Circuit of the Americas (COTA) was a very eventful weekend for Copeland Motorsports. Having drivers compete in both the Toyota GR Cup North America and Pirelli GT4 America programs, Copeland made it their goal to continue seeing podium results and did so in both race programs.
Leading up to race one for GR Cup, Drake Kemper scored the pole position starting the day off strong for Copeland Motorsports. Shortly after Tyler Maxson and Tyler Gonzalez claimed pole in their Supra GT4 Evo during the GT4 qualifying. Scoring two pole positions in two different classes is a feat, but Copeland Motorsports was looking for more.
“We are incredibly proud of the drivers and our team. They never give up and the results are telling,” explained Dean Copeland. “Claiming both pole positions heading into the first races of this weekend, we were determined to turn that speed into podium results once the wheel-to-wheel racing commenced.”
Tyler Gonzalez was not only racing the GT4 class, but he was also alongside Drake Kemper competing in the Toyota GR Cup events in car #57. He qualified 28th for Race One but as the checkered flag flew, he came home in second gaining 26 positions and earning both a podium result and the Hard Charger Award. Another step on the podium for Copeland Motorsports. Drake Kemper also fought at the front of the pack for the race, securing P4 at the end of the race to put a pair of Copeland Motorsports drivers in the top-five. Unfortunately, Paul Bocuse was unable to convert his P14 qualifying effort into a meaningful result as contact ended his race early.
It was time for Gonzalez to switch his mindset back to GT4 America and partner up with Tyler Maxson. With both Gonzalez and Maxson battling hard during the last event of the day, Copeland’s #74 GT4 entry secured a solid P5 to finish off Saturday.
Sunday was a quick day having three on-track times scheduled for the day between both the GR Cup and the GT4 America series. The GR Cup qualifying was the first time Copeland Motorsports drivers saw action on the day and after the timed session, the trio knew they would have to fight hard for race two to stand back on the podium.
As race two started running, Drake Kemper continued his presence near the front of the pack and came across the line in the first position, but due to a five-second time penalty, was classified fourth on the official results sheets. Meanwhile, during the same event, Tyler Gonzalez suffered from on-track contact with another driver causing damage to the suspension. Gonzalez took to the track and reminded everyone that he was not out of the running and was a favorite for the championship as despite the damage, secured another podium result for Copeland Motorsports. Bocuse, who returned to the track after a disappointing result Saturday, managed to finish inside the top-20 on Sunday as he continued to build his experience and race craft in the hopes to join Gonzalez and Keper at the front of the field as the season continues on.
Back in GT4 America, Tyler Maxson and Tyler Gonzalez teamed up again and continued to fight for their podium finish from the moment the green flag dropped till the checkered flag waved. Securing third in their class for the GT4 race was another podium result for Copeland Motorsports, Maxson, and Gonzalez as they gained valuable points to their championship total.
Photo Credit: Halston Pitman – MotorSportMedia