TPC Racing Makes Six Podium Appearances on Friday at Sebring in IMSA Single-Make Championship Finale

SEBRING, Florida (November 14, 2020) – TPC Racing ended the 2020 IMSA single-make season on Friday with four races, six podium finishes, two Hard Charger awards and a runner-up finish in the final season-long championship standings in a busy day at Sebring International Raceway.
The IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and the IMSA Lamborghini Super Trofeo each ended their seasons with single-day doubleheaders, each running a morning and afternoon round on Friday the 13th.
Efrin Castro earned two podiums, including his sixth win of the season, and finished second in the driver’s championship as well as boosting TPC Racing to the same position in the team championship. Vernon McClure earned a Yokohama Hard Charger and a top-five finish, and Dan Hardee posted a strong run in race two after a setup change.
Though the team added a Lamborghini Super Trofeo program late in the season, the crew pulled off a heroic effort to get the No. 38 Lamborghini Sterling/TPC Racing Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO driven by Scott Schmidt and Trevor Andrusko on course for Friday’s races. An electrical issue plagued the car during qualifying, and the team crew and Lamborghini Squadra Corsa engineers worked to diagnose the issue. The TPC Racing crew was on site until four a.m. and returned at 7:30, finally firing up the No. 38 after finding and replacing a single crimped wire just 20 minutes into the first race.
The Lamborghini Sterling cars moved to the AM class for the first time, including the debut of Moritz Kranz co-driving with Tom Kerr in the No. 74 Lamborghini Sterling/GotVeins?.com Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA
Castro’s No. 65 Fine Fare Supermarkets Porsche 911 GT3 Cup started second in the Gold Cup and jumped quickly to the lead, holding the lead until the final lap despite challenges from polesitter Richard Edge throughout the race. Castro lost the lead in Turn 1 on the final lap, then made one last effort to score a win going side by side into Turn 10. Castro was unable to make the pass, but held on for second place in Gold Cup and turned the quickest lap of the race in 2:12.072 (101.944 mph).
McClure joined Castro in the podium celebration, earning the race’s Yokohama Hard Charger. Starting 15th on the grid, McClure made a pass in the No. 10 Main Street Homes Porsche 911 GT3 Cup for fifth in class with just six minutes to go, and then inherited an extra position for fourth when a car pulled to pit lane with just three minutes to go. More importantly, McClure’s quickest lap during the race puts him 11thoverall on the Race Two grid, and fifth in Platinum Cup Masters.
Castro’s season ended in the afternoon race the same way it began – with a win. Using the early race as motivation, Castro pulled away from the Gold Cup field and never looked back, leading the entire race distance. For good measure, Castro crossed the stripe just in front of Hardee’s Platinum Cup Masters No. 69 Vbar Live/TPC Racing Porsche, earning Castro the Yokohama Hard Charger as well as the win.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo
With repairs ongoing to Schmidt and Andrusko’s car at the start of the race, Moritz and Kerr appeared to have the best shot a class podium. Moritz began the race, marching as high as third overall during the pit stop window before handing the car over to Kerr. Kerr was able to bring the car home for his best career Lamborghini Super Trofeo finish, earning a second in the AM class and sharing the podium with his teammates.
The No. 38 car was ready to go at the start of the afternoon race, and neither Kerr nor Schmidt were able to run with the class leader. They were, however, locked in an intramural battle with each other until coming to pit lane for the mandatory stop.
With Andrusko now behind the wheel, the No. 38 car left pit lane first and held a 25 second lead on Kranz in the No. 74. Kranz used Andrusko as a carrot, slowly reeling him in over the final 25 minutes of the race. While Kranz was running lap times equivalent to the overall leaders, Andrusko wasn’t far behind and the team of Andrusko and Schmidt took their turn with a second-place finish, followed by Kerr and Kranz.
Harris Levitas, Director of Race Operations: “It all came down to one day here. The 38 car was fastest off the truck, but then had some electrical gremlins bite them. Fortunately, we were able to get the assistance from Lamborghini, Chris Ward and the whole Squadra Corsa team. That’s the best trackside service that we’ve ever received. To have guys stay here until 9:30 at night to give us tech support, and then after that, for Chris Ward to come back around midnight and open the truck to get the parts we needed to get the car on the grid today, that’s service above and beyond. I just can’t thank that group enough. Tom Kerr and Moritz Kranz came in together for the first time, and it was the first time Tom had ever done anything like that. We ended up second and third. To finish the year like that for the Lamborghini Sterling/TPC Racing team, it was incredible.
“In Porsche GT3 Cup, I’m incredibly proud of Efrin Castro and the performance he’s been able to put on this season. He’s a driver that has grown so much, to finish second in the championship and it come down to the last race of the year is just terrific. He’s done everything he could to get himself up there. I’m just ecstatic for Vernon. He did a terrific job. He had some great races out there. We were in a three-way battle for third, and I think some of the traffic held up Vernon a bit. He overcame a bit of that, but he had to miss most of the season this year with the revised schedule. He didn’t get to drive as much as he wanted and I’m so happy for how he handled himself. Dan made some big changes for race two today, and that helped him get more competitive. Overall, it was a challenging but really great event for TPC Racing.”
Efrin Castro, Driver, No. 65 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: “I’m very, very happy that everthing came out the way it did. I gave it a lot. We all put a lot of effort into it. It just comes down to when it’s for you, it’s for you, and when it’s not, it’s not. We had times when we took the lead in the championship, and then we lost it. Even at the end, we still had a chance until the last race. That’s how close it was. I’m very proud of what we have done as a team, I’m proud of myself, I’m proud of my family. I’m proud of everyone that helped contribute to a successful year. We did learn a lot. I feel like I learned the most I’ve ever progressed in any season of my life, not only on the race track, but outside.”
Moritz Kranz, Driver, No. 74 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO: “For me, it was the first time racing at Sebring and also the first time working with the Lambo. In the end, I think we’ll take a lot from the weekend. Now we know what direction to go with the car, and I also know how to help Tom and improve his performance. I think the weekend was very good to learn and to improve for next season. That was the goal and I think we met that goal. It was a good weekend.”
Trevor Andrusko, Driver, No. 38 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO: “We got here and practice one was good. We were fourth overall and first in class. So we ended the day on a high note and got here on day two and immediately started having electrical issues. The car was going into limp mode every corner and we weren’t able to qualify where we’d typically qualify because we couldn’t get any clean laps. I can’t thank Lamborghini enough. We wouldn’t have found the problems that we found without everyone’s help. It’s been one of those up and down weekends, for sure. Even when we got here this morning, we weren’t sure if we were going to be racing at all and we ended up with a double podium. It’s definitely a team effort this time, and every single person involved made it happen.”
Scott Schmidt, Driver, No. 38 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO: “On Wednesday, we were able to do some solid testing. On Thursday, the electrical problems started popping up. We worked on those gremlins into the night, and then into the morning. It still wasn’t fixed going into the race. We got it out 21 minutes behind the start and still got a podium and then did it again in this afternoon race. It was absolutely epic, epic weekend for the way it started on Thursday.”
Dan Hardee, Driver, No. 69 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: “There’s bumps, there’s rain, there’s tire degredation, there’s puddles, it’s hot. In the end, we changed the setup on race two and I was able to hang with everybody in the field. It really helped me turn in for all the corners, and it was really nice to be able to race with the whole pack and hang with everyone. Thanks to Vbar, Riverside Café, Student Wireless, Michelin Wiper blades and Method7 Eyewear, for their support.”

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