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Dai Puts Points on the Board Amidst an Incident Ridden VIR Weekend
BY Mike Maravilla //
June 19, 2023
Photography: Chris Green
  • One of the first permanent road racing circuits in the United States, VIRginia International Raceway’s (VIR) signature 3.27-mile layout is extremely challenging, even for experienced racers.
  • The TCX field is still heavily dominated by BMW’s M2 CS Cup cars, but VIR marked the arrival of another direct Honda competitor: Christopher DeFreitas in the Ian Lacy Racing Honda Civic Type R TCX.
  • Despite incidents all around, Dai scored crucial points for his inaugural TC America effort, which should build his confidence for the next rounds.
  • Rounds 9 and 10 swing to another iconic circuit: Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) is known to be a driver favorite, but only because it rarely allows its visitors to get it right. It’s a track that is defined by its challenges; narrow passages make the elevation changes, high-speed uphill esses, and off-camber corners much more demanding. Indeed, between the ambient temperature and the circuit’s inherent difficulty, there was bound to be drama when the lights turned green.

As with so many tracks on the TC America calendar, this weekend was Dai Yoshihara’s first drive at VIR. Friday’s track walk with the Victor Gonzalez Racing Team (VGRT) was especially crucial, allowing Dai the opportunity to examine every perceivable opportunity (or warning) with a close eye.


Dai’s longer, 14-lap stint in the second Friday practice session proved helpful and put him in front of his TCX Honda foes. This momentum would carry forward into Saturday’s crucial qualifying where Dai Yoshihara, in the Pit+Paddock Civic Type R TCX, muscled his way up to an impressive fourth, while William Tally, driving the No.73 LA Honda World Racing car, had to settle for sixth amongst a swarm of fast BMW M2 CS Cup cars. A newcomer to the TCX entry list, Christopher DeFreitas in the Ian Lacy Racing Honda Civic Type-R TCX sat further back in eighth during second practice and failed to set a qualifying time ahead of the first race.


  • Dai Yoshihara, Honda Civic Type-R TCX: 2:00.372 (4th)
  • William Tally, Honda Civic Type-R TCX: 2:01.215 (7th)
  • Christopher DeFreitas, Honda Civic Type-R TCX: No Time Set


It was clear that VIR was well-suited to the M2CS Cup car’s powertrain layout all weekend. Nevertheless, Dai was able to keep them honest in the first race, ready to pounce at any opportunity. Indeed, after a late race incident between Colin Garrett and Lucas Catania further up the field, Dai was there to scoop up some extra points — ahead of his two Honda rivals to boot.

The second race on Sunday proved to be a tight contest — the top seven in TCX were only separated by 0.5 seconds at the finish but the Hondas were unable to make a collective impression on the BMWs up front. The trio looked keen to swap paint as the front-runners worked their way through the TC and TCA traffic. Nevertheless, Dai was there at the end to collect points. The BMWs looked comfortable with their machinery, but crucially, they’ve had all eight rounds to get acclimated to the car they started the season with — the Hondas’ BOP penalty at the last two races meant a massive recalibration was in order. All that said and done, Dai’s result is another testament to how quickly he’s been able to cope with change.


The next round sends the TC America championship to the Midwest as they’ll do battle at Road America, a 4.048-mile, 14-turn configuration that hosts other professional series like IMSA, IndyCar, NASCAR, and GT World Challenge. Compared to VIR, Road America is longer, wider, and faster, but carries a bit more rhythm. We should see the field carry impressive speeds despite blind corners and a series of elevation changes. The infamous Kink always provides a technical challenge, as does the Turn 6-7 combination at the top of the hill. Nevertheless, this result at VIR is a good foundation to build upon as Dai seeks to make a bigger impression on the leaderboard. Game on in just under 60 days.

Thank you to our esteemed partners for supporting Dai Yoshihara’s inaugural campaign in TC America: Pit+Paddock, ARP, ENEOS, ACT, Turn 14 Distribution, Aeromotive, CSF, Fluidampr, MBRP, Powerstop, and Whiteline.





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