Chio Wins a Nail Biter at Thunderhill
Patrick Chio made it two wins out of two at the final weekend of the 2017 United States Touring Car Championship at Thunderhill Raceway Park to leapfrog his way from fourth to second in the Drivers’ Championship. After a strong start, Gary Sheehan pulled away from the Touring Car field in his GoGoGear.com/Konig Wheels/Total Lubricants Hyundai Genesis. With two laps remaining, and a comfortable lead, a power steering failure would force Sheehan to slow down to ensure a finish but Chio in his Speed SF/iLap Timer/AutoLogic NIssan 350Z still had enough left in the car to push hard at the end and dramatically catch Sheehan right at the end. Although it wasn’t as close as Chio’s win last year at the season finale, Chio managed to repeat his double win from last year’s season finale at the same circuit once again. Michael Shawhan finished third in the BTM Motorwerks BMW 330i.
In the Sportsman class, it was once again a very close fight with Ben Ho’s Aodhan Wheels Honda Civic just edging out Thomas Pitre’s Darwin Machine Acura Integra. The two were side by side and rubbed doors as they came into the last corner. Ho had to make his car unusually wide coming on to the finish line to capture the win. Tom Milburn finished third in the Bay Area Drafting Acura RSX,
Ali Arsham won the GT class in the GoGoGear.com/Konig Wheels/Total Lubricants Hyundai Genesis with Karl Chicca’s Hawk/CCI/Sparta BMW M3 finishing second and Daniel Rose finished third in the Rose Construction BMW M3.
With two wins from Chio in the Touring Car class and two wins for George Kibilov/Mel Meladze in the Super Touring class, Team Speed SF was able to clinch the Cobra Electronics Top Team Championship over Team GoGoGear.com by 50 points in their first year in the competition.