Yoshihara Gains Valuable Points at 2023 TC America NOLA
ENEOS ambassador Dai Yoshihara competed in his second TC America competition, driving the Pit+Paddock / ENEOS Civic Type R TCX at NOLA Motorsports Park. He was eager to get back in the hunt for championship points after a challenging season opener at Sonoma.
Having never driven at the NOLA Motorsports Park in Louisiana before, Yoshihara’s only experience was via a racing sim — but he’s quick to learn and adapt, using his sim sessions to navigate the 2.75-mile circuit with focus and determination.
During Friday’s first practice session, Yoshihara clocked a 1:50.193 lap time in his ENEOS-protected Civic Type R, only 0.385sec behind Sonoma winner Kyle Loh.
Yoshihara was later able to shave two seconds off his morning session with a 1:48.661 before the session ended, and while Loh continued to be his closest rival, both their laps were deleted from the official time charts due to technical infractions.
Yoshihara continued to show strong form during qualifying, shaving another 0.5sec off his quickest Friday practice lap and becoming the first driver to set a lap in the 1:47 mark. But Loh’s pole position beat Dai by a mere 0.093sec.
During Race 1, Yoshihara battled closely with Loh, and although Loh crossed the finish line first, a technical inspection discovered his CTR wing angle wasn’t within the regulations, enabling faster straight-line speed; both drivers were also determined to have over-aggressive camber settings. With the tide shifting in Dai’s favor, Loh was disqualified overnight, promoting Yoshihara to P1.
In Race 2, Dai was quick away from the lights but Loh carved through traffic and found himself within two seconds of Yoshihara during the closing stages. What should’ve been a dramatic race to the finish was decided by a fuel pump failure for the Pit+Paddock Civic Type R TCX, knocking Yoshihara down to sixth place.
“There’s still lots of work to be done as the car experienced a fuel problem during the second race, causing me to come to a complete stop on my last lap,” said Yoshihara. “I’m bummed but still grateful for the improved results, and look forward to another chance at a podium at the COTA!”
NOLA RACE 1 RESULTS – TCX
|1||Kyle Loh||LA Honda World Racing Honda Civic Type R||1:48.430|
|2||Dai Yoshihara||VGRT Honda Civic Type R TCX||1:48.446|
|3||Colin Garrett||Rooster Hall Racing BMW M2 CS||1:50.461|
|4||Lucas Catania||Rigid Speed Company BMW M2 CS||1:50.299|
|5||Maddie Aust||Fast Track Racing BMW M2 CS||1:51.535|
|6||Joseph Catania||Rigid Speed Company BMW M2 CS||1:51.983|
NOLA RACE 2 RESULTS – TCX
|1||Kyle Loh||LA Honda World Racing Honda Civic Type R||1:48.455|
|2||Colin Garrett||Rooster Hall Racing BMW M2 CS||1:51.373|
|3||Lucas Catania||Rigid Speed Company BMW M2 CS||1:51.117|
|4||Adam Gleason||Fast Track Racing BMW M2 CS||1:51.484|
|5||Maddie Aust||Fast Track Racing BMW M2 CS||1:51.584|
|6||Dai Yoshihara||VGRT Honda Civic Type R||1:48.760|
2023 OVERALL STANDINGS – TCX
Photos: courtesy of Pit+Paddock
Dai Yoshihara heads to the Circuit of the Americas from May 19-21, 2023 for Rounds 5 and 6 of the TC America series.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Catch Dai’s vlog from Rounds 1 and 2 of the Sonoma season opener: