Rivera, Bickers, O’Gorman sweep Touring Car classes

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Rivera, Bickers, O’Gorman sweep Touring Car classes
Jun 25, 2016, 4:43 AM

Tony Rivera, Joey Bickers and Tom O’Gorman scored victories in TC, TCA and TCB in both Round 7 and Round 8 as the Pirelli World Challenge tackled Grand Prix of Road America presented by Cadillac.

Round 7

The 40-minute race was held under overcast skies with light rain being reported by corner stations in certain areas of the track.

With the green flag out on the rolling start, second-on-the-grid Toby Grahovec, in the No. 26 BMW M235iR for Classic BMW Motorsports drag raced side-by-side down the long Road America front straight with pole sitter Rivera, in the No. 97 Brass Monkey Racing Tiburon Motorsports Nissan 370Z with the driver of the BMW taking lead on an outside pass through turn 1. Rivera reclaimed the lead later in the lap and as they crossed the line to complete the first lap he led over Grahovec with Nick Wittmer, in the No. 91 Honda Ste-Rose Racing Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, slotting into third.

In TCA, pole-sitter Bickers, in the No. 49 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5 Cup, launched cleanly into the lead on the start and maintained his position as Eric Powell, in the No. 23 Tech Sport Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup, and Kris Wright, in the No. 35 Kinetic Motorsports Wright Automotive Group Kia Forte Koup, followed in second and third on the opening lap. Sam Adams, in the No. 48 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5, fell back to fourth in the early going after starting from second.

In TCB, it was pole-winner O’Gorman, in the No. 94 Black Armor Helmets TNIA Honda Fit, out front over Michael Johnson, in the No. 24 Tech Sport Racing Chevrolet Sonic, while P.J. Groenke, in the No. 25 Tech Sport Racing Verax.ca/Tundra/Clorox Pool & Spa/Cabano’s Comfort Food/Clairhaven, Ltd/Martinrea Intl Inc/Pelto Agri Investments/Ro-Ro Property Management Corp./Warp Speed Computers Inc. Chevrolet Sonic, moved into third from fourth on the opening lap.

By lap three the trio of leaders in TC separated themselves from the rest of the field, with Rivera leading Grahovec and Wittmer in a three-car train. Meanwhile, Vesko Kozarov, driving the No. 3 CA Sport Nissan/Nismo/Stance Nissan 370Z, had moved up to fourth in class ahead of Patrick Gallagher, driving the No. 54 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5.

A full-course caution came out at the 10-minute mark on lap four of the race with a report of cars off in turn five. As the safety car collected the field, it was Rivera leading Grahovec and Wittmer in TC. Gallagher was in fourth, with Shea Holbook, in the No. 67 Shea Racing BUBBABurger/LucasOil/KoniShockAbsorbers Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, rounding out the top five ahead of Dennis Hanratty, Jr., in the No 4 KRUGSPEED Racing/Beta Tools/OG Racing/Winmax Brakes Lotus Exige.

In TCA, Bickers led Powell with Elivan Goulart, in the No. 70, S.A.C. Racing/SCDA1.com Mazda MX-5 Cup, in third. In TCB, O’Gorman had regained the lead after a massive battle with Johnson and Groenke, while Noah Grey, in the No. 65 Hale Motorsports Solvang Brewing Co/Kelly Benefit Strategies/Foundation Fighting Blindness Mazda 2, ran in fourth place.

When the green flag flew to restart the race for lap seven, Rivera launched cleanly to hold down the race lead in TC, while Wittmer moved past Grahovec for second spot.

Bickers, meanwhile, continued to lead in TCA with Goulart moving up to second with Adams in third, while Powell dropped through the field and came into the pits. TCB action saw O’Gorman narrowly maintain his race lead ahead of Groenke and Johnson.

On lap nine, the action dialed up at the front of the field as Wittmer jumped into the lead and fought off challenges from both Grahovec and Rivera.

Bickers continued to pull a gap in TCA, three seconds up on Goulart, while in TCB, O’Gorman’s margin of lead was just .151 seconds before falling victim to Groenke, who passed him for the lead as the TCB field continued to fight it out.

A lap later, Grahovec got a taste of the lead in his BMW, pulling ahead of Rivera and Wittmer, while Gallagher looked on from 4.7 seconds away in fourth, and Holbrook completed the top five ahead of teammate Jason Fichter, in the No.7 Shea Racing Honda Accord V-6 Coupe.

TCA saw further changes too, with Adams passing Goulart for second, while O’Gorman had found his way back around Groenke in the TCB class.

On lap 11, Rivera took the lead back and pulled the largest gap of the TC race at that point over Wittmer and Grahovec.

With the white flag out, Rivera led by a handful of car lengths over Grahovec who had moved into second over Wittmer. Rivera would cross the stripe taking the victory with Grahovec in second, Wittmer in third, and Gallagher and Holbrook completing the top five. It is Rivera’s fourth consecutive Pirelli World Challenge TCA win at Road America.

In TCA, Bickers took his first career Pirelli World Challenge victory in a flag-to-flag effort over Goulart, who had re-gained second place, and Adams, who finished in third.

In TCB on the white flag lap, both Groenke and Johnson swept around the outside of turn 5 passing O’Gorman with Groenke moving into the lead. But both lost their momentum slightly and by turn 6, O’Gorman who had maintained speed jumped back into the lead. As they crossed the stripe, O’Gorman scored his first career Pirelli World Challenge win in a hard-fought battle over Groenke and Johnson.

Of note, Paul Whiting in the No. 51 PWR & LDL Sped Shop Honda Civic Si won the Optima Batteries Best Start Award for gaining four positions on the opening lap. Holbrook won the Cadillac ATS-V Best Move of the race for her pass for two positions through Turn 5. The VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger Award went to Max Fedler, in the No. 05 PLENCO, Molecule Summit of Everest Motorsports BMW M235i for gaining 10 positions during the race.

“I lost a friend here in 2009 and there is just something about this track now that is so special to me,” said Rivera. “Since then it’s been an emotional place for me. This is the one track where I go and shut everything else out. I just concentrate on roll in the speed in the corners. I love this track because everyone gets caught up in the idea that it’s a horsepower track and I think it is the exact opposite. I think it is a handling track. Realistically I’m out of
the championship with four DNFs in the last four races but this is what I love to do. And on Monday I have to get back to my day job. And the pressure is off and I am going to go out to have fun. Just take it one race at a time. I have a really close friend who taught me on a video game how to drive this way. We would go to Dave and Busters every Friday night and he would just kill me. He taught me slow hands and minimizing transitions. My team is just my wife and daughter and we have a great family weekend. We even have a camper this weekend.”

“I got a little bit of lead today and I didn’t have to fight with too many guys,” said Bickers. “I was just trying to make every lap consistent today. It was scary at the start because there was some light rain. And we don’t have rain tires. We would have had to run on slicks (tires) and we just aren’t prepared for that. I am glad that the weather held off and we could run in the dry today. I know how special it is to win here. Just yesterday, I was watching an on-board
camera with Nigel Mansell here back in the CART days in Champ Car. That is a cool video. It is worth checking out. It’s a fast track and very exciting to race here. So it is a nice win.”

“I had the Tech Sport teammates (Groenke and Johnson) working together against me today,” said O’Gorman. “I had to hold them off. I caught the traffic just at the right time to take that advantage over them. I’m an autocrosser and I used to say that nothing would give me the shakes like an autocross run. But I have the shakes today. I’m so happy for my first Pirelli World Challenge win. The win hasn’t sunk in yet. Last year here at Road America I shadowed a team to learn
about the Pirelli World Challenge. Now a year later, I won my first race here. It’s special to come back to Road America and win.”

Results are provisional until posted final. TC, TCA and TCB drivers and teams next take to the track for their second race (Round 8) of the weekend at 5:50 p.m. Central on Friday. Watch the race live at motortrendondemand.com and follow live timing and scoring at world-challenge.com. Watch extended coverage of races from Road America in an expanded format on CBS Sports Network Thursday, July 7 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Results from Round 7 TC/TCA/TCB of the Road America GP presented by Cadillac

Pos, Class pos, Class, Name, Hometown, Car, Laps completed

1. 1, TC, Tony Rivera, Vista CA, Nissan 370Z, 14

2. 2, TC, Toby Grahovec, Little Elm TX, BMW, 14
3. 3, TC, Nick Wittmer, Montreal Canada, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 14

4. 4, TC, Patrick Gallagher, Thornville OH, Mazda MX-5, 14

5. 5, TC, Shea Holbrook, Orlando FL, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 14

6. 6, TC, Steve Burns, San Antonio TX, Ford Mustang, 14

7. 7, TC, Jason Fichter, Jupiter FL, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 14

8. 8, TC, Andrew Rains, Birmingham AL, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 14

9. 9, TC, Max Fedler, Denver CO, BMW M235i, 14

10. 10, TC, Gino Carini, Milwaukee WI, BMW M235iR, 14

11. 11, TC, Vesko Kozarov, Salt Lake City UT, Nissan 370Z, 14

12. 12, TC, Paul Street, Anniston AL, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 14

13. 13, TC, Dennis Hanratty, Mechanicsburg PA, Lotus Exige, 14

14. 14, TC, Lara Tallman, Salt Lake City UT, Nissan 370Z, 14

15. 1, TCA, Joey Bickers, Moorpark CA, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 14

16. 2, TCA, Elivan Goulart, Shelton CT, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 14

17. 3, TCA, Sam Adams, Hubertus WI, Mazda MX-5, 14

18. 15, TC, Dinah Weisberg, Webster NY, Mazda MX-5, 14

19. 4, TCA, Matthew Fassnacht, Madison NJ, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 14

20. 5, TCA, Kevin Anderson, Huntington NY, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 14

21. 6, TCA, Paul Whiting, Las Vegas NV, Honda Civic SI, 14

22. 16, TC, Brian Lift, Crestwood IL, Porsche Cayman, 14

23. 7, TCA, Samantha Tan, Gormley Canada, Honda Civic SI, 14

24. 8, TCA, Spencer Patterson, Pittsburgh PA, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 14

25. 17, TC, Kevin Krauss, Fishers IN, Porsche Cayman, 14

26. 9, TCA, Jay Salinsky, Miami FL, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 13

27. 1, TCB, Tom O’Gorman, Mason OH, Honda Fit, 13

28. 2, TCB, P.J. Groenke, Richmond Hill ON, Chevrolet Sonic, 13

29. 3, TCB, Michael Johnson, Austin TX, Chevrolet Sonic, 13

30. 4, TCB, Noah Grey, Dana Point CA, Mazda 2, 13

31. 5, TCB, Ted Hough, Farmington MN, Mazda 2, 13

32. 6, TCB, Henry Morse, Redondo Beach CA, Mazda 2, 13

33. 7, TCB, Blake Thompson, Racine WI, Mazda 2, 13

34. 8, TCB, Travis Washay, Milford CT, MINI Cooper, 13

35. 9, TCB, Jasper Drengler, Shawano WI, Honda Fit, 13

36. 10, TCB, Patrick Wilmot, Roswell GA, MINI Cooper, 13

37. 11, TCB, Stephanie Anderson, Racine WI, Mazda 2, 13

38. 18, TC, Daniel Moen, Rindge NH, Mazda MX-5, 8

39. 10, TCA, Eric Powell, Orlando FL, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 8

40. 11, TCA, Kris Wright, Pittsburgh PA, Kia Forte Koup, 6

41. 19, TC, Steve Kohli, Iowa City IA, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 5

42. 20, TC, John A. Weisberg, Webster NY, Mazda MX-5, 4

43. 21, TC, Anthony Geraci, Glen Head NY, Mazda MX-5, 3

44. 22, TC, Randy Hale, Haddam CT, Mazda MX-5, 0

45. 12, TCA, Daniel Williams, Scottsbluff NE, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 0,

46. 13, TCB, James Wilson, Kyle TX, Mazda 2, 0

Round 8

Weather conditions for the second 40-minute
race saw cloudless skies and temperature reported at 80 degrees.



From the standing start, Rivera, in the No. 97 Brass Monkey Racing
Tiburon Motorsports Nissan 370Z, started from pole and went
side-by-side with TC points leader Toby Grahovec, in the No. 26 BMW
M235iR for Classic BMW Motorsports, for the opening two corners before
powering into the TC lead in turn three.



Behind them, Nick Wittmer, in the No. 91 Honda Ste-Rose Racing Honda
Accord V-6 Coupe, moved into third ahead of Patrick Gallagher, driving
the No. 54 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5.

Wittmer then dropped back on the opening lap, allowing Gallagher to
re-take third and Dennis Hanratty, Jr., in the No 4 KRUGSPEED
Racing/Beta Tools/OG Racing/Winmax Brakes Lotus Exige, was promoted to
fourth at the same time as Rivera ended the opening lap with a
four-car-length lead on Grahovec's BMW.



In addition, Shea Holbook, in the No. 67 Shea Racing
BUBBABurger/LucasOil/KoniShockAbsorbers Honda Accord V-6 Coupe got
around Kevin Krauss, in the No. 88 Outlier/Scion Group Alyses
Light.com Porsche Cayman for fifth place on lap two.



In TCA, pole-sitter Bickers, in the No. 49 Atlanta Motorsports Group
Mazda MX-5 Cup, launched cleaning into the lead from the standing
start while Eric Powell, in the No. 23 Tech Sport Racing Mazda MX-5
Cup, rocketed up to second from his fifth starting position. As they
crossed the stripe to complete their first four-mile lap of Road
America, Bickers led Powell with Elivan Goulart, in the No. 70, S.A.C.
Racing/SCDA1.com Mazda MX-5 Cup, in third place.



In TCB, pole-sitter Noah Grey, in the No. 65 Hale Motorsports Solvang
Brewing Co/Kelly Benefit Strategies/Foundation Fighting Blindness
Mazda 2, battled Michael Johnson, in the No. 24 Tech Sport Racing
Chevrolet Sonic, for the lead on lap one. As they came to the line to
complete the first lap, Johnson led over Grey and O'Gorman, in the No.
94 Black Armor Helmets TNIA Honda Fit, with P.J. Groenke, in the No.
25 Tech Sport Racing Verax.ca/Tundra/Clorox Pool & Spa/Cabano's
Comfort Food/Clairhaven, Ltd/Martinrea Intl Inc/Pelto Agri
Investments/Ro-Ro Property Management Corp./Warp Speed Computers Inc.
Chevrolet Sonic, in fourth.



On lap three, Grahovec passed Rivera for the race lead, with Rivera
then taking the lead back a few corners later in turn one.
In TCA, Bickers continued to lead Powell with Sam Adams, in the No. 48
Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX5, passing Goulart for third place.

Through lap four, Grey re-gained the TCB lead as O'Gorman passed
Johnson and closed in on Grey for the lead. Johnson ran in third, with
Groenke in fourth.



Lap six saw Wittmer nursing his car back to the pits missing a wheel,
while up front, Rivera continued to lead Grahovec by 0.5 seconds, with
Gallagher in third and Hanratty in fourth. Moving up to fifth was John
Weisberg, in the No. 5 BERG Racing Power Brake/REDCOM/Red Line
Oil/Powerflex/Mann's/Miller/MCS Mazda MX-5, passing Holbrook.



By lap six, Bickers' MX-5 began to emit wisps of smoke as Adams closed
on Powell in TCA and then passed him for second. Powell tried to
battle back running on the bumper of the No. 48.  Bickers continued to
build a lead as the race developed.
A lap later Grey had dropped off the pace and fell back to sixth in
TCB, while O'Gorman took over the lead ahead of Johnson and Groenke.
Ted Hough, in the No. 69 Breathless Racing Mazda 2, had moved into
fourth and Jasper Drengler, in the No. 01 Drengler Racing Chimney
Mechanix Honda Fit, in fifth.


In TC, Weisberg continued his progress, passing Hanratty for fourth on
lap seven, with Holbrook closely following in sixth place.
Holbrook then got around Hanratty in TC on lap eight for fifth place,
and Krauss closed on the fifth place battle between Holbrook and
Hanratty from seventh with Andrew Rains, in the No. 44 Rains Racing
National Bank of Commerce/PLK Investment Partners/Honda Motorsports
Alabama Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, following in eighth.



On lap 11 Race Control issued a full-course caution with Lara Tallman,
in the No. 34 CA Sport Nissan/Nismo/Stance Nissan 370Z, off in turn 12
with roughly 13 minutes remaining in the 40-minute race.

The green flag flew to restart the race with just under four minutes
left on the clock.

Rivera held the lead in TC with Grahovec in second
while cars fanned out and took evasive action deep in the field on the
frantic restart.

In TCA, Bickers launched cleanly into the lead with cars behind him
running three-wide on the exit of turn five and Goulart moving into
second after the three-wide moment with Adams and Powell going up the
hill toward the left that is Road America's turn six.



TCB saw O'Gorman maintain his race lead in hopes of a weekend sweep as
Hough moved into second ahead of Groenke in third and Johnson right
behind him.



At the checkered, Rivera's led was just .728 seconds, with the No. 97
driver sweeping the weekend with two wins in TC in two days, and his
fifth straight in TC at Road America dating back to the 2015 season.
Grahovec finished second in class after challenging Rivera on the last
lap. Weisberg passed Gallagher on the last lap to finish third by .236
seconds, with Gallagher in fourth, Hanratty in fifth and Holbrook in
sixth.



In TCA, Bickers swept the weekend taking the victory over
Championship-leading Goulart in second, Adams in third and Spencer
Patterson, in the No. 79 Patterson Racing Jim Locke Automotive Mazda
MX-5 Cup in fourth.

O'Gorman also swept the weekend in TCB with a five-car length win over
Hough in second and Groenke in third. Hough was the VP Racing Fuels
Hard Charger, advancing 14 positions during the race. James Wilson, in
the No. 55 Black Armor Helmets Mazda 2, won the Optima Batteries Best
Standing Start Award with a nine-place improvement on the opening lap.
Goulart took home the Cadillac ATS-V Best Move of the Race for his
pass on Adams in turn eight

With his second place
finish, Grahovec continues to lead the TC Driver’s Championship, while
Goulart continues to lead in TCA, and Groenke takes over the lead in
TCB.


Results from Round 8 TC/TCA/TCB of the Road America GP presented by Cadillac

Pos, Class pos, Class, Name, Hometown, Car, Laps completed

1, TC, Tony Rivera, Vista CA, Nissan 370Z, 15, Running
2. 2, TC, Toby Grahovec, Little Elm TX, BMW, 15, Running

3. 3, TC, John A. Weisberg, Webster NY, Mazda MX-5, 15, Running

4. 4, TC, Patrick Gallagher, Thornville OH, Mazda MX-5, 15, Running

5. 5, TC, Dennis Hanratty, Mechanicsburg PA, Lotus Exige, 15, Running

6. 6, TC, Shea Holbrook, Orlando FL, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 15, Running

7. 7, TC, Max Fedler, Denver CO, BMW M235i, 15, Running

8. 8, TC, Kevin Krauss, Fishers IN, Porsche Cayman, 15, Running

9. 9, TC, Steve Burns, San Antonio TX, Ford Mustang, 15, Running

10. 10, TC, Jason Fichter, Jupiter FL, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 15, Running

11. 11, TC, Andrew Rains, Birmingham AL, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 15, Running

12. 12, TC, Brian Lift, Crestwood IL, Porsche Cayman, 15, Running

13. 13, TC, Steve Kohli, Iowa City IA, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 15, Running
14. 14, TC, Gino Carini, Milwaukee WI, BMW M235iR, 15, Running

15. 1, TCA, Joey Bickers, Moorpark CA, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 15, Running

16. 2, TCA, Elivan Goulart, Shelton CT, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 15, Running

17. 3, TCA, Sam Adams, Hubertus WI, Mazda MX-5, 15, Running

18. 15, TC, Dinah Weisberg, Webster NY, Mazda MX-5, 15, Running

19. 4, TCA, Spencer Patterson, Pittsburgh PA, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 15, Running

20. 5, TCA, Matthew Fassnacht, Madison NJ, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 15, Running

21. 16, TC, Daniel Moen, Rindge NH, Mazda MX-5, 15, Running

22. 6, TCA, Jay Salinsky, Miami FL, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 15, Running

23. 7, TCA, Samantha Tan, Gormley ON, Honda Civic SI, 15, Running

24. 8, TCA, Kris Wright, Pittsburgh PA, Kia Forte Koup, 14, Running

25. 1, TCB, Tom O'Gorman, Mason OH, Honda Fit, 14, Running

26. 2, TCB, Ted Hough, Farmington MN, Mazda 2, 14, Running

27. 3, TCB, P.J. Groenke, Richmond Hill ON, Chevrolet Sonic, 14, Running

28. 4, TCB, Michael Johnson, Austin TX, Chevrolet Sonic, 14, Running

29. 5, TCB, Blake Thompson, Racine WI, Mazda 2, 14, Running

30. 6, TCB, Jasper Drengler, Shawano WI, Honda Fit, 14, Running

31. 7, TCB, Travis Washay, Milford CT, MINI Cooper, 14, Running

32. 8, TCB, James Wilson, Kyle TX, Mazda 2, 14, Running

33. 9, TCB, Henry Morse, Redondo Beach CA, Mazda 2, 14, Running

34. 10, TCB, Noah Grey, Dana Point CA, Mazda 2, 14, Running

35. 9, TCA, Eric Powell, Orlando FL, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 13, Running

36. 11, TCB, Patrick Wilmot, Roswell GA, MINI Cooper, 13, Running

37. 12, TCB, Stephanie Anderson, Racine WI, Mazda 2, 13, Running

38. 17, TC, Lara Tallman, Salt Lake City UT, Nissan 370Z, 9, Missed several laps 

39. 10, TCA, Kevin Anderson, Huntington NY, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 9, Missed several laps 

40. 18, TC, Nick Wittmer, Montreal Canada, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 9, Running

41. 19, TC, Paul Street, Anniston AL, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 8, Not Running

42. 20, TC, Randy Hale, Haddam CT, Mazda MX-5, 2, Not Running

43. 11, TCA, Tom Noble, St.Louis Park MN, Honda Civic SI, 0, Missed several laps

44. 12, TCA, Paul Whiting, Las Vegas NV, Honda Civic SI, 0, Missed several laps

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About this article

Series SRO America
Event Road America
Location Road America
Drivers Tony Rivera , Joey Bickers
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