Opening TC Victory for Kozarov at Miller

by Jake Kilshaw

Round 13 of the Pirelli World Challenge Championships‘ TC/TCA/TCB classes took place at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah on Friday.

Vesko Kozarov scored his fifth win of the season and third consecutive victory, whilst Jason Wolfe and Glenn Nixon won the opening TCA and TCB round respectively.

Touring Car

Alex Welch momentarily took the lead from the start, but soon lost out to Corey Fergus, whose Porsche Cayman benefitted from starting on the outside of the front row. Kozarov had set the fastest time in qualifying but had to start seventh following a penalty from last weekend’s races. By the halfway point of the first lap, he was up to third.

Kozarov moved into the lead on lap 5, pushing Fergus back to second. He soon made a large gap over Fergus, who was simultaneously passed by Ernie Francis Jr., Alex Welch and later John Weisberg.

At the chequered flag, Francis Jr. had closed the lead gap down to 0.411 seconds, but it wasn’t enough, and Vesko Kozarov took the victory.

Alex Welch, John Weisberg and Corey Fergus completed the top five. Meanwhile, Adam Poland‘s bad luck continued, retiring after just one lap.

“It was a pretty run today and Ernie (Francis Jr.) was really coming back strong at the end,” said Kozarov. “We expected the tire degradation with the front wheel car.  But it was good race and I had come through some traffic early on the start.  But it went pretty clean. 

“We don’t have that much straightaway speed, so the key to get away at the start if possible. We’ll be tuned up Saturday for the standing start now.  We’ll make it happen.”

Touring Car A

Polesitter Jason Wolfe assumed the lead at turn one over Patrick Seguin. Wolfe’s team-mate Kris Wright moved into third from seventh on the grid.

Wolfe and Seguin continued to increase their respective gaps, but Tony Rivera took advantage of Wright on lap six to take the final podium position, a move that was later reversed.

The Kia Forte Koup of Wolfe was never challenged for the lead and so he took a decisive victory 3.2 seconds clear of Seguin, who was in turn 30 seconds ahead of Wright.

Touring Car B

Glenn Nixon wasn’t challenged off the line, with Andrei Kisel and Johan Schwartz instead battling for second position, and the latter eventually passing the Mini Cooper on lap 2.

Mid-race, Schwartz made the pass on Nixon for the lead but his Chevrolet Sonic suffered from a mechanical issue, dropping him back through the pack. Nixon regained the lead and Van Svenson took second ahead of Wei Lu.

These positions remained static until the finish line, with a narrow 0.372 second victory for Schwartz.

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