- Honda Civic Type R TCR makes North American debut with first global podiums
- Ryan Eversley claims third-place finishes in both races of doubleheader race weekend
- Tom O’Gorman starts TCA championship challenge with second and first-place results
RealTime Racing and driver Ryan Eversley recorded the first podiums globally for the new Honda Civic Type R TCR, finishing third in both rounds of Pirelli World Challenge doubleheader race weekend at the Circuit of the Americas.
Meanwhile, in his first races with RealTime, Tom O’Gorman started his second season of TCA class competition in near perfect fashion, taking his Honda Civic Si to a second-place result on Saturday, and a commanding victory in Sunday’s race.
Two new Honda Civic Type R TCRs made their North American debuts this weekend, in the hands of veteran RealTime Racing drivers Eversley and Nick Esayian. In Saturday’s opening race, Eversley had a straightforward run to third in the 40-minute, timed event. Meanwhile, Esayian recovered from a first-lap spin that dropped him to the rear of the 28-car starting field, coming through the field to finish 12th.
In Sunday’s race, it was Eversley who had the dramatic day. Contact while fighting for third place on the second lap resulted in a “drive-through” (pit lane) penalty, dropping Eversley to 13th in the TCA field. He recovered to claim 10th just as a full-course caution for a damaged car on track bunched the field. Taking the green with just under half the 40-minute race remaining, Eversley gained positions each lap to take the checkers in fourth – which then became third after rival Anthony Geraci was penalized for exceeding track limits on the final lap. In the second RealTime Civic Type R, Esayian had a drama-free run to 11th in Sunday’s closer.
TCA and TC
Starting second in his RealTime Racing Honda Civic Si in Saturday’s opening round, Tom O’Gorman briefly led the TCA class, powering around the Mazda MX-5 of pole qualifier Bryan Ortiz. O’Gorman then went on to battle Eric Powell for the class victory, finishing just 17 hundredths of a second behind after 40 minutes of hard, but fair, racing.
On Sunday, O’Gorman was not to be denied, taking his Civic Si to the lead at the green flag and remaining at the point throughout the contest. The victory was O’Gorman’s second career TCA win, and ties him for the championship lead with Powell heading into the next round, April 28-29 at Virginia International Raceway.
In Saturday’s opening race of the day, for the TC class, the Honda associate-led Team HMA entry of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama engineer Josh Foran persevered to a 14th-place finish in a Civic Type R and followed that up with a run to 15th on Sunday. Unlike TCR Honda Civic Type R, where many racing components are utilized with the production engine and chassis, World Challenge TC technical regulations require the car to be very close to the production version, with only minor safety and suspension changes allowed.
Video recaps from this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge races at the Circuit of the Americas are being posted on the “Honda Racing/HPD” YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found in the 2018 HPD Trackside Video Playlist at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.
Steve Eriksen (Vice President & COO, Honda Performance Development) on this weekend’s Honda race results: “Two double podiums in two days of racing! We had three types of Honda Civics racing in three different classes here. It was an impressive debut for the Civic Type R TCR, with the first global podium results for that model. It also was an impressive start for Tom O’Gorman with his Civic Si in the TCA class, with a second-place finish yesterday and today’s win. Team HMA certainly learned a lot this weekend, racing its production model Civic Type R in the TC category, and we anticipate further improvement from them as their season plays out. Congratulations to both RealTime Racing and Team HMA, and to all of our associates who worked hard to get us these results.”
Ryan Eversley (driver, #43 RealTime Racing Honda Civic Type R) 3rd in TCR in both Saturday and Sunday races, first podium finish worldwide for the new Honda Civic Type R: “I feel bad about the contact with Martin [Jensen]. I thought I had a run on him on the outside, but when he transitioned back across the track, I locked up the brakes and just clouted him. I knew I deserved a [pit lane drive-through] penalty for that, and served it right away. Then, it was ‘let’s put my head down and go get a result out of this’. We got lucky with a [full-course caution] yellow. That bunched everyone back up and, on the restart, I was just trying to get as many positions back as possible. In the end, it worked out in our favor. I think we maximized our results with a pair of podium finishes for the Honda Civic Type R.”
Tom O’Gorman (driver, #94 RealTime Racing Honda Civic Si) 1st in TCA Sunday, 2nd on Saturday, on Sunday’s race win: “I knew I needed to lead, set the pace and break away from the draft. Then, I could manage the race from the front, manage the tires, and the brakes. The car was ‘on point’ all weekend. The Honda Civic Si is so awesome. It’s the momentum and handling car in this class. The car is just incredible, I can’t wait for [the next round at] Virginia International Raceway.”