Following the industry-wide pause in its racing schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TechSport Racing returned to competition as part of SRO TC America race weekend. There were three races this weekend which included one race to make up for the cancelled Lime Rock Park event in May.
Virginia International Raceway (VIR) was the site of the program’s first motorsports event in more than four months. The SRO weekend took place with all series participants supporting and adhering to strict local, state and federal guidelines on medical screening, social distancing and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). There were also no spectators at the event which limited the number pf people in attendance to just those required to run the event and teams.
Race 3 – Friday July 10
The first race of the weekend started under sunny skies. A single safety car was called on lap 2 of the race as the #28 TechSport Racing Subaru BRZ of Ben Bettenhausen slid off into the tires at Turn 1 after going wide on the turn, and was out of the race with some damage to his car. The race went back to green with 29 minutes remaining. From TechSport racing, #22 Joey Essma finished in 5th, and #25 PJ Groenke finished in 9th both in their Subaru BRZ’s. #24 Damon Surzyshyn had issues with his car in the opening laps, and DNF the race.
Race 4 – Saturday July 11
It was another sunny day and dry track conditions for the second race of the weekend. The race finished under a full course caution for an incident where Chandler Hull, who was running second in the TC division, crashed into the tires at The Snake.
For the TechSport racing team, they finished the race with #22 Joey Essma in 6th, #25 PJ Groenke in 7th, and #28 Ben Bettenhausen in 10th. The #24 engine was low on power and Damon Surzyshyn came into the pits after a few laps. Unfortunately, the issue could not be resolved.
After analyzing cloud point data after the race, a faulty sensor was found in his #24 Subaru BRZ. TechSport racing got permission from the series to swap out the car with another for the final race of the weekend the next day.
Race 5 – Sunday July 12
The third race of the weekend was a make up race for Lime Rock Park, which was cancelled in May. With 14 minutes left on the clock a full course caution was called as Caleb Bacon in the #18 CB Motorsports Hyundai Veloster Turbo would face a brake failure at turn 1 and end up in the tires. The race would end under caution, with #24 Damon Surzyshyn finishing his first race of the weekend in 9th with his replacement car. Team mates #28 Ben Bettenhausen finished in 8th, #22 Joey Essma finished in 11th, and #25 PJ Groenke finished in 12th.
TC America will return to action August 7th – 9th at Sonoma Raceway for rounds 6, 7, and 8 of the 2020 season.