TC America Preview

The SRO’s TC America Series gets underway at Circuit of the Americas this weekend with several Mazda racers in TCA

The series that was once known as World Challenge Touring Car has a new name – TC Americas. But the TCA class that has been a playground for the Miata since its beginning will continue to be so, with both ND1 and ND2 Mazda MX-5 Cup cars leading the charge.

This year’s crop of eager TCA racers includes Jenny Gannett, Jose DaSilva, Dinah Weisberg and Tyler Maxson. And the series gets its season started at Circuit of the Americas this weekend.

Gannett won the 2018 Rookie of the Year award in the TCA class, and for 2018 has upgraded the MX-5 Cup car fielded by Ian Lacy Racing to ND2 specs. Her rookie year was met with some challenges, but as the season progressed she made good progress toward the front, barely missing the podium during her home race in Utah and then wrapping the season with a top-10 finish in the points. Jose daSilva ran only a partial season in 2018 but scored some solid finishes in the season-ender at Watkins Glen International with Ives Motorsports.

Copeland Motorsports brings two new faces to the class, Tyler Maxson and Dinah Weisberg. Weisberg is no stranger to World Challenge, having competed in the Touring Car class in an NC MX-5 alongside her husband, John. The CEO of REDCOM Laboratories, her experience includes SCCA club racing, SVRA, IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and Grand-Am.

“Dinah has years’ worth of experience and is a great addition to our team,” says Copeland Motorsports’ Dean Copeland. “She is very talented behind the wheel of a race car and will be a great team driver alongside Tyler Maxson in the TCA class.”

Maxson is a newcomer to the series, but having competed in karting, Spec Miata and most recently SCCA Touring 3 in a Mazda MX-5 Cup car, Maxson will certainly be a contender for the rookie of the year title.

Mazda racers have won several Touring Car and TCA championships in the last few years, including Patrick Gallagher in TC as well as Elivan Goulart and Matthew Fassnacht in TCA. This year, both the ND1 and ND2 Mazda MX-5 Cup cars are eligible for TCA, although until the performance parameters compared to the other cars in the class are deduced, the intention of the series is to run the ND2 at ND1 performance levels.

While there is currently no Mazda representation in the Touring Car category, there is a rumor that a new Mazda3 may make an appearance by mid-season. After COTA, the Touring Cars will compete at VIRginia International Raceway, Sonoma Raceway, Portland, Watkins Glen, and Road America, with the grand finale race at a track to be named later.