LEXINGTON, Ohio – Honda has taken a triple victory in Saturday’s Round 10 of the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car, Touring Car A and Touring Car B-Spec season, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge Presented by StopTech.
Following Friday’s race in mixed conditions, Saturday’s produced an exciting, thrilling, non-stop battle from start-to-finish in the 40-minute timed race.
Those who emerged victorious on this occasion included Michael DiMeo, of Toronto, in the No. 71 Grand Alarms Honda Civic Si (TC), Shea Holbrook, of Groveland, Fla., in the No. 67 TRUECar/Lucas Oil/Radium Honda Civic Si (TCA) and Chase Pelletier, of Brampton, Ontario, in the No. 12 ADA/Lilly Diabetes/American Honda Honda Fit (TCB). This marks Honda’s third all-class TC win sweep of the season (Round 1, Barber; Round 5, New Jersey).
DiMeo and Adam Poland, of Mt. Vernon, Texas in the No. 11 Texas Track Works/Eastex Motorsports Mazda MX-5 put on an absolute show in battling for the TC class lead. At some sections of the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, DiMeo’s car held the edge, while Poland’s Mazda had an advantage in other areas.
In total, the pair swapped the lead six times officially during the 25-lap race, with more unofficial changes due to the lead exchanging hands on the same lap. One of Poland’s moves on DiMeo was awarded the Cadillac CTS-V Move of the Race.
What was set up for a thrilling finish ended two laps shy of the checkered flag as Poland had a brief spin from the lead exiting the left-handed Turn 11 on Lap 24. He ran wide, did a 360-degree pirouette and recovered, but lost the lead to DiMeo. Additionally, Steven Doherty, of Plainfield, Ill., in the No. 94 Nissan/GT Academy/Skullcandy Nissan Altima Coupe, was able to get past as well for second. DiMeo beat Doherty by 5.524 seconds, a misleading margin of victory considering DiMeo and Poland were within mere tenths of a second the first 23 laps. DiMeo expanded on his eighth win of the season after the race.
“That was the most nerve-wracking 40 minutes of my life, but also the most exciting because to go neck-and-neck with another competitor in a different car was awesome,” DiMeo said. “Adam and I traded paint, positions like 10 times. What an awesome race and awesome weekend. I have to dedicate this to Children’s Tumor Foundation, I had to win it for those guys. Second was not good enough today.”
Poland, who sought his second win of the year, was disappointed yet still thankful for the opportunity to wage such a great battle for the win.
“That was a great race,” Poland said. “Thanks to those guys, and Texas Track Works to let me off work. And thank you to Michael DiMeo for the race he put on. Top three is definitely worth it after a race like this.”
Kevin Anderson, of Huntington Station, N.Y. in the No. 23 TechSportRacing.com Mazda RX-8 and Emilee Tominovich, of Laurel, Md., in the No. 19 Chesapeake Electrical Systems, Inc./Charter Financial Group Volkswagen Jetta GLI rounded out the top five.
TCA was more straightforward with Holbrook able to pass Jason Cherry for the lead on Lap 4, and then run comfortably and cleanly on a dry track to secure her fifth win of the season. She also took home the StopTech Brake Late, Finish First award.
The win also provided Holbrook a needed bounce back following late-race disappointment in Friday’s Round 9.
“Mentally I needed something, and the crew got me there,” she said. “For a split second, I was doubting myself. My crew chief Nick Chorley and dad Jeff Holbrook helped me pull it together. I knew I would be strong here in the dry, and I was praying for dry! I put my TRUECar/Lucas Oil/Women’s Sports Foundation/Radium Honda Civic Si on the pole, then went to the win. This again puts us that much closer in the points.”