Johan Schwartz in the #80 Rooster Hall Racing M240i Racing secured the 2019 SRO Touring Car class drivers’ title on a rainy weekend at Road America. M240iRs swept the podium in both of the Touring Car races; James Clay won race one and Schwartz won race two.
Clay, racing one of his Copart/BimmerWorld team’s M240iRs for the first time this season, held off both Classic BMW’s Toby Grahovec and Schwartz for a win in the wet in race one. Schwartz’s third place finish was enough to secure the drivers’ championship.
The rain was coming down hard on Sunday for race two. Clay led from the pole, ahead of Grahovec and Schwartz. Schwartz got by Grahovec on lap one, and moved up to run side-by-side with Clay on lap two. The two racers made contact; Clay went off briefly, but returned to the track, and Schwartz held on to the lead. He was not penalized for the contact. Schwartz began to build his lead on lap three. Then, on lap four, a crash brought out a full-course yellow. Because of the time required for track repair and the intensifying rain, race control elected to checker the race early.
The TCR/TCA classes also ran two races in the rain at Road America; the Mini JCW team runs in TCA. Tomas Mejia in the #62 Mini JCW finished third in race won; the win went to Honda Civic Si racer Chris Haldeman. Mat Pombo in the #61 Mini won the class in race two, holding off Nick Wittmer in a Subaru BRZ and Haldeman.
The series finale for all SRO classes will be run at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 18–20.—Brian Morgan
[Photo courtesy BMW Motorsport.]