Corey Fergus scores PWC TC title. Photo: Pirelli World Challenge

MRLS Sunday: PWC Crowns Champions, MRTI Finishes Up

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MONTEREY, Calif. – We’ll split off separate Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and Pirelli World Challenge GT/GTA/GT Cup stories later, but we’ll put the rest of today’s action from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in one post.

The Pirelli World Challenge GTS and Touring Car (TC, TCA, TCB) classes have their races while the remaining two rungs of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, conclude their seasons after both their titles were decided on Saturday.

PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE TC/TCA/TCB RACE

Corey Fergus, Jason Wolfe and Johan Schwartz clinched the Touring Car, Touring Car A and Touring Car B-Spec titles in the 18th and final rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge TC season.

Fergus finished second to Ernie Francis Jr., his closest championship contender, in the final race of the year. Francis, in the Breathless Performance Mazda MX-5, actually won his fourth race of the year, which led Fergus by one (four-three), but Fergus’ consistency – 14 top-five finishes to Francis’ 11 – netted the series rookie the championship in the No. 00 Motorsports Promotions Porsche Cayman. Fergus finished second after Adam Poland and Vesko Kozarov collided at Turn 10, battling for second.

Wolfe clinched his second straight TCA title for Kinetic Motorsports, in the No. 36 Kia Forte Koup, during the race. The battle for the race win had featured Paul Holton and Tony Rivera, although Holton’s Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si and Rivera’s Scion FR-S Coupe collided on the run into Turn 5, for a heavy accident. Wolfe capitalized on their demise for the win, his eighth of the year.

Schwartz had the title sealed prior to Sunday’s final race in his No. 25 Tech Sport Racing Chevrolet Sonic but did not factor into the race win. Joey Jordan took his Mazda 2 to his third win of the weekend in as many races, and fourth overall in six starts this year.

PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE GTS RACE

The 50-minute GTS season finale was fairly uneventful, as Michael Cooper secured his second World Challenge championship (2012, Touring Car) and first in GTS. Cooper also won the third straight title for Blackdog Speed Shop, which won the last two GTS titles with Lawson Aschenbach.

There was a two-car accident on the standing start, with Mark Wilkins’ Kia Optima stalling and then being contacted by Freddie Hunt in his Maserati GranTurismo. It prompted a yellow flag for clean-up. On the restart, Kris Wilson passed polesitter Jack Baldwin and waltzed away from there en route to his fifth win of the season, a class high, for TRG-AMR in his Aston Martin Vantage.

Baldwin was second with Andrew Aquilante third, and short of the championship. Cooper finished 10th, same as his car number of his Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R.

MAZDA ROAD TO INDY – PRO MAZDA, USF2000 RACES

Garett Grist completed a weekend sweep in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires races, with a great start in his No. 5 Juncos Racing entry. It marks his third win of the season.

Newly crowned champion Santiago Urrutia was second, and Neil Alberico third.

More to follow…

Champion Marc Marquez leads MotoGP into virtual world Sunday

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During its layoff because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, MotoGP will become the latest racing series to enter the virtual world.

The MotoGP Virtual Race will be held at 9 a.m. ET Sunday, March 29 with 10 riders. It will be streamed on several platforms, including the Motorsports on NBC YouTube channel. Reigning series champion Marc Marquez is among the riders in the field.

The premier class of MotoGP has yet to hit the track this season as its opener was canceled and the next three races were postponed, including the Grand Prix of the Americas being moved from April 5 to Nov. 15.

Several other racing series have tried online racing in recent weeks.

IMSA held a “SuperSaturday at Sebring” March 21 in place of the postponed Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. NASCAR started its Pro Invitational Series last Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway and will continue Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. IndyCar kicked off its six-race IndyCar iRacing Challenge with a Saturday race at Watkins Glen International that was won by Sage Karam.