It was another race weekend for the teenage duo of Tyler Maxson and Tyler Gonzalez as they were back behind the wheel of the #27 Copeland Motorsports prepared Hyundai Veloster N TCR. Taking on the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, speed was once again apparent with a pole position effort in qualifying but bad luck returned once wheel-to-wheel action commenced.
Biding their time but showing pace in the two pre-race practice sessions, Maxson would take control of the wheel for qualifying and put it on the front row with a second-place effort, a mere 2/100’s from the top time of the session. Following post qualifying technical inspection, the Copeland Motorsports entry of Maxson and Gonzalez was elevated to the pole position, their second inside front row starting spot of the season.
With Maxson behind the wheel for the drop of the green flag, the teenager quickly jumped out to the lead and began to pull away from the field. Establishing a gap and looking to maintain control throughout the two-hour event, the Georgia resident was taken out by a GS car before returning to the pits for repairs. Falling a lap behind early in the race and before the mandatory driver change to Tyler Gonzalez, it looked as if victory was out of sight.
“We cut a tire down in the contact right after pit entrance and had to do a full lap with a flat,” explained Maxson. “Coming into the pits, the Copeland Motorsports crew changed tires and I drove all the way through the field from way back to catch the leader. A couple more corners and I would have gotten our lap back the hard way had the full course caution not come out, but because everyone pitted and we stayed out, we got our lap back.”
Driving a few more circuits before the driver change, the Maxson, Gonzalez and Copeland Motorsports pit stop was another fantastic one as Tyler Gonzalez would hop behind the wheel.
Maxson added, “We had a great driver change but unfortunately, damage from the initial contact would force our hand later in the race.”
With the Copeland Motorsports #27 entry running quicker than most in the field, Gonzalez would look to continue the team’s march forward before disaster would strike in the last thirty minutes.
“We had a rear suspension failure from the initial contact earlier in the race and were forced to retire the car,” added Gonzalez. “It is a shame as we proved to have the speed it takes to win here at Laguna. The crew did another amazing job and are pit stops were flawless once again.”
It is coast-to-coast for the next event in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge as Copeland Motorsports, Maxson and Gonzalez will shift their focus to the October 8-10 event at the Virginia International Raceway where they will look to get back on track and back to the podium.
For more information on Tyler Gonzalez, please search for him via his social media pages at ‘Tyler Gonzalez Racing’. For more information on Tyler Maxson, please search for him via his social media pages at ‘Tyler Maxson Racing’.
Photo Credit: IMSA