event, grabbed the lead after early pacesetter Nick Wittmer, in the No. 91 ST Racing BMW M235iR, was involved in an on-track incident. Liefooghe defeated Saturday’s TC winner, Paul Holton in the No. 71 C360R Audi RS3 LMS, after a late-race crash forced the event to be finished under a yellow flag period in the 14-lap, scheduled 40-minute contest.
Third in the Touring Car division was Cody Ellsworth of Jupiter, Fla., in the No. 11 RacerInk Motorsports Porsche Cayman followed by Sunday’s TC pole sitter Anthony Geraci of Glen Cove, N.Y., in the No. 69 S.A.C. Racing Audi RS3 LMS and Stefan Sajic of Serbia in the No. 18 Zima Motorsports BMW M235iR.
“In multiclass racing, managing traffic well is going to have an effect on how the race will play out,” said Liefooghe, who also drove in Sunday’s SprintX event. “Unfortunately, some of the other guys made good but aggressive moves and got tangled up in the traffic. I’ve learned so much from Stephen (Cameron) whether it’s driving or car setup or whatever. There’s a huge trust with him basically. My teammates are fairly new, but they’re super strong also. It’s a lot of fun working with them and coaching them. I wouldn’t be here without them, so I’m glad to see that it’s going to be a great year.”
Fassnacht had to fight off the challenge of the two Copeland Motorsports entries with Dean Copeland of Grasonville, Md., in the No. 07 Mazda Global MX-5 Cup and Brian Henderson of Faimouth, Mass., in the No. 97 Mazda Global MX-5 Cup.
“I got a difficult start,” said Fassnacht. “Some of the TC cars got a very difficult start and TCA got all mixed up with them. I lost a few spots. I was able to battle back and was trying to work to get away so I got up to the lead. However, the rest of the field was scrapping together. I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get a green flag as there were some people gunning for me (Copeland and Henderson), and it would have been a good show. Those guys are good racers. But I’m happy with the double win.”
Washay, a longtime driver coach, took his No. 30 Indian Summer Racing MINI Cooper to the front in a spirited battle with Saturday’s winner Canaan O’Connell of Chandler, Ariz., son of four-time PWC GT champion Johnny O’Connell, in the No. 24 Tech Sport Racing Chevrolet Sonic and young Jake Pipal of Oakdale, Calif., in the No. 6 Pipal Racing Honda Fit. Unfortunately for O’Connell, he was caught up in an on-track incident and fell back to third in the field.
At the finish, it was Washay, Pipal, and O’Connell followed by Taylor Handwerk in the No. 77 Indian Summer Racing MINI Cooper and P.J. Groenke in the No. 25 Tech Sport Racing Chevrolet Sonic.
“Yesterday I got the short end of the stick and today I got a little bit better,” said Washay. “TCB cars are such momentum cars that if we get split from any other TC or TCA cars it becomes really hard to get back. Nobody was doing anything that was going to slow us down and get the rest of the pack around us. Everyone was good at communicating and letting the other guys go by. Unfortunately, O’Connell got taken out which gave me the lead, but we all know – that’s racing.”
Of note, the following additional awards were issued:
The Optima Batteries Best Start was awarded to Glory Fernandez in the No. 52 Glory Racing Honda Civic Si for her ten-position gain.
The VP Fuels Hard Charger award was given to Dean Copeland in the No. 7 Copeland Motorsport Mazda Global MX5 Cup Car for his sixteen-position overall gain in the race.
Touring Car classes return to action on May 19-21 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park with Rounds 3 and 4.
Results for Sunday’s Touring Car race at VIRginia International Raceway as part of the Pirelli World Challenge Nissan Grand Prix of VIR. Results are provisional until posted Final.
1,1, TC,Greg LIEFOOGHE,San Francisco, CA,BMW M235iR,14,Running,36:03.175,
2,2, TC,Paul HOLTON,Orlando, FL,Audi RS 3 LMS,14,Running,36:03.985,0.810
3,3, TC,Cody ELLSWORTH,Jupiter, FL,Porsche Cayman,14,Running,36:06.977,3.802
4,4, TC,Anthony GERACI,Glen Cove, NY,Audi RS3 LMS,14,Running,36:09.133,5.958
5,5, TC,Stefan SAJIC,Belgrade, Serbia,BMW M235iR,14,Running,36:10.093,6.918
6,6, TC,Robert NIMKOFF,Newton, CT,BMW M235iR,14,Running,36:12.755,9.579
7,7, TC,Aristotle BALOGH,Palo Alto, CA,BMW M235iR,14,Running,36:13.661,10.485
8,8, TC,Cameron MAUGERI,Ormond Beach, FL,Lotus Exige,14,Running,36:15.121,11.946
9,9, TC,Rodrigo SALES,Sonoma, CA,BMW M235iR,14,Running,36:17.731,14.555
10,10, TC,Jason COUPAL,Rochester, NY,Audi RS 3 LMS,14,Running,36:19.022,15.846
11,11, TC,Chris OHMACHT,Franklin Lakes, NJ,BMW M235iR,14,Running,36:19.917,16.741
12,12, TC,Anthony MAGAGNOLI,Dexter, MI,BMW M235iR,14,Running,36:21.412,18.236
13,13, TC,Henry SCHMITT,San Francisco, CA,BMW M235iR,14,Running,36:22.820,19.645
14,14, TC,Mason FILIPPI,Alamo, CA,BMW M235iR,14,Running,36:24.017,20.842
15,15, TC,Toby GRAHOVEC,Celina, TX,BMW M235iR,14,Running,36:24.878,21.702
16,16, TC,Shea HOLBROOK,Fulshear, TX,Honda Accord,14,Running,36:25.470,22.295
17,17, TC,Karl WITTMER,Montreal, Quebec, CA,Honda Accord V6,14,Running,36:26.261,23.086
18,18, TC,Josh FORAN,Odenville, AL,Honda Accord,14,Running,36:27.217,24.041
19,19, TC,Gino CARINI,Milwaukee, WI,BMW M235iR,14,Running,36:28.231,25.056
20,20, TC,Dennis HANRATTY JR,Mechanicsburg, PA,Lotus Exige,14,Running,36:29.623,26.448
21,21, TC,Samantha TAN,Gormley, Ontario, CA,BMW M235iR,14,Running,36:37.241,34.065
22,1, A,Matthew FASSNACHT,Madison, NJ,Mazda MX-5,14,Running,36:38.254,35.078
23,2, A,Dean COPELAND,Grasonville, MD,Mazda Global MX 5 Cup Car,14,Running,36:38.566,35.391
24,3, A,Brian HENDERSON,Falmouth, MA,Mazda Global MX 5 Cup Car,14,Running,36:39.494,36.318
25,4, A,Elivan GOULART,Shelton, CT,Mazda MX-5,14,Running,36:40.497,37.321
26,5, A,Eric POWELL,Orlando, FL,Mazda MX-5,14,Running,36:43.320,40.145
27,6, A,Paul WHITING,Las Vegas, NV,Honda Civic Si,14,Running,36:44.853,41.678
28,7, A,Spencer PATTERSON,Pittsburgh, PA,Mazda MX-5,14,Running,36:46.197,43.021
29,8, A,Jason CONNOLE,Raleigh, NC,Mazda MX 5,14,Running,36:46.879,43.703
30,9, A,Jeff SEXTON,Austin, TX,Mazda Global MX 5 Cup Car,14,Running,36:47.540,44.365
31,10, A,Sarah MONTGOMERY,Lafayette, LA,Honda Civic Si,14,Running,36:48.555,45.379
32,11, A,Tom O’GORMAN,Mason, OH,Honda Civic Si,14,Running,36:49.286,46.110
33,22, TC,Andrew RAINS,Birmingham, AL,Honda Accord Coupe,14,Running,36:52.487,49.312
34,12, A,Glory FERNANDEZ,Carolina, Puerto Rico,Honda Civic,13,Running,36:04.598,1 LAP
35,13, A,Kevin ANDERSON,Huntington Station, NY,Scion FR-S,13,Running,36:05.148,1 LAP
36,14, A,Daniel MOEN,Rindge, NH,Mazda MX-5,13,Running,36:08.046,1 LAP
37,1, B,Travis WASHAY,Milford, CT,MINI Cooper,13,Running,36:31.563,1 LAP
38,2, B,Jake PIPAL,Oakdale, CA,Honda Fit,13,Running,36:32.166,1 LAP
39,3, B,Canaan O’CONNELL,Chandler, AZ,Chevrolet Sonic,13,Running,36:33.063,1 LAP
40,4, B,Taylor HANDWERK,Jim Thorpe, PA,MINI Cooper,13,Running,36:34.229,1 LAP
41,5, B,P.J. GROENKE,Richmond Hill, Ontario, CA,Chevrolet Sonic,13,Running,36:34.987,1 LAP
42,23, TC,Justin RAPHAEL,Franklin Lakes, NJ,BMW M235iR,13,Running,36:36.216,1 LAP
43,6, B,Jasper DRENGLER,Shawano, WI,Honda Fit,13,Running,36:41.791,1 LAP
44,7, B,Ted SAHLEY,Cleveland, OH,Mazda 2,13,Running,36:43.951,1 LAP
45,24, TC,Steve KHOLI,Iowa City, IA,Honda Accord,12,Running,36:17.015,2 LAPS
46,25, TC,Nick WITTMER,Montreal, Quebec, CA,BMW M235iR,11,Not Running,26:00.641,3 LAPS
47,26, TC,Chetan PURANIK,Belgaum, India,BMW M235iR,11,Not Running,26:58.351,3 LAPS
48,27, TC,Tony RIVERA,Oceanside, CA,Nissan 370Z,10,Not Running,24:24.319,4 LAPS
49,28, TC,John ALLEN,Denver, CO,Audi RS 3 LMS,10,Not Running,25:52.865,4 LAPS
50,29, TC,Randy HALE,Haddam, CT,Mazda MX-5,8,Not Running,20:23.444,6 LAPS
51,15, A,Michael JOHNSON,Austin, TX,Mazda MX-5,8,Running,36:50.205,6 LAPS
52,30, TC,John WEISBERG,Webster, NY,Mazda MX-5,3,NC,36:30.030,11 LAPS
53,31, TC,Jeff RICCA,Milford, CT,Hyundai Genesis Coupe,0,Not Running,0.000,