Honda Touring Cars Take Victories in Virginia
• Ryan Eversley claims first Pirelli World Challenge victory for Honda Civic Type R
• Eversley continues season-long podium streak with second-place finish on Sunday
• Honda Civic Si driver Tom O’Gorman is first TCA driver to win multiple races in 2018
ALTON, Va. (April 29, 2018) – RealTime Racing driver Ryan Eversley etched his name in the Honda racing history books in style on Saturday at Virginia International Raceway, leading from start to finish to earn the first North American racing win for the Honda Civic Type R TCR. Eversley dominated the third round of the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car R championship, besting the field by more than 17 seconds to score his first victory of the year.
Meanwhile, Honda driver Tom O’Gorman continued his hot start in his RealTime Racing TCA Honda Civic Si, taking his second win of the year on Saturday, followed by a third-place run on Sunday.
Eversley took the Honda Civic Type R’s first pole in qualifying on Saturday, and used it to claim his first victory of the year in wire-to-wire fashion. Eversley kept the hard-charging Mark Wilkins at bay throughout the early part of the event, building a large lead that proved to be an insurmountable advantage on the rest of the field when Wilkins fell out. Meanwhile, 2017 World Challenge GTS Rookie of the Year Adam Merzon competed in his first front-wheel drive event and finished 12th in his debut with the Honda Civic Type R.
Eversley started second in Sunday’s second race of the weekend, but found himself fighting through the field after going off course on the first lap. The Georgia-born driver climbed back into contention and brought his Honda Civic Type R home second behind Wilkins, earning a podium berth for the fourth time in four races and taking the lead in the TCR drivers’ championship after four of 12 races. Continuing to improve in his RealTime Racing Civic Type R, Merzon gained three spots in Sunday’s event, placing 11th after starting 14th.
TCA and TC
In the TCA class, it was another Honda in Victory Lane on Saturday, as 2017 TCB class champion Tom O’Gorman claimed his second win of the PWC season in the Honda Civic Si. O’Gorman fought off Eric Powell’s Subaru BRZ tS to become the first driver in the class to earn multiple wins in 2018. O’Gorman capped the weekend by finishing third in Sunday’s event.
In Saturday’s opening race of the day, for the TC class, the Honda associate-led Team HMA entry of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama engineer Josh Foran persevered to a 10th-place finish in a Civic Type R. Foran followed that up with a run to 13th on Sunday.
Unlike the TCR Honda Civic Type R, where many racing components are incorporated with the production engine and chassis, World Challenge TC technical regulations require the car to be very close to the production version, with only minor safety and suspension changes allowed.
Video recaps from this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge races at the Virginia International Raceway are being posted on the “Honda Racing/HPD” YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found in the 2018 HPD Trackside Video Playlist at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.
Ryan Eversley (driver, #43 RealTime Racing Honda Civic Type R) 1st in TCR on Saturday (first victory for the new Honda Civic Type R); 2nd in Sunday race: “[Saturday] was a great day for Honda, RealTime Racing, and everybody involved with the TCR program. Today, our car won in America and another team won in Europe, so a great day for the Honda brand worldwide. I’m really happy with the car. The race was really clean, and the traffic was really good. Mark [Wilkins] and I were having a great battle. Hats off to him because every time we race, it’s always really clean and respectful, exactly what I expect from a top professional.
“All in all, we rebounded Sunday and fortunately, Michael Lewis had a mechanical issue that helped us get into second. I just put my head down and was trying to make the best of the traffic and catch Mark. This is the fourth podium in a row for us, so we’re pretty excited.”
Tom O’Gorman (driver, #94 RealTime Racing Honda Civic Si) 1st in TCA Saturday, 3rd on Sunday: [Following Saturday’s win] “I don’t know anybody that doesn’t like this track. Today was the perfect scenario from start to finish. I got a good enough start to get out into the lead and the TCR guys were battling enough to give me a little bit of a gap. We were maintaining for a long time, but as soon as the TCR guys start coming through, it’s way harder to get through when there are four in a row than when there’s one. I was lucky enough to be by myself and I was able to clear them.”