Race Report by Tim Collier
May 20, 2020 – For this week’s TCR/MX-5 Club Series race, the haulers took a drive through the hills of Virginia to the famed VIR circuit where the drivers would negotiate the tight and twisty North Circuit layout. Weather conditions were ideal, and the lap times confirmed this would be a race where the least mistakes make the difference.
The qualifying session showed no surprise in the MX-5 class, where Kurt Polter put his Mazda on the pole once again, this time by a gap of half a second over Bryan Ortiz. The Audis however had quite the battle and in the end it was Kris Hudson winning the pole position by a mere 0.179 seconds over JT Tami.
With the grid of 6 Audis and 8 Mazdas taking the green flag, the battle throughout the first turn saw Hudson overshoot, and Tami takes the lead. As the field came out of the North circuit chute, Tami increased his lead to 4 seconds by the end of the first lap over new driver Mick Blue. Behind them several cars were off the track or turned around, spreading the field a bit. Being an endurance event, pit stops were needed for fuel and after the pit stop cycles Tami was in the lead over Brian Szabelski in second by 10 seconds, with Hudson who had worked his way back through the field into third place. On the final lap, Tami would take the win, his first of the season by 9 seconds. Hudson would get by Szabelski on the final lap to finish in second and third respectively.
In the MX-5 class, Polter started up front and held the lead early, but had Ortiz keeping him honest for most of the race staying withing a few seconds waiting to pounce on any opportunity. Through the pit stops Polter would lead with Ortiz in second, and Dan Rivito in third who was mixing it up often with Kenny Rodriguez. Upfront Polter would keep the fenders clean and take yet another win this season, his fourth in eight races. Ortiz would finish in second and Rivito in third completing the podium.
After 8 races, with two drops applied, the MX-5 Class Driver’s Championship has Kurt Polter with a commanding lead over Samuel Scott by 13 points. In third place, Drew Lidkea has a six-point lead over Kenny Rodriguez in fourth, and in fifth only one point behind fourth, Tim Collier and Peter Hebron are deadlocked.
After tonight’s win, JT Tami vaults into the top spot in the TCR Class Driver’s Championship, with Brian Szabelski only one point behind in second, and Miguel Antonio Alcrudo in third another five points back. Not far behind in fourth is Liam Park, with David Slee in fifth only nine points back.
The next event is scheduled for June 3, 2020 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park! There are still two races ahead for this series, and lots of points to be won or lost!