Mason Filippi does the double in TC America opener
Hyundai racer Mason Filippi saw off the challenge of Nate Vincent to secure a lights-to-flag win in the second TC America race of the weekend at the Circuit of the Americas.
Filippi had started the race from pole position at the wheel of his Veloster N TCR and got the jump on the pack behind going into turn one, with Vincent behind forced to defend from the fast-starting Alfa Romeo of James Walker.
As was the case in race one however, Walker was unable to make the move stick and instead dropped back a position as Michael Hurczyn swept through into third spot.
The top four looked set to break away from the pack behind after a clash between the two Audis of Christian Cole and Alain Lauziere delayed the field, but the race then went behind the Safety Car after one of the TCA class Mazdas went off heavily into the barriers.
An investigation into the start resulted in no penalty for Filippi, who then led the field away when the race got back underway on lap four.
As with the initial start, the top three quickly broke away, with Walker in the Alfa Romeo forced to defend hard to keep Michael McCann at bay before he suffered a spin that handed the TCR cup lead to Lauziere.
Unlike race one, where Filippi was able to ease away at the front, the TFB driver was unable to relax as Vicent kept himself within striking distance in the first of the two FCP Euro Volkswagens, with the maintaining a similar pace to edge away from Hurczyn in a lonely third.
Walker meanwhile found more pace in the Alfa Romeo as the race went on, which gave him the chance to edge clear of Lauziere in the fight for fourth; the Canadian comfortably clear of the rest of the TCR Cup class runners.
When the leaders then encountered traffic going into the final five minutes, Filippi saw a lead of just under two seconds slashed to half a second.
Vincent pushed hard at the wheel of the Golf, but Filippi had enough in hand to eek out more a lead as the clock counted down and eventually crossed the line just under two seconds clear to take a second win of the weekend.
Second for Vincent saw him go one better than in Saturday’s opening race, with Hurczyn just holding on to third ahead of a charging Walker, who closed to within half a second of the podium with a series of quick laps late on – including setting the fastest lap of the race in his Risi-run Alfa on the final lap.
Lauziere took TCR Cup honours for the second time in the weekend, with Bryan Putt and Nelson Chan rounding out the class podium in sixth and seventh overall.
Michael McCann, Harry Cheung and a recovering Cole rounded out the top ten.
The second round of the season takes place at St Petersburg next weekend.