Victor Gonzalez Earns First Win of 2019 in SRO Touring Car R Class at Sonoma
  • Civic Type R driver wins Saturday, finishes second on Sunday
  • Chris Haldeman scores a pair of podium finishes with Honda Civic Si in TCA
  • Taylor Hagler takes top-five finish on Sunday

The 2019 Touring Car America season saw a new car in Victory Lane on a sunny Saturday at Sonoma Raceway as Victor Gonzalez used a daring last-lap, last-corner pass to put his Honda Civic Type R on the top of the TCR results sheet for the first time this year.  In the TCA class, X-Factor Racing leader Chris Haldeman again paced the Texas-based squad, earning a pair of podium finishes.

Honda Civic Type R TCR
Starting fifth in Saturday’s opening race, Gonzalez benefitted from contact among the leaders to gain several early positions, then closed on leader Michael Hurczyn in the final laps.  After a couple of attempts around the outside, Gonzalez used a timely thrust on his last trip through the Sonoma track’s signature hairpin turn to pass Hurczyn and roll to the win.

The Honda Civic Type R TCR driver followed his win up with an equally-impressive drive to second in Sunday’s race. Coming from fourth on the grid, he vaulted into third place with less than four minutes to go in the timed race, then again slid past Hurcyzn – this time in the downhill Turn 9 chicane – on the last lap to claim second place.

Making his 2019 debut with LAP Motorsports, Harry Cheung improved throughout the weekend, taking his Honda Civic Type R TCR to fifth on Sunday, after finishing ninth in Saturday’s opening race.

Honda Civic Si TCA
In the companion TCA category, Haldeman powered his XFactor Racing Honda Civic Si to third-place results on Saturday and Sunday, finishing behind Tyler Maxson and Mark Pombo in both events.

As she did at Virginia International Raceway last month, series rookie Taylor Hagler improved over the weekend and came home in fifth place in Sunday’s contest, leading a pack that included the Hondas of seventh-placed Cole Ciraulo and fellow first-year TCA racer Sally McNulty in her Team Sally Civic Si.

Saturday’s event saw Ciraulo post a sixth-place result in his Civic Si while Hagler finished seventh, one spot ahead of teammate Stephen Jeu. Once again, the field of five turnkey, affordable Honda Civic Si’s completed the doubleheader race weekend without a single mechanical-related retirement.

Next
Both the SRO Touring Car America TCR and TCA classes will next complete July 12-14 at Portland International Raceway for round 9 and 10 of the 16-race season.

Social media content and video links from this weekend’s Honda Racing activities at Sonoma Raceway are available on HPD’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and on Twitter at (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD).

Quote
Victor Gonzalez (#99 VGMC Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR) on his Saturday TCR race win“I’m so happy. We’re such a small team from Orlando, and we did not know what to expect this weekendWe knew our setup would allow us to come on later in the race, so I saved my tires until the halfway point of the race and then went for it. I have to thank HPD, the TC America series, our partners, and LA Honda for letting us borrow some extra parts.  We could not have done this without them!”

SRO Motorsports TC America
Circuit: Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, Calif.
Weather: Clear, warm, 84 degrees F Saturday
Mostly sunny, hot, 91 degrees F Sunday

Saturday Race Top Five TCR Results:

Ps. Driver Team Chassis Laps/Notes
1. Victor Gonzalez VGMC Racing Honda Civic Type R 22 laps
2. Michael Hurczyn FCP Euro VW Golf GTI +2.554 seconds
3. James Walker Risi Competizione Alfa Romeo Giulietti
4. Nate Vincent FCP Euro VW Golf GTI
9. Harry Cheung LAP Motorsports Honda Civic Type R

Saturday Race Top Five TCA Results:

Ps. Driver Team Chassis Laps/Notes
1. Tyler Maxson Copeland Mtrsprts Mazda MX5 Cup 21 laps
2. Mark Pombo MINI JCW Team Mini Cooper JCW +4.975 seconds
3. Chris Haldeman X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si
6. Cole Ciraulo X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si
7. Taylor Hagler X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si
8. Stephen Jeu X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si
10. Sally McNulty TeamSally Honda Civic Si

Sunday Race Top Five TCR Results:

Ps. Driver Team Chassis Laps/Notes
1. Mason Filippi Copeland Mtrsprts Hyundai Veloster N 19 laps
2. Victor Gonzalez VGMC Racing Honda Civic Type R +3.009 seconds
3. Michael Hurczyn FCP Euro VW Golf GTI
4. Nate Vincent FCP Euro VW Golf GTI
6. Harry Cheung LAP Motorsports Honda Civic Type R

Sunday Race Top Five TCA Results:

Ps. Driver Team Chassis Laps/Notes
1. Tyler Maxson Copeland Mtrsprts Mazda MX5 Cup 19 laps
2. Mark Pombo MINI JCW Team Mini Cooper JCW +3.447 seconds
3. Chris Haldeman X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si
5. Taylor Hagler X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si
7. Cole Ciraulo X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si
9. Sally McNulty TeamSally Honda Civic Si
DNF Stephen Jeu X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si
News Reporter