ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – FCP Euro claimed a historic 1-2 finish in Sunday’s second TC America TCR race held on the 14-turn, 1.8-mile St. Petersburg street course.
Nate Vincent led home from teammate Michael Hurczyn to clinch his maiden victory in SRO Motorsports America competition after Hurczyn scored his own breakthrough win in Saturday’s contest.
The FCP Euro squad’s pair of Volkswagen Golf GTI TCRs exhibited strong pace throughout the weekend but fell marginally short of securing a 1-2 in the opening race.
However, the team was able to reverse its fortunes on Sunday with Vincent leading virtually flag-to-flag and Hurczyn coming through to finish second after making a pass on James Walker Jr. in the Risi Competizione Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR.
Polesitter Vincent, who got to start at the front after setting the fastest lap in Saturday’s contest, lost some ground at lights-out with Hurczyn and a charging Walker both getting ahead.
The closely-matched top three then traded quick lap times in a tense spell of racing that was brought to an end with 12 minutes to go when Walker’s Alfa Romeo made contact with the walls, bringing out the safety car.
Walker showed a thumbs up from the cockpit before walking to the medical car after two front-end hits stemming from slight contact with the inside wall at the kink.
Eight minutes under full course caution conditions left Hurczyn with only two laps of green flag racing to catch his teammate. A superb restart from Vincent left no room for an overtake, leaving the FCP Euro drivers to share out the honors evenly in the Florida sun.
“I wasn’t too concerned about the yellow,” said Vincent. “With my teammate behind me, we could get a good start. We had a TCA car between us but what did happen when we came around by the Alfa, the car went into neutral and wouldn’t get into gear. Luckily, we were able to cycle the ignition, keep rolling, and get it into gear. It was the biggest panic of my life but we got there.”
Behind the FCP Euro 1-2 finish, Bryan Putt capped off a perfect weekend with a sweep of the TCR Cup class victories and a brace of overall podiums.
Driving the No. 15 e.Europarts.com ROWE Racing Audi RS 3 LMS TCR, Putt sped away from pole and produced a commanding drive to ward off any potential challenges to his lead.
His cause was aided by the exciting battle that absorbed the McCann Racing Audis of Nathan McCann Jr. and Christian Cole and the Fast MD Audi driven by Jay Salinsky.
McCann Jr. came through in second but with only a second separating him from teammate Cole, who managed to get past Salinsky with a well-timed braking move into turn one not long before the caution .
In the invitational TCA class, Eric Powell scooped his second victory of the weekend but needed to take extra care at the restart with his No. 91 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ tS sandwiched between the two TCR leaders.
Powell managed to expertly stay out of the way and was able to hold off Mike Ogren and Kevin Anderson in the sister TechSport Subarus to complete a sweep of the category silverware.