Filippi Sweeps Opening TC America TCR Event at COTA
Mason Filippi scored a double victory in the inaugural rounds of the new-look TC America championship, winning both 40-minute races at Circuit of The Americas.
Driving a Hyundai Veloster N TCR, the TFB Performance pilot came from the back of the field in the first race after losing his qualifying time.
He set the fastest lap in the process and managed to cross the line 8.980 seconds clear of Michael Hurczyn after making up 11 positions.
It marked Hyundai’s first win with its new Veloster-based TCR car which debuted at Daytona in January.
Filippi won Sunday’s race from pole, crossing the line 1.990 seconds clear of Nate Vincent’s Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, while his teammate Hurczyn was third in the sister FCP Euro car.
Filippi now leads the championship heading into the next rounds at St. Petersburg this weekend.
News & Notes
***Kim-Luis Schramm will compete for Phoenix Racing in the full Blancpain GT Series as part of the German team’s return to the series with an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo. He is Phoenix’s second signing after Finlay Hutchison.
***Fabien Barthez and Aurelien Panis will team up in a Mercedes-AMG GT4 run by AKKA ASP in the GT4 French Cup. Barthez was also confirmed in one of the team’s GT3 entries in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup last week.
***Beechdean AMR has added a Michelin Le Mans Cup entry for team principal Andrew Howard and Aston Martin Racing junior factory driver Ross Gunn. The team, which will run the new Aston Martin Vantage GT3, already confirmed that Howard would be joined by Marco Sorensen in a British GT Championship entry.
***X WORKS will become the first Hong Kong-based team to compete in Super GT this season, fielding a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3. The team was founded by Marchy Lee who will co-drive with Shaun Thong.
***Hugo de Sadeleer and Valentin Hasse-Clot have been revealed as PROsport Performance’s second driver pairing for its ADAC GT Masters program with the new Aston Martin Vantage GT3. AMR factory driver Maxime Martin and Daniel Keilwitz were previously confirmed in the other car.
***Century Motorsport has added a second BMW M6 GT3 for its step up to the top class of the British GT Championship, to be driven by Dominic Paul and Ben Green.
***Porsche will be represented in British GT’s GT3 category for the first time in four years this season, with G-Cat Racing entering a single 2019-spec 911 GT3 R for an Am crew of Shamus Jennings and team owner Greg Caton. The car is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK.
***Optimum Motorsport, Team Parker Racing, HHC Motorsport and Tolman Motorsport have all confirmed details of their returns to British GT GT4 competition in recent days, meanwhile.
***British GT’s annual Media Day takes place on Tuesday at Donington Park. The full-season entry list will be released at 8 a.m. GMT (3 a.m. EST).
***Craft-Bamboo Racing will run a pair of Mercedes-AMG GT3s in the inaugural Asia GT Festival, held on March 15-17 as part of the China GT Championship opener. Jazeman Jaafar and Frank Yu will share one car, while Alessio Picariello and Jeffrey Lee will co-drive the other.
***Lee and Picariello will also co-drive one of Craft-Bamboo’s Mercedes in Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia, while Lee takes on a promotional role with Mercedes-AMG Taiwan.
***Konrad Motorsport will again run Lamborghini machinery in VLN, upgrading to the Huracan GT3 Evo this season. Zimbabwean driver Axcil Jefferies is the first name confirmed for the program.
***The Toyota TS050 Hybrid and a Honda CB R1000 motorbike took to Suzuka Circuit together recently. The Toyota was the winning machine from last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, while the Honda bike won the 24 Heures Motos on the Le Mans Bugatti circuit.
***Philippe Charriol passed away on Wednesday following an accident at Circuit Paul Ricard. Charriol, aged 77, was the founder of the successful luxury watch and jewelry brand that carries his name and was instrumental in the growth of the SRO Motorsports Group during the 1990s.