Karl Wittmer From The Back Of The Field Wins TCR Class at Sebring On The Last Lap
UNEXPECTED VICTORY FOR THE NO. 99 VICTOR GONZALEZ RACING TEAM VGRT HONDA CIVIC FK7TCR
Most likely the victory was surely going to go to one go the Bryan Herta Autosport team as they occupied the first three positions on the grid.
At the green flag, Robert Wickens took the TCR lead holding off his opponents. In the first 10 minutes, a full course yellow neutralized the race for several minutes for the safety crew to clear the incident involving a couple of cars.
It was to be how the race would developed has several full course yellow meant the strategy was to play a key role in the race.
After one of those lengthy caution period, the no. 33 Bryan Herta Autosport w/ Curb Agajanian occupied first place on the restart. and that is when it all went south for the this team. As the field came around, the no. 33 was seen well behind limping its way back to the pits with what seemed to be a flat tire. Unfortunately, the damage seemed beyond repair to rejoin the race and the car was retired.
Then came the Cinderella story of the race with no. 99 Victor Gonzalez Racing Team with Karl Wittmer at the wheel. The team had barely run during the practice sessions and did not even set a time in qualifying. Having to start 15th and last in TCR, the way the race developed for them was just unbelievable. And to top it all, Karl Wittmer had yet to drive the car this weekend.
“We did not really run this weekend and we started the race in last place. (After all the cautions, NDLR) I don’t know how but we were shown all of a sudden in third place on the last restart. On the last lap, I was in third and the two cars in front took each other out of contention in corner 10 and I just drove by them to take first place. My hands hurt so much at the moment as this is my first time at Sebring and also first time I drive this car.”
In second place in the TCR class, no. 1 M. Lewis / T. Hagler Bryan Herta Autosport w/ Curb Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N TCR and third no. 17 C. Miller / M. Taylor Unitronic JDC-Miller MotorSports Audi RS3 LMS SEQ.
Winning the GS class was no. 40 J. Pesek / C. McCumbee PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4 followed by no. 7 A. Brynjolfsson / T. Hindman Volt Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 and third no. 14 A. Najri / A. Jakos Riley Motorsports Toyota Supra GT4.
Kyle Marcelli in the no. 3 JG Wentworth Racing by Infinity Autosport Toyota Supra GT4 was involved in a severe accident hitting a wall that brought the red flag as the ambulance made its way to the site. Kyle had to be taken to the track’s medical facility for further examination. The doctors later cleared him for the remainder of the weekend and was seen in the pit box of the no. 93 Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR Acura NSX GT3. It remains to be seen if he is to take part in the session or even the remainder of the weekend.
The damages on the car are beyond repairs as the car is deemed a total loss.
Race result here.
Image: Patrice Marchessault / PMstills Photography