When I asked Nate Vincent, driver of our #72 GTI TCR, how he was doing this weekend, he summed it up in one word: "Busy." With two races on the same day at our home track, along with a picnic for our entire company, family, friends, and vendors—all happening at the same time—he couldn't have been more spot on.
One of our core values is "people before profits" and we truly take that to heart. Every year, we throw a company picnic where each employee can bring their families and friends along for a day of sunshine, free food, and fun activities. Last year, we kicked off our first year of professional motorsports with a picnic at Lime Rock Park, our home track in Lakeville, Connecticut.
This year, we wanted to do the same thing, but the stakes were entirely different—not only did we have two of our own VW GTI TCR race cars on track, but we had two of our own employees—Nate Vincent, Director of Motorsports, and Michael Hurcyzn, Marketing and Brand Director—driving them.
Beer, BBQ, cornhole, frisbee, bubbles for the kids (and the big kids, if you know what I mean), and more went on at "the hill", essentially the section of Lime Rock Park between the left-hander and no-name straight. But the real action was down in the paddock.
Did I mention we gave out over 4,000 T-shirts? And sunglasses? And hats? With a one-time-only run featuring our #71 and #72 GTI TCRs, and the infamous "Bull Ring" slogan coined by Lime Rock Park some time ago, these t-shirts were literally everywhere throughout the race track. It was nearly impossible to distinguish an FCP Euro employee from a non-FCP Euro employee since everyone was wearing our shirts.
We also had lanyards from our partners at Sachs Performance, stickers, tattoos and hats from our partners at LIQUI MOLY, and all the relevant OEM+ parts on display from our partners at 034Motorsport. We can't thank them enough for being part of the weekend and helping us give so much back to all the race fans in attendance this weekend.
As if all the aforementioned activities weren't enough, there was also the biggest race in the history of FCP Euro motorsports going on at the same time. Not only is Lime Rock Park our home track, and the one Michael and Nate are most familiar with, but it's the shortest—giving us the best chance to catch the speedy Hyundais and Hondas that have dominated the TCR class thus far this season.
40 minutes after the green flagged waved (by FCP Euro CEO Scott Drozd) for round five of the 2018 PWC championship, Hurcyzn finished 4th (!!) while Vincent finished 8th. "Fourth place is a win for us," said Hurczyn. "We beat all the cars that have the same performance as us, and considering what we were up against, we couldn't have done any better without Eversley's Honda Civic TCR or the Hyundai i30N TCRs crashing or breaking." We were all so stoked for nearly catching a podium, but more importantly, that both cars were brought back in one piece to compete in round six later in the afternoon.
With a standing start as opposed to a rolling start in round five, all eyes were on the start/finish line to see how quickly the boys could get up to speed and through the first corner to get ahead of the pack.
Both Hurczyn and Vincent got up to speed, but sadly their tires didn't follow suit. "I spun the wheels through fourth gear of the start and tried to pass on the outside to gain a position back but unfortunately the heat in the tires wasn't there for the speed I carried," added Hurczyn.
Luckily, he was able to hustle the car back on track and work his way through the field for an 8th place finish, while Nate Vincent came home in a strong 6th place.
"We got a lot of good exposure, and a lot of really good experience," explained Scott Drozd, CEO of FCP Euro. Rightfully so, considering half the track was sporting our swag by the end of the weekend. "We didn't make it onto the podium, but FCP Euro was represented as best we could at this event. We can walk away feeling very, very proud, and we can't wait to do it all over again."
The next race for the FCP Euro motorsports team is July 14th and 15th in Portland, Oregon. Don't forget to check race.fcpeuro.com for all motorsports related activity, and stay tuned for an upcoming episode of The Paddock that'll recap our weekend better than an article ever could.