Harper wins in GT while Makishima wins in Super Touring.
Sonoma, CA – After a long summer break, it was time for racing and the teams headed to Sonoma Raceway for battle. Rob Harper won the GT class in the BC Forged /AP Racing Chevrolet Corvette while Doug Makishima won the Super Touring class in the MCS/TNI Racing BMW M3. Gary Sheehan scored the victory in the GoGoGear.com/Konig Wheels Hyundai Genesis and Edgar Lau was first in the Ravenol BMW 330i.
Harper qualified on pole by only 1/10th of a second over the BAF Auto Body Jaguar XKR-S of Sam Stowell. The Corvette was quick but they had a deteriorating clutch that needed to be changed and the Life’s Good Racing crew changed the clutch overnight and were ready for the race. At the start Harper took the early lead but at Turn 6 went a bit wide and Stowell took over the lead. A few laps later it was Stowell who went off allowing Harper to seize the opportunity for an easy pass.
Makishima was relatively unchallenged as he took the lead a built a good gap over his closest rival. George Kibilov in the SGK Performance BMW M3. Kibilov put down some very quick laps but in the end had to settle for second place.
Sheehan really needed to secure a win to keep his championship hopes alive and starting in second place was not exactly what he wanted. Patrick Chio and Sheehan were tied in the points coming into the weekend but the final two races of the season are at Thunderhill, a track where Chio has been dominant. So Sheehan needed this to build up his points total. Sheehan got a terrific launch at the start and took over the lead with his teammate Art Nersisyan taking over the second place after Chio almost spun at Turn 6 on the first lap. Chio managed to keep the Speed SF Nissan 350Z under control but it allowed Nersisyan’s GoGoGear.com/Konig Wheels Hyundai Genesis Coupe to go by. Nersisyan held on to the second position but with seven laps to go the Hyundai went into limp mode. Chio went by and Nersisyan restarted the car but by that time it was too late. Sheehan took the win followed by Chio and Nersisyan.
The best battle on the track was in Sportsman where the points leader Nik Romano took the lead in his GKR Racing Lexus IS300. Romano had some mechanical issues and decided to slow down to save the engine which allowed Edgar Lau’s Ravenol BMW 330i to take the win. Behind him a fierce battle ensued with Michael McColligan’s Mazdatrix/Racing Beat Mazda RX8 taking the second podium spot. He was followed by Tom Milburn’s Bay Area Drafting Acura RSX.
The teams have one more weekend of racing left which could be the most difficult weekend of the year with a double header weekend at Thunderhill Raceway in November where the weather can prove to be a major factor.
You can watch the race in its entirety on NBC Sports BA in late October available on Comcast cable, AT&T Uverse, Dish Network or DirecTV.