- Tom O’Gorman earns Touring Car A victory on Sunday
- O’Gorman’s Civic Si runs fastest lap of Saturday’s event in TCA
- Shea Holbrook has top-10 hopes dashed by tire buildup on brakes
Shea Racing’s four-car Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car program earned the first victory of the season for the new Honda Civic Si, as Tom O’Gorman rolled from pole to win Sunday’s PWC Touring Car A race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
O’Gorman set himself up for Sunday’s run with a strong effort on Saturday as he powered his Honda Civic Si to a fourth-place finish. The Ohio driver not only scored a season-best finish with the fourth-place run, but he ran the fastest lap of the race, which put him on the pole for Sunday’s 40-minute event.
The story gets better from there. O’Gorman finished fourth in the opener, but only because the race was stopped after a four-car wreck necessitated track repairs that could not be fixed in time to restart the event. But since O’Gorman was running the new 2017 Honda Civic Si, which has yet to hit the showrooms, part to fix his car for Sunday’s race were going to be hard to come by.
But as the team was plotting a way out of its dilemma, Honda of Canada associate racing team member Scott Nicol drove by in his brand new Civic Si, and the team started thinking.
“We asked Scott if we could use some of the parts from his passenger car for our Civic Si race car,”explained O’Gorman. “He was very accommodating and we started pulling front end parts from his car. We basically needed everything forward of the radiator from the passenger car. Body work, arm supports and various front end parts to put the race car back together again. But we were ready for Sunday’s TC race. I can’t thank Scott enough.”
But having a car running wasn’t the only problem on Sunday morning. Early-morning rains eased up near race time, causing each team to make the tough decision to start the race on rain tires or slick tires for drying conditions. O’Gorman left his slick tires on his Civic Si – which paid off handsomely as the rains failed to play a major role in the race.
“A bunch of the Touring Cars switched to the rain tires at the last minute and it ended up being dry for 80-percent of the race so it wasn’t paying off for them,” said O’Gorman. “Then it started raining and the front-wheel drive with the new Civic Si was awesome in those conditions and it likes the cool (weather) in general so the car was fantastic today.”
But the weekend wasn’t all hearts and flowers for Shea Racing. For the second straight race weekend, one of the team’s Hondas suffered a frightening accident when Sarah Montgomery barrel-rolled her Civic in Saturday’s event. She was uninjured in the crash, but was unable to answer the bell for Sunday’s race.
Meanwhile team owner/driver Shea Holbrook ran her Honda Accord from 19th on the starting grid to ninth in Saturday’s TC race, but ninth was as far as she would get before she suffered a fire in her braking system. Karl Wittmer carried his Shea Racing Accord to a podium finish in TC, placing third on Saturday to give the team its first TC podium of the year.
“What I thought was a tire going down was actually a caliper on fire,” Holbrook explained. “Rubber coming off of the rain tires collected in the caliper and caught on fire. No problem except that I couldn’t turn the car!”
About Honda Performance Development:
Honda Performance Development, Inc., (HPD) is Honda’s racing company in North America and is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Founded in 1993, HPD is the technical operations center for Honda’s high-performance racing programs. HPD specializes in the design and development of race engines, chassis and performance parts, and technical/race support. It also offers parts and race support to Honda and Acura grassroots motorsports racers, and is expanding its support of racing series and programs to make Honda racing products available to participants in all racing disciplines, from karting and Quarter Midgets to the highest levels of pro racing.