What. A. Week! You can say it’s hyperbole, but our time in Indianapolis last week can only be described as an absolute dream. But winning our first TC America race, and having it occur at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, made for quite a feeling.
Practice and qualifying- Right off the truck, Tristan and our #44 Audi RS 3 LMS TCR were fast in his practice sessions, which carried over into qualifying. Tristan held the top position on the leaderboard during most of qualifying, but was bumped at the end of the session and would roll off from the second position in race 1.
Early in practice, Vinnie and his #88 Audi found trouble that would see him unable to participate in either practice session or qualifying for race 1. Our crew quickly put a plan together to get Vinnie’s car repaired and ready for race 1 the following morning. Our team worked through the night (hat tip to Starbucks and Red Bull for keeping us going) and had Vinnie’s car on the grid and ready to race.
Race 1– From the start, the first race of the weekend was treacherous, as a handful of TCR cars struggled with the cold Indy pavement with many spinning out or going off-track on the first lap. As the race settled down, Tristan found himself in 3rd place and trailing the leaders as they battled it out for P1. With just 16 minutes left in the race, the first and second place cars tangled in turn 1, both sustaining race-ending damage.
Tristan was able to avoid the melee and was promoted to the lead as a full-course caution was deployed for accident cleanup. With 9 minutes left, the race resumed with Tristan leading. He was able to hold off CJ Moses and his Honda Civic Type-R to win race 1 by a margin of just 0.280 seconds. After missing most of practice and qualifying, Vinnie drove a clean race to score a fifth place finish, the best finish of his young career. The excitement and rush of adrenaline from our first TC America win quickly overpowered our sleep-deprived selves, and the crew erupted onto the pit lane in celebration.
Race 2– The race 2 lineup was set from the fastest lap times of race 1 with Tristan rolling off from the fourth position and Vinnie from the fifth. Though it was less of a frenetic start than race 1, the leaders still ended up spinning out on the first lap and Tristan found himself in the lead while Vinnie quickly jumped to third. However, as the race wore on, Victor Gonzalez and his Civic Type-R was able to catch Tristan and take the lead just before the halfway point. Tristan was able to close the gap as the two worked through lap traffic but was never able to retake the lead. Tristan would end the race in second place and on the podium for the second day in a row while Vinnie logged another clean race finishing in sixth.
The Indianapolis race weekend was the last event on the 2020 SRO/GT World Challenge America calendar. As we look forward to 2021, we want to congratulate all of the 2020 champions and race winners on a successful season. If you couldn’t catch the racing live, or want to re-watch both races, they are available on the series’ YouTube channel:
We can think of no better way to finish the 2020 TC America season, and we want to take this opportunity to once again thank our motorsports partners. We are grateful for their continued support of our racing efforts. Click on their logos below to learn more about the awesome products and services they offer.