- In his US racing return, WTCR driver Tiago Montiero takes pole in qualifying
- Victor Gonzalez and Karl Wittmer claim VGRT's second top-five finish of 2022
- Ryan Eversley, Mike LaMarra rally to finish sixth for LA Honda World
VGRT's Victor Gonzalez and Karl Wittmer led the charge for Honda today in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition, leading laps and taking the team's second top-five finish of the 2022 season at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Gonzalez started the day in the #99 Honda Civic Type R TCR, utilizing pit strategy—as the team did to get their maiden victory in Sebring—to work his way to the front of the field. The #99 would lead a total of 11 laps before Gonzalez handed the car over to co-driver Karl Wittmer. Emerging from the pits in the eighth position, Wittmer would keep his nose clean and work his way up to fifth in the final lap of the race.
Finishing just behind the #99, in the sixth position, was the #73 Honda Civic Type R TCR entry from LA Honda World, driven by Mike LaMarra and Ryan Eversley. Starting 11th, LaMarra quietly crept his way into seventh place, before being knocked off track by another car just before halfway, sending the #73 machine for a wild ride through the Mid-Ohio grass.
LaMarra would immediately dive into the pits to hand over to co-driver Ryan Eversley and give the team a chance to clean the grill of his Civic Type R TCR. Eversley would return to track in 11th and charge to a sixth place finish.
Two other Honda-powered machines did not see the checkered flag in today's race. Honda WTCR driver Tiago Monteiro led the field to green in the Mid-Ohio 120 after qualifying on the pole in his return to US racing. However, Monteiro's time up front would be short as the LA Honda World #37 Honda Civic Type R TCR was hit on the start, ending their challenge just a few corners into the race.
The #89 HART (Honda of America Race Team) Civic Type R TCR would suffer from a loose boost pipe before the race, as well as contact and compounding penalties in the early running and ultimately would not reach the final flag.
Mid-Ohio 120 Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR Race Results
- 5th #99 Victor Gonzalez and Karl Wittmer, VGRT Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR
- 6th #73 Ryan Eversley and Mike LaMarra, LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR
- 14th #89 Chad Gilsinger, and Steve Eich, HART Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR
- 15th #37 Tiago Montiero and Mat Pompo, LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR
Victor Gonzalez (#99 VGRT Honda Civic Type R TCR) finished fifth: "I'm so proud of all these guys! We're still a really small team, and we just concentrate everything on race pace. We know that these are two-hour races and that's what's important. In the beginning, we started okay, but someone punted me off the track. But we collected ourselves and just worked our fuel strategy and tried to keep the car in one piece for when Karl got in the car. The car was fast! Thank you to Honda and HPD for always giving us support. We just need to keep scoring points for the championship so we can win it."
Mike LaMarra (#73 LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR) finished sixth: "The LA Honda World guys did an amazing job and the engineer did a great job setting the car up. The car was on rails! So I'm a little disappointed that we came home sixth. We had a great car with some great handling, and it was really fun to be able to race from the back. Ryan did a great job maintaining and working forward after the No. 2 car put us off track. Everyone did a great job. It wasn't the finish we wanted, but a pretty good finish after all."
HPD has three ready-to-race Civic models for touring car competition. The line starts with the affordable and reliable Civic Si TCA race car, then leads to the Civic Type R TC racer that puts legendary Type R performance on track, and culminates with the no-compromise, championship-winning Civic Type R TCR race car. Our unparalleled trackside support at every level from HPD engineers is a unique benefit that no other manufacturer can offer. Find out more about these cars and our touring programs at: https://hpd.honda.com/Motorsports/Touring
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