2019 was the thirtieth consecutive year for the World Challenge series. All Touring Car classes would now compete in the TC America championship.

As in the previous year, there were three Touring groups:

  • Touring Car (TC) – This class is for smaller sedans and sports cars which are allowed some performance modifications. These front or rear-wheel-drive vehicles may be powered by turbocharged or normally aspirated engines. Examples of cars competing in this category include: Honda Civic Type R, Nissan 370Z, BMW M235iR, BMW M240iR and Genesis Coupe.
  • Touring Car A (TCA) – Some of the cars competing in this class are the same as those found in Touring Car. What sets them apart is the minimum amount of modifications that can be made – most changes are to improve the safety of the vehicles. Using turbocharged or normally aspirated power plants, these cars produce between 160 and 185-horsepower.
  • Touring Car Race (TCR) – This is an international class which was first introduced in 2014 to address the expense of competing in the World Touring Car Championship. These production-based cars are powered by 2.0-liter turbocharged engines which produce approximately 300-horsepower. Examples of vehicles competing in this category include: Audi RS 3 LMS, Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, Honda Civic Type-R TCR, Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR and Hyundai Veloster N TCR. This category has been split into two groups – TCR and TCR Cup. The Cup division was added for gentleman and amateur drivers and cars equipped with a DSG transmission. TCR is for FIA rated Gold, Silver and Bronze drivers.

The TCR and TCA title chases kick off in March at Circuit of the Americas followed a week later by an event at St. Petersburg, Florida. The teams will not participate until late April at Virginia International Raceway. This will be followed by the west coast swing when race weekends will take place at Sonoma Raceway and Portland International Raceway. On the Labour Day weekend, drivers will compete at Watkins Glen International. The penultimate round will be held mid-September at Road America and the finale will take place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October.

TC competitors also begin their season at Circuit of the Americas but do not compete again until late April at Virginia International Raceway. The remainder of the schedule is the same as the TCR and TCA classes. Teams will travel to California and Oregon for races at Sonoma Raceway and Portland International Raceway. Then it is back to the east coast for a weekend at Watkins Glen International. The penultimate events will be at Road America with the championships concluding at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Rounds eleven and twelve of the 2019 Touring Car America Championship were held at Road America. Drivers would score points in two forty-minute races around the fourteen-turn 4.048-mile road course.

The first lap of round eleven for the Touring Car category and sixteen competitors enter Road America’s turn three. Leading the way is the pole-sitter, Jeff Ricca in the GenRacer prepared Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Trailing Ricca is the second-fastest qualifier, Joseph Federl driving the TechSport Racing Nissan 370Z. In the fifth position is the class point’s leader, Johan Schwartz in the No. 80 Rooster Hall Racing BMW M240iR.
Jeff Ricca won round two at Circuit of the Americas but a crash during qualifying at Virginia International Raceway left his Hyundai Genesis Coupe badly damaged. Ricca rejoined the series at Watkins Glen International where he earned a pair of sixth-place finishes. By Road America, Ricca was back up to speed and qualified on the pole for the weekend’s first race. He finished fourth on Saturday and fifth the following day.
Saturday’s contest provided some exciting racing. The last lap was a ‘shoot out’ between, James Clay, Toby Grahovec and Johan Schwartz with the pole-sitter, Jeff Ricca not too far behind. But, it was the fifth-fastest qualifier, Clay who grabbed the victory driving the BimmerWorld BMW M240iR. This was his first Touring Car start of the season and as luck would have it, Clay won his first Touring Car event at Road America in 2008.
On Saturday, Johan Schwartz added another championship to his racing resume. Schwartz was the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge B-Spec titleholder and claimed this year’s Touring Car championship. It has been a dominant season for the driver of the No. 80 BMW M240iR. Schwartz who entered the penultimate weekend with an eighty-six-point lead clinched the classes’ top honour with a third-place finish in Saturday’s contest.
To say that round twelve on Sunday was run under less than ideal conditions would be an understatement. Heavy rain required two pace laps which allowed competitors to familiarize themselves with the wet circuit. Leading the field into corner five on the opening lap is the pole-sitter and the winner of the weekend’s first race, James Clay. Challenging Clay for the position is John Schwartz and Toby Grahovec.
The 2016 Touring Car champion, Toby Grahovec entered the Road America event second in the standings even though he failed to score points in round four at Virginia International Raceway and didn’t participate at Watkin Glen International. In the first race of the weekend, Grahovec was gridded third and captured the runner-up position. On Sunday, the driver of the No. 26 Classic BMW M240iR finished third.
Joseph Federl opened the season at Circuit of the Americas with a fourth-place finish – his best result to date. Federl’s participation had been spotty – missing the events on the west coast – Sonoma Raceway and Portland International Raceway. He started the weekend at Road America by putting the No. 23 Nissan 370Z on the outside of the front row but finished tenth. The following day, Federl started and finished fourth.
A string of point-scoring finishes which included three podiums could be attributed to Robert Nimkoff’s third place in the driver’s championship. For Saturday’s contest at Road America, Nimkoff was gridded eighth in the Auto Technic Racing BMW M240iR and finished in the same position. In race two of the weekend, he started seventh and was sixth at the checkered flag. Nimkoff’s results allowed him to maintain third in the standings.

15TCJames ClayBimmerWorld Racing / BMW M240iR Cup14
23TCToby GrahovecClassic BMW / BMW M240iR Cup14
34TCJohan SchwartzRooster Hall Racing / BMW M240iR Cup14
41TCJeff RiccaGenRacer / Hyundai Genesis Coupe14
56TCChandler HullBimmerWorld Racing / BMW M240iR Cup14
610TCSteve StreimerRooster Hall Racing / BMW M240iR Cup14
77TCTom CapizziAutoTechnic Racing / BMW M240iR Cup14
88TCRobert NimkoffAutoTechnic Racing / BMW M240iR Cup14
911TCPeter AtwaterNULITE / BMW M240iR Cup14
102TCJoseph FederlTechSport Racing / Nissan 370Z14
1114TCJohn KerrNULITE / BMW M240iR Cup14
1216TCGreg NitzkowskiDynamic Racing Solutions / BMW M240iR Cup14
1312TCHanna ZellersDynamic Racing Solutions / BMW M240iR Cup14
NC15TCBreton WilliamsClassic BMW / BMW M240iR Cup7
NC9TCCameron EvansBimmerWorld Racing / BMW M240iR Cup0
NC13TCPaul TerryRearden Racing / Nissan 370Z0

13TCJohan SchwartzRooster Hall Racing / BMW M240iR Cup9
21TCJames ClayBimmerWorld Racing / BMW M240iR Cup9
32TCToby GrahovecClassic BMW / BMW M240iR Cup9
44TCJoseph FederlTechSport Racing / Nissan 370Z9
55TCJeff RiccaGenRacer / Hyundai Genesis Coupe9
67TCRobert NimkoffAutoTechnic Racing / BMW M240iR Cup9
78TCChandler HullBimmerWorld Racing / BMW M240iR Cup9
86TCSteve StreimerRooster Hall Racing / BMW M240iR Cup9
915TCCameron EvansBimmerWorld Racing / BMW M240iR Cup9
109TCPeter AtwaterNULITE / BMW M240iR Cup9
1110TCTom CapizziAutoTechnic Racing / BMW M240iR Cup9
1214TCBreton WilliamsClassic BMW / BMW M240iR Cup9
1313TCHanna ZellersDynamic Racing Solutions / BMW M240iR Cup9
1411TCJohn KerrNULITE / BMW M240iR Cup9
NC12TCGreg NitzkowskiDynamic Racing Solutions / BMW M240iR Cup3

Copyright Notice:
All content (photographs and text) appearing on this website are the exclusive property of © www.zoompics.com and are protected under International copyright laws. The subject matter on this website may not be reproduced, copied, stored or manipulated.

© Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019

Return to home page.