MINI USA’s official race team just came off of a dominant weekend in SRO TC America at Sonoma Raceway. Over the course of two races the MINI JCW race team scrapped for every position over every lap. While they didn’t come away with two wins the weekend was a massive success in regards to season points. Huge kudos to the team and owner Luis Perocarpi!
MINI USA and the MINI John Cooper Works Team once again displayed their dominance in the 2020 SRO TC America series by taking five podium spots during the weekend racing at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. This performance follows an outstanding race weekend at Virginia International Raceway in early July, where the team took home six podiums, including two wins by Mark Pombo and a 1 – 2 finish with teammate Tomas Mejia in Race 1 of the weekend.
The Sonoma weekend kicked off with series championship leader Tomas Mejia starting Race 1 on the pole position in the #60. Mejia held the lead against fierce competition until falling back to second place with less than 20 minutes to go in the race. Not far behind was teammate Mark Pombo in the #61 who took the second-place spot late in the race trying to catch the leader. Pombo finished second at the checkered flag just head of Mejia in third. Newcomer to the team, Clay Williams, finished fifth in his first race with the MINI John Cooper Works Team in the #62.
When the engines fired up for Race 2 on Saturday, both Pombo and Mejia came out swinging after falling just short of a 1 – 2 finish in Race 1. While Pombo dominated the race and took the checkered flag, Mejia fought aggressive competition for the second place spot all race and ultimately held on to the spot bringing home the 1 – 2 finish for the MINI John Cooper Works Team. Williams finished fifth again and also pulled in the team’s fifth podium of the weekend with a third-place finish in Race 3 on Sunday. Pombo and Mejia finished at the back of the field after suffering tire damage following contact early in the race.
“We fought hard this weekend and came home with five podiums so I could not be prouder of the team,” said Luis Perocarpi, team owner, LAP Motorsports. “We look forward to racing again in a few weeks and bringing that same energy to Road America.”
While there were no fans in attendance due to social distancing, all three races were streamed live at YouTube.com/GTWorld. In addition, MINI John Cooper Works Team owner Luis Perocarpi and drivers Mark Pombo and Tomas Mejia participated in live debriefings each session and also provide timing and scoring across MINI USA social media channels including Facebook and Instagram.
The MINI JCW Team had their usual fulltime race crew supported by two service technicians from the MINI dealers in the Western Region, both from Niello MINI in Sacramento. These are the same technicians that repair consumer MINIs and have proven time and again that their knowledge transfers to the racing world.
Following the season opener in Austin, the SRO TC America series took a break from the action to adhere to safety regulations put in place in response to the COVID19 pandemic. The series was forced to cancel two race weekends, one in St. Petersburg, Fla., and the other at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. The four races will be made up by adding a third race to four race weekends, including Virginia International Raceway last month, this past weekend at Sonoma Raceway, as well as Road America later this month and Watkins Glen International in September. The championship weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October will remain a two-race weekend.
The MINI John Cooper Works team won Manufacturers’ title and five total race victories during the successful debut season in TC America in 2019.