Race 1 of TC America powered by Skip Barber at Virginia International Raceway was an all-green flag affair, resulting in great battles at the front of each class. The 40-minute race contained some truly nail-biting moments. The all-green race also meant that the TCX racers had to be especially careful late in the race as they lapped the TCA cars and a few of the TC competitors.
Colin Garrett (No. 44 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M2 CS Cup) was able to gain a comfortable lead over the rest of the field after starting on pole, and never looked back. With all TCX competitors racing identical BMW M2 CS Cup cars, this has been a driver showcase class where precision is required, and close battles are the norm.
Due to a team communications issue, three-time race winner and TCX points leader Jacob Ruud (No. 1 Fast Track Racing BMW M2 CS Cup) pulled into pit lane 22 minutes in. Ruud’s Fast Track teammate Olivia Askew (No. 29 Fast Track Racing BMW M2 CS Cup) pitted as well due to an oil cooler issue which put her out of contention. For the remainder of the race, Ruud charged back trying to make up for lost time, ending up in sixth place.
Despite the unfortunate communication with his team, Ruud was able to lay down the quickest lap time of the race with a 2m00.641s, earning him the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap and pole for Race 2 tomorrow.
The pack saw local South Boston native Garrett at the front for the majority of the race, but not without putting in some work. “This is pretty awesome, it’s a race I’ve been looking forward to for a while,” Garrett said. “I’m looking forward to tasting the champagne, and Rooster Hall Racing brought a spectacular car this weekend. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, and seeing what we can do for the rest of the season.”
Stephen Cugliari (No. 57 Accelerating Performance BMW M2 CS Cup) grabbed second place, followed by Lucas Catania (No. 26 Rigid Speed BMW M2 CS) in third.
Kevin Boehm (No. 9 Skip Barber Racing Honda Civic Type R) and Clay Williams (No. 60 MINI John Cooper Works Team JCW Pro) battled hard for P1 for the majority of the race. Jeff Ricca (No. 78 Genracer / Ricca Autosport Hyundai Veloster N DCT TC) added to the battle, closing in quickly after laying down the quickest early lap in TC, a 2m04.467s. Williams eventually dove down into the inside and grabbed the lead from Boehm, but lost pace shortly thereafter and dropped back behind Boehm and Ricca to P3. Ricca’s teammate Nicholas Barbato (No. 88 Genracer / Ricca Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TC) briefly got ahead of Williams as well, but Williams was able to brake late and carry some impressive momentum to regain third.
Kevin Boehm drove home to his fourth victory out of five races so far, extending his points lead.
“I think there’s a lot of luck involved,” Boehm said when asked what it took to win. “You look at today’s race, and we were battling for the lead for the entire race. I can’t even tell you what happened, I’m so fried right now from trying to stay up front. It really comes down to the hard work of the Skip Barber Racing Team, they put a lot of work behind the scenes in prepping the car and getting it up to speed.”
Jeff Ricca followed just 3.185s behind in his Hyundai for second place, and third went to Clay Williams who very skillfully nursed his MINI onto the podium after experiencing mechanical issues on track.
Sonoma Race 2 winner Gresham Wagner (No. 21 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ) held onto the lead for the majority of the race and across the finish line, though not without giving it up to teammate Devin Anderson in the No. 22 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ at one point. Anderson secured second place right behind Wagner when at the checkered flag. Sonoma Race 1 and NOLA Race 1 winner Carter Fartuch (No. 16 Skip Barber Racing Honda Civic Si) sat comfortably in third for the majority of the race despite making mild contact with the wall towards the end of this morning’s qualifying.
In the end, Wagner earned some more hardware after putting the pedal to the metal for the entire duration.
“Pretty early on it was a race between the top three, we kind of broke away from the rest,” Wagner said. “I went off a couple times and shuffled around, and knew that if I could just get out in the lead and put down two or three good laps, I’d be able to hold on. It was a difficult race, there were lots of ups and downs for everyone I think.”
The action picks back up for Race 2 on Sunday at 9:50 a.m. Eastern.
Follow the action via live stream, or catch it as a recap, on the GT World YouTube channel. Live timing and scoring and session reports are available at tcamerica.us.