McQuarrie leads flag-to-flag in Long Beach to win World Challenge GTS April 19, 2010 (Long Beach, Calif.) -- Last weekend, Formula Drift driver Tyler McQuarrie from Walnut Creek, Calif., was drifting a Nissan on the Streets of Long Beach in the...
McQuarrie leads flag-to-flag in Long Beach to win World Challenge GTS
April 19, 2010 (Long Beach, Calif.) -- Last weekend, Formula Drift driver Tyler McQuarrie from Walnut Creek, Calif., was drifting a Nissan on the Streets of Long Beach in the Formula Drift Pro Championship, where time and speed took a backseat to tire smoke and car angle.
This weekend, McQuarrie did something completely different by driving the LPL/DRS/Switchcars.com Lotus Exige S -- a car with nothing in common with his Formula Drift Nissan -- to pole position in the morning qualifying session, and then to victory in the GTS class in the afternoon's Toyo Tires World Challenge at Long Beach presented by Bondurant.
Getting away very well from the standing start, McQuarrie cleared the GTS field and found his way past a couple of the GT cars on the opening lap. When his chief competition in GTS, multi-time champion Peter Cunningham, had to pit to repair damage, McQuarrie found himself with a large lead that continued to crow throughout the race. McQuarrie was then able to cruise to the finish, taking his first World Challenge win in his first start with 49 seconds in hand.
"This was such an amazing weekend," said McQuarrie after the podium celebration. "This was only possible because of the work of the crew. The team only just bought this car a few weeks ago, and they worked really hard to make it ready for this race. Once we got here, they had to work each time we came off the track -- including a transmission change yesterday -- so to put it on pole and to win the race is a testament to them and the best way to reward them for all their hard work."
As the first run of the team's Lotus Exige S, the team was thrilled with the weekend as they work towards competing in more World Challenge races in 2010.
"This whole weekend was a one-off, to see what the car and team was capable of," said McQuarrie. "And it is obviously a great combination. This car hadn't been tried in GTS yet so we learned a lot about how it changes and responds over a race distance. There's talk about doing more races this year, and I hope it happens because that is a fun car and this is a great team."