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It was another winning weekend for Tyler Gonzalez in the Toyota GR Cup North America program, this time at the 14-turn, 4.048-mile Road America. Claiming the victory on Saturday in dramatic fashion with a last-lap pass, the Copeland Motorsports driver drove through the field Sunday after a subpar qualifying effort saw him well down the running to add his second podium result of the weekend.

After Friday’s test and practice sessions, Saturday opened with qualifying where Gonzalez scored the fastest lap and accompanying pole position for the first wheel-to-wheel racing of the weekend. As the point leader and a driver hunting for the championship, Gonzalez would approach the race cautiously aggressive but as a racer, and when a win is on the line, the Copeland Motorsports driver proved his prowess.

Sitting in the second position entering the final lap, Gonzalez snookered his opponent into a slick over-under move at the exit of turn five and took the lead in turn six. A divebomb by his fellow competitor into turn eight forced Gonzalez wide as the pair ran side-by-side for the next couple of corners before Gonzalez eventually squeaked into the lead. Holding the point through the remainder of the lap and defending from the draft down the long front straightaway, Gonzalez took his fifth win of the season by the slimmest of margins.

“It was a great day today,” explained Gonzalez. “But we have another race tomorrow and it is important that we have a similar result.”

Returning to the track on Sunday for a repeat of Saturday’s festivities, qualifying in the morning would set the grid for the race in the afternoon. Looking to once again be at the pointy end of the field, a disappointing qualifying effort saw the current championship leader way down the running order 15th as he would start the second wheel-to-wheel race from inside row eight.

With the goal of limiting the damage in the championship points, Gonzalez drove like a man committed to earning the inaugural Toyota GR Cup North America title. Cautiously aggressive as he moved his way through the field, the young Floridian climbed his way into the top-five and then on to the podium. Aiming for another victory on the season, Gonzalez came home just short and in the second position adding valuable points to his 2023 total.

Gonzalez added, “I knew I could move forward, but was not looking for a podium. I just wanted to gain as many points as possible but to finish second is great, and a solid addition to my fifth win of the season yesterday. Over the course of the weekend, I was able to extend the point lead with four races remaining.”

With a few weeks off, Gonzalez and the rest of the Toyota GR Cup North America program will return to the track September 22-24 at the Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida.

For more information on Tyler Gonzalez, please search for him via his social media pages at ‘Tyler Gonzalez Racing’.

Photos: Halston Pitman – MotorSportMedia

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