- Brian Henderson, Robert Noaker start from second row, leads in first half of race
- Atlanta Speedwerks crew works overnight to prepare replacement #94 chassis; rewarded with eighth-place result for Scott Smithson and Ryan Eversley
- VGMC falls victim to heat, steering issue in two-hour event
Winners of the last race in Watkins Glen, the #84 Atlanta Speedwerks team of Robert Noaker and Brian Henderson once again led the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge charge for Honda at Lime Rock Park.
Henderson qualified third in his Honda Civic Type R TCR and led for 30 laps during the first half of the two-hour race. The team made a bold strategy call, leaving Henderson out longer than the other front-runners before making their scheduled pit stop and driver change.
Unfortunately for the team, the gamble did not pay off, and Henderson fell back as the tires began to degrade. He eventually brought the #84 down pit lane and handed over to co-driver Noaker who would finish sixth.
The sister Atlanta Speedwerks #94 Honda Civic Type R TCR of Ryan Eversley and Scott Smithson had a fraught weekend, with the team working overnight to build up a spare chassis for the race following a crash in the second practice.
Starting from the pit lane, and incurring a drive-through penalty for their pit lane start, Smithson and Eversley raced from the very back of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge field to finish eighth at the flag. The Herculean effort by the team enabled Eversley to maintain his second-place position in the championship point standings.
The VGMC Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR was one of several cars during the event that fell victim to the heat and attrition on a 90-plus degree day in Connecticut. After a strong start by Victor Gonzales, a power steering failure late in the race for co-driver Karl Wittmer made driving the #88 too strenuous in the afternoon heat and humidity.
Lime Rock Park 120 Honda TCR Race Results
- 6th - #84 Robert Noaker and Brian Henderson, Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic Type R TCR
- 8th - #94 Ryan Eversley and Todd Lamb, Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic Type R TCR
- 9th - #88 Victor Gonzalez and Karl Wittmer, VGMC Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR – Not running
- Brian Henderson (#84 Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic Type R TCR), started third, finished sixth: “All things considered, sixth place is okay, we’re pretty happy. We’re trying to keep that momentum from Watkins Glen, where we got those pair of wins. The beginning of the race went pretty well, we were able to take the lead and stay out front for a while. With the added weight [through a Balance of Performance change following Watkins Glen], we definitely encountered tire wear on the left front during the race, that got the best of us. But we’ll rally for the next one at Road America.”
- Ryan Eversley (#94 Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic Type R TCR), started from pit lane, finished eighth: “I mean, we got a top-10, so I’m happy about that. Unfortunately, the #77 [championship rivals Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis] won, so now we’re really going to be scrapping for the championship. But we wouldn’t even have been out there today without the incredibly hard work, an all-nighter, really, from the Atlanta Speedwerks guys. To be able to come back with a top-10 with a spare car built up overnight—that never saw the setup pad—I was really happy with the pace we had today. As always, thanks to Honda and HPD for their support.”
The MICHELIN Pilot Challenge heads to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin to contest the Road America 120 on August 6-7.
HPD has three ready-to-race Civic models for touring car competition. The line starts with the affordable and reliable Civic Si TCA race car, then leads to the Civic Type R TC racer that puts legendary Type R performance on track, and culminates with the no-compromise, championship-winning Civic Type R TCR race car. Our unparalleled trackside support at every level from HPD engineers is a unique benefit that no other manufacturer can offer. Find out more about these cars and our touring programs at: https://hpd.honda.com/Motorsports/Touring
Honda Racing social media content and videos from this weekend’s race at Lime Rock Park are available on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and on Twitter at (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD). Produced by CoForce Digital Media, YouTube video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.
# # #