TC America is set to have 34 cars among the three classes entered for the season opener this weekend at Circuit of The Americas (March 6-8, 2020). On March 3, TC America's Series Manager spoke with RACER Magazine's Richard S. James about the health of the series as well as the new event here at Lime Rock Park. Here is a portion of his comments, along with a link to RACER's full article.
“The diversity in every single way is what I find exciting for 2020,” TC America Series Manager Jim Jordan told RACER Magazine. “We have diversity of brands, diversity of ages of drivers, we have an influx of Central Americans coming, which probably has me most excited. We have a young driver Juan Diego who is coming from Guatemala and we have more drivers coming from Puerto Rico. Where I’m most excited about Central American influences is that they’ve been paying attention to the racing, and with Victor Gonzalez’s success last year, he’s managed to put together a great program to help these Central American drivers find out they’re welcome and the racing is accessible for them.”
He continued to expand on this year's Touring Car Festival, to be held at Lime Rock on May 8-9, “The TC Festival at Lime Rock is a very exciting step for me. Part of the rationale behind it is we see the audience for Touring Car racing in the U.S. tends to be a little bit younger, a little bit more diverse. We also, in the SRO world, realize that track time is at such a premium and with GT Sports Club growing and the rest, we need to explore the potential for growing stand-alone events for Touring Car, and a little bit GT4.
“We looked at the demographics and looked at the schedule and targeted Lime Rock as being in the right area, the center of a huge, diverse population. The other thing is Lime Rock was willing to work with us and we’re going to do really inexpensive tickets there. Lots of grassroots promotions. And one of our partners, FCP Euro, is based in Connecticut, so the stars just aligned for us that Lime Rock could be a good place to try Touring Cars as a focus for the weekend."
Jordan adds that he expects most fo the fields to grow as the season goes on, which is the opposite of how most race series go.
Mr. James of RACER also included a breakdown of the three TC America classes in which he especially highlighted the Connecticut-based FCP Euro Team in the TCR class.
James wrote, The TCR field grows slightly for 2020, with eight cars slated for the season opener – as many drivers as competed in the entire season in 2019. Last year’s champ, Michael Hurczyn, is back with FCP Euro teammate Nate Vincent in their Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR cars. The FCP Euro team upgraded its Golfs to sequential transmissions to compete for overall wins in 2019 – the TCR Cup class for cars with DSG transmissions ceases to exist for 2020 – and found them, with Hurczyn taking three victories and Vincent adding two.
FCP Euro’s Hurczyn and Vincent dominated TCR last year, but the competition looks tougher for 2020.
“My goal all season was consistent finishes,” says Hurczyn, who is the Brand and Partnerships director for FCP Euro. “I was going for the long run, making sure I stayed out of trouble and finishing as high up in the order in every single race as possible. Up until the last round of the season, I was able to podium in every single race. Then the last round we had some mechanical issues. So consistency and mechanical preparation was also important, and we were able to do both of those things.”
The FCP Euro team is making some big changes for 2020, taking its program that was previously run by Heinlein Racing Development in-house. Hurczyn admits there will be some challenges with that, but is looking forward to the team’s third year in TCR.
“We really appreciate TCR and what it brings in the sprint racing format. We think that’s what the cars were designed to do, and we prefer that type of racing. At Portland, the top five cars were all within two tenths of each other … having a huge field of cars that are really similar makes for great racing,” he says.
“We certainly have more experience as far the as the VW platform is concerned. It’s not the fastest in a straight line, but it’s good in braking and corners and it’s certainly proven to be very reliable. So we’re leaning on our experience and the reliability of the car to be up front when the checkered flag falls,” Hurczyn adds.
Hurczyn and Vincent are likely to have a tougher time than they did in 2019.