Kenny Murillo claimed his fourth Pirelli World Challenge TCA win of the season as Mazda claims the Manufacturers Championship
Matthew Fassnacht claimed the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car A championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca over defending champion and S.A.C. Racing teammate Elivan Goulart. Both were in MX-5 Cup cars for most of the season after starting out in NC MX-5s.
In addition, Kenny Murillo took his fourth victory of 2017 despite competing in only half of the races. Murillo, 19, was awarded the TCA victory Saturday after the first on-track finisher failed post-race technical inspection.
Fassnacht opened the 2017 season with a pair of wins at VIRginia International Raceway, then scored five more podium finishes during the year. He finished fifth and fourth in the two races at Mazda Raceway, playing the points game in his quest for the championship.
“I don’t like to race this way, points racing,” Fassnacht admitted. “It’s not as fun. We did want to keep an eye on the championship, and I’m an analyst so I had a spreadsheet going into the weekend. Unfortunately for Elivan [Goulart], he hit the curb in Turn 6 and that changed the whole thing. At that point we knew the math for the number of cars, so we reduced the risk in the first race by letting people go by and managing the points. Again, not as fun as being able to go-go-go.
“But, hats off to Murillo for what he accomplished. This has been quite a ride for me. It’s only my second season racing professionally fulltime and I’ve had quite a few ups and downs. Elivan and I have a great relationship.”
Fassnacht was the 2016 Rookie of the Year in the TCA category. In addition to earning the Drivers Championship, he also helped S.A.C. Racing earn the Team Championship. And with 10 wins in 12 rounds, Mazda earned the Manufacturers Championship
Murillo joined the series mid-season in the Murillo Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup car and has made quite the impression. After his first race in Round 7 at Utah Motorsports Campus, he hasn’t finished off the podium as he prepares for a full season in 2018.