The top seven cars in the Touring Car class were separated by just tenths of a second at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May. Michael Shawhan pulled off the TC win in his BMW E46 M3.

Michael Shawhan managed to pull out a win in the Touring Class of the United States Touring Car Championship by making a remarkable pass on the last lap at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. His teammate Matt Cresci led all laps in the Super Touring class while Daniel Akhromstev won the GT class, and Joshua Allan won the Sportsman class easily.

The Touring Car class was extremely competitive, with the top seven cars separated by a few tenths of a second. Because of that, the start would be vital, and Dave Brown used the all-wheel drive of the Hawk/CCI/Works Mitsubishi Lancer to leap-frog to the lead from his sixth-place starting position. Michael Shawhan gave chase in the BTM Motorwerks BMW 330i and it looked like the race would end that way until on the last lap when Shawhan managed to squeeze by the Mitsubishi. Finishing third was the MiniDeck Motorsports Mini Cooper S of Andy Chittum, who had a similar experience himself. Chittum found himself in fourth place for most of the race chasing the third-place Wheels Hyundai Genesis Coupe of Gary Sheehan. With one lap remaining he saw an opening going into the Corkscrew and he took it. The fight was not over and continued for several more turns until the Mini finally established itself in third place.

The Super Touring battle was not quite as cutthroat, with Matt Cresci filling in for Brad McClure in the BTM Motorwerks Porsche 911. Cresci qualified on pole and led every lap, but he was never able to relax because Doug Makishima’s SanDisk/MCS BMW M3 was always on his rear bumper. Makishima actually turned in a quicker lap time, but the pair were true gentlemen and had a clean fight. Makishima took the second-place finish as VJ Mirzayan’s Achilles Motorsports BMW M3, who had won in round one, finished third.

The GT class was dominated once again by Daniel Akhromstev’s Red Star Racing BMW M3, but this time he had to work for it. The Red Star Racing crew labored late into the night with radiator issues, but they managed to get the car repaired in time. They needed to make sure the car was quick because the BMW M3 of John Fredericks was always there waiting for his chance to pounce. Fredericks ended up finishing second while Felipe Loza’s Pepster’s Garage Chevrolet Camaro had a clean race and finished third.

The Sportsman class victory went to Joshua Allan in his Mother’s/RD Racing Mazda MX5 while Larry Bani finished second in the Wheels/UTI BMW M3. Valentin Ryabov finished third in the Red Star Racing BMW M3.



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