The inaugural Toyota GR Cup North America series took place at Sonoma Raceway this past weekend and Copeland Motorsports’ Tyler Gonzalez made history as not only the first winner in the new series but swept the competition, winning both races of the weekend. Leaving the Sonoma race weekend with a pole position and two wins, Gonzalez is the clear favorite for the championship as the young season is now underway.
“Man, this feels good,” explains Gonzalez after his first win. “Sonoma is a tough track, and it really is such an honor to claim the title of the first winner in the series, especially at a track like this. I came into this weekend with what I believe is the best team in the paddock, Copeland Motorsports, and we came out on top and proved it.”
Gonzalez also had his name written in the history books as the first pole position winner of the series. While Gonzalez led the full race all the way up to the checkered flag in his first Toyota GR Cup race of the weekend on Saturday, he started second in the Sunday race, only to push his way back up to the top and claim his second win in as many days.
“This is just amazing,” added Gonzalez as he stepped off the top of the podium. “We started in second this time around but were able to get back to the top spot and hold off all of the competition for another win. I can’t express enough how excited I am for the rest of the season. It’s looking to be a great year.”
While dominating the competition in the Toyota GR Cup, Gonzalez’s dual series running weekend got off to a rough start in the GT4 America series. After a significant crash in Thursday’s testing, the car had too much damage to start the race weekend. A full day later, and on Friday night, Copeland Motorsports was able to locate a car they could pilot during Saturday’s qualifying and race. Though it would be a tough feat, the team managed to work through the night setting the car up for competition Saturday morning. Behind on valuable track time, both Tyler Gonzalez and his GT4 America co-driver Tyler Maxson pulled out an impressive qualifying result of fifth for the start of race one.
“Our GT4 America weekend didn’t quite turn out how we would have hoped,” Gonzalez explained after not finishing on the podium in either race of the weekend. “The team gave us the best car they could with the time they had, and I’m grateful to them for all the hard work and long hours this weekend. The first race is always a learning process, and we’re just going to work hard to get better.”
Tyler will take a pause on his Toyota GR Cup winning streak and look to redeem himself in the GT4 America series in Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park at the end of April.
For more information on Tyler Gonzalez, please search for him via his social media pages at ‘Tyler Gonzalez Racing’.
Photo Credit: Halston Pitman – MotorSportMedia