Gary Sheehan won the Touring Car class in the Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship while Daniel Akhromstev won the GT class at round two at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch just outside Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Touring Car class was very tight the entire weekend with the top five cars running within a second of each other in qualifying. The winner of round one, Jason Alexandridis, had problems in the first session with an overheating engine that took the team out of contention. With the Performance Technic BMW M3 out of the running, qualifying was now anyone’s to win. The top position went back and forth between several cars but in the end Mike Sekhon’s BTM Motorwerks BMW M3 set the quickest lap time.
As the green flag dropped, Gary Sheehan’s GoGoGear.com/UTI/Konig Wheels Hyundai Genesis Coupe launched hard at the start and took the lead. His lead was short lived as Sekhon made an inside pass on the first lap and put the BMW ahead and proceeded to click off some quick lap times to pull away from the Sheehan/Arsham Hyundai. As the race progressed, Sheehan tried to make a race of it, closing the gap to about one second at the finish, but ultimately ended up behind Sekhon. The battle for third place was between the Hawk Performance Mitsubishi Lancer of Mario Lento, the MBO Motorsports Honda Civic of Curt Simmons and the Sandisk/TNI Racing Mazdaspeed 3 of Doug Makishima. The trio were involved in a great battle and Makishima was the first to drop out, with mechanical issues.
Then it was Simmons who looked strong as he tried to close the gap to second place but the transmission in the Honda decided that it had had enough and the Civic ended up retiring early, which left a jubilant Lento on the podium. After the race, the BMW of Sekhon failed the post-race inspection and was classified as fourth place. So Sheehan/Arsham ended up with the win, scoring the first professional road race win for Hyundai in the United States. Lento finished second and Karl Chicca finished third in the Competition Clutch BMW M3.
In the GT class, Brad McClure’s BTM Motorwerks Porsche 911 was on pole and took over the early lead going into Turn 1. Unfortunately, McClure went wide at Turn 4, which allowed the entire GT field to go by. Refocused, McClure put his head down and went after it, finishing a terrific second place behind the very strong Red Star Racing BMW M3 of Daniel Akhromstev. Rounding out the top three was Andrie Hartanto in the Supertech/CT Engineering Honda S2000.
With a second-place finish, Mario Lento’s Hawk Performance Mitsubishi Lancer won the Plastex Top Rookie award. With a second- and a third-place finish in the Touring Car class, the Life’s Good Racing team of Mario Lento and Karl Chicca won the Cobra Top Team award, taking home a brand new Cobra radar detector.
Wine Country Motorsports
Doug Makishima won the Wine Country Motor Sports gift certificate by finishing in sixth place in his Mazdaspeed 3.
The winner in each class wins a new GoPro action camera. The lucky winners were the team of Sheehan/Arsham, the winner of the Touring class, and Daniel Akhromstev, the winner of the GT class.
Advanced Clutch Technology
Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) makes some of the best clutches in the business and the ACT award went to Doug Makishima who suffered mechanical problems in his Mazdaspeed 3. Makishima won a $500 gift certificate for his efforts.
Ray Piloto won the Airaid award winning a free Airaid air intake system of his choice for his efforts.
CRC products are the official chemicals of USTCC, and Mario Lento received a huge assortment pack of CRC products by winning the CRC Award.
Disc Brake Australia
DBA brake rotors are legendary for their kangaroo paw vents. Winning the DBA award was Karl Chicca, who, along with the award, received a set of the DBA high performance rotors.
The winner of the Sportsman class wins a free Iron X action camera at every USTCC race. Larry Bani was the winner of the Sportsman class and took home a beautiful Iron X action camera.
Rescue Tape is a revolutionary silicone repair tape that can save your race by fixing small leaks. Everyone needs to have one in their toolbox and the award this time went to Daniel Akhromstev.
Ironclad Performance Crew
The Ironclad Performance Crew award went to the TNI Racing team for their hard work to get the broken BMW to start the race and collect valuable points after a severe overheating issue destroyed the engine in Jason Alexandridis’ car. Valtierra earned a box full of Ironclad’s gloves for the team.
Le Mans Karting Seat Time Award
The Le Mans Karting Seat Time award went to Jason Alexandridis who finished in eighth place with his damaged car. Alexandridis now has a $100 certificate to go to the best indoor go karting facility in California.
Mothers Clean Car
The Mothers Clean Car award went to Brad McClure’s Porsche 911 with a beautiful wrap job. He earned a complete car cleaning kit full of Mothers products.
The Ooma Technology communications award went to Mike Sekhon who managed to win the TC class with great teamwork and communications. Sekhon won the Ooma Telo unit giving him unlimited free lifetime phone calls anywhere in the US.
Optima Battery Ultimate Power Source
The top three in Touring Car were Arsham/Sheehan in first place, Mario Lento in second place and Karl Chicca in third place. The top three in GT were Daniel Akhromstev in first place, Brad McClure in second place and Andrie Hartanto in third place. Each driver won a free Optima Battery for his hard work.
Perma-Cool Cool Move of the Race
The Perma-Cool Cool Move of the Race was won by Andrie Hartanto who stormed to the front with a fantastic drive with zero mistakes to finish third in a tough environment. Hartanto won a $200 gift certificate for his actions.
Many drivers wished that they had better lights on their car, and Daniel Akhromstev now has a set of PIAA’s LED lights that he can use at the next night race.
The Powerbuilt Tools award went to Karl Chicca who was having a great race until he was hit by a lapped car. Unfortunately, his race did not go as planned, but now he has a new Powerbuilt professional torque wrench to use at the next race.
The Race Ramps award is certainly one of the most popular awards that the drivers shoot for. Mario Lento raced a great race and survived after a lot of people tried to take the position away from him. He won a $300 certificate toward the purchase of a set of Race Ramps.
Sampson Racing Award
Sampson Racing Communications award went to Gary Sheehan, who finished first in the TC class in his Hyundai Genesis Coupe. He won a $100 gift certificate that the team can use for radio communications equipment.
Specialty Products Company
Gary Sheehan is an ex USTCC Champion who was coaxed to come out of retirement for another run at a USTCC championship. He now has a Fastrax camber and caster gauge to help them set up the chassis on their car.
Swift Spring Award
Curt Simmons did not have any complaints about the handling of his Honda Civic, but a set of free racing springs from Swift Springs will certainly help.
Whiteline Performance Suspension
Whiteline Performance makes some terrific suspension components and Jason Alexandridis earned a $300 gift certificate for Whiteline Suspension products to improve his chances at the next race.