• VGRT duo of Victor Gonzalez and Karl Wittmer claim exciting last-turn, last-lap TCR class victory in two-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge event
  • HART pairing of Chad Gilsinger and Steve Eich bring their Honda associate run and driven Honda home fifth


SEBRING, FL (March 17, 2022) – The Florida-based VGRT took their Honda Civic Type R TCR to a dramatic win Thursday at Sebring International Raceway, advancing from last in the starting field to claim the lead on the last lap of the two-hour race, then holding off a final turn challenge with a long, tire smoking power slide through the track’s famed Turn 17 “Sunset Bend”.


An electrical issue with a series-mandated sensor prevented Gonzalez from posting a qualifying time, so team owner/drive Gonzalez started last in the 15-car TCR field, but worked his way up into podium contention in his opening stint. 


With Wittmer at the wheel, the #99 VGRT Honda was running third when the green flag waved for the final time with just two laps remaining.  Taking advantage of contact between the two leaders in Turn 10, Wittmer took made the most of his opportunity to grab the lead, then held off a determined charge from Michael Lewis by less than two-tenths of a second at the checkers.


The #89 HART Honda Civic Type R TCR also advanced through the field from 10th on the grid in the hands of starting driver Steve Eich.  Closer Chad Gilsinger soon moved up to sixth, gaining one more position in the final 30 minutes to finish fifth.  Based in Marysville Ohio, the HART team is made up primarily of associates from Honda Manufacturing and Development.


Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR Race Results

  • 1st #99 Victor Gonzalez and Karl Wittmer, VGRT Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR
  • 5th #89 Chad Gilsinger, and Steve Eich, HART Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR


Victor Gonzalez (#77 VGMC Honda Civic Type R TCR) race winner, first win for VGMC in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition: “For us, it’s been a long road! We used last year to really learn. This series is the toughest TCR competition in North America, but we’ve got a good product. The Honda Civic Type R TCR worked perfectly in the race. We had a couple issues earlier in the weekend, but the HPD engineers—Adam Jones and Rob May—were there to help us. And all the guys on this team have been working hard. We just had that vibe this weekend that something good was going to happen. I’m proud of Ruben [Iglesias, VGRT partner], my wife who couldn’t be here this weekend, and Karl! Karl is part of the family now! From here on out, we just need to keep building up for the future.”

Karl Wittmer (#99 VGRT Honda Civic Type R TCR) race winner, first win for VGRT in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition: “It was an amazing day! Against all odds. We had some gremlins in practice and qualifying that we overcame as a team. VGRT and Honda Racing HPD have been incredible all weekend. The strategy gamble we took totally paid off and the car was really great on the restarts. We just put our head down and executed the best we could; we were communicating really well, the pit stop was good, and, wow, what a day. First IMSA win for this team, first IMSA win for the drivers, I’m so grateful. The last lap was pretty gnarly! I was sort of like the quarterback watching the two leaders battle and they got into each other and I pounced on the opportunity. From there, I just had to put my head down. Didn’t even look in my mirrors, just sent it in turn 17 and we won!”