PORTLAND, Ore. – Mason Filippi won Saturday’s action-packed TC America TCR/TCA contest at Portland Int’l Raceway, part of the 59th annual Rose Cup Races.
Bryan Putt was victorious in the TCR Cup division, while Nick Wittmer won in TCA.
At the green, polesitter Filippi, in the Copeland Motorsports No. 12 Hyundai Veloster N grabbed the lead with second-on-the grid FCP Euro’s Nate Vincent going side by side through turn one, with third-on-the grid James Walker giving chase. Vincent was able to hold off Walker to slot into second. FCP Euro’s Michael Hurczyn, who started fourth.
In TCR Cup, polesitter Putt, driving the No. 15 eEuroparts.com ROWE Racing Audi Sport RS3 LMS (DSG) grabbed the lead over Stephen Vajda and Christian Cole.
In TCA, pole sitter X-Factor Racing’s Chris Haldeman went three wide through turn one with Wittmer, in the No. 91 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS and Nate Norenberg. Haldeman was able to hold off Wittmer for the lead with Norenberg slotting into third. Tyler Maxson slotted into fourth.
Through lap four, Filippi continued to lead Vincent with Hurczyn moving into third in TCR, while Putt, Vajda, and Cole held positions in TCR Cup. In TCA, Haldeman and Wittmer held their positions while Maxson moved past Norenberg for third.
By lap nine, fierce battles ensued as Vincent started to pressure Filippi for the lead in TCR, while in TCA Wittmer pressured Haldeman, with the driver of the No. 91 machine eventually taking the lead on the back straight through turns eight and nine. Haldeman would drop back to third, with Maxson moving into second. By lap 12, the TCR leaders began catching the TCA pack with Maxson using the traffic to help him move into the lead over Wittmer.
At the mid-point of the race, Filippi still led over Vincent and Hurczyn in TCR, while Putt held the lead over Vajda and Cole in TCR Cup. Maxson still led over Wittmer and Haldeman in TCA.
Race control then issued a full-course yellow on lap 16 to remove the disabled No. 07 Mazda Global MX5 Cup ND.1 of Jose DaSilva. On the lap 19 restart, Filippi led the pack to the green flag for a 11-minute shootout to the checkered. In TCR Cup, Cole got the jump on the restart and moved into the lead over Putt. In TCA, Wittmer would regain the lead passing Maxson.
By lap 22, Race Control issued a drive through penalty to Cole for a passing violation on the restart giving the lead back to Putt in TCR Cup.
At the checkered, Filippi would cross the line ahead of Vincent and Hurczyn in TCR, while in TCR Cup, Putt won over Vajda and Cole. In TCA, Wittmer took the win over Norenberg and Maxson.
“It was a great day,” said Filippi in victory lane after the race. “The Copeland Motorsports #12 Hyundai Veloster was awesome and held the tires under it for the entire race. I’m looking forward to Sunday’s race.”