AR-G Motorsports take three wins out of four and Harper gets his first win of the season.
Sonoma, CA –Round 6 of the United States Touring Car Championship was held at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma California. After a well-fought battle is was the AP Racing/BC Forged Red Panther Motorsport Chevy Corvette of Rob Harper who took the win in GT. In the Super Touring class, it was a hard-fought win by Doug Makishima’s AR-G Motorsports BMW M3 while Greg Evans brought home a win in the Rose Construction/Ravenol BMW M3. Edgar Lau started on pole and won the SP class in his Rose Construction/Ravenol BMW M3 as well.
In the biggest field of the season for the GT class, Rob Harper and his Red Panther Motorsport Chevy Corvette managed to hold off a faster Carl Rydquist in his PDG FFR GTM. The pair battled the entire race and come checkered flag could only be separated by a few seconds. The win was Harper’s first in USTCC and after the race, he said that he “owed the team a victory”. Ken Kurtz brought his Aquila CR1 home for his first podium of the season as well.
In the always exciting ST class, Doug Makishima’s MCS BMW M3 again found the better of the competition and managed to pull away for another win, his fifth this season alone. Larry Bani’s BMW M3 was yet again brought home in second place, but he lacked the speed to challenge Makishima. After yet another difficult weekend Reto Baumann’s VW Jetta managed a strong third place for his fourth podium this season.
The TC class saw newcomer Greg Evans’ BMW M3 get his inaugural victory in USTCC, the third different winner this season in the TC class. Evans was quick all weekend long and was able to put up a challenge to the points leader Gary Sheehan’s Hyundai Genesis. Sheehan was making set up changes all weekend long to try to find the pace to keep up with Evans, but he came up short. Sheehan’s teammate Art Nersisyan and his identical Hyundai Genesis also was no match for Evans this weekend but managed a strong third, ensuring another double podium for the Gogogear.com Racing team in the TC class.
The most exciting battle was undoubtedly in the SP class however, Edgar Lau’s ARG Motorsports BMW M3 managed yet another impressive victory despite battling overheating during the race. The closest battle on the track was just behind him between what seemed to be the entire field. After fantastic starts, it was the Gogogear.com Racing Team pair of Andy Chittum and Reza Arsham who found their Honda Civics running second and third after the opening lap. Following close behind was the eventual second-place finisher of Pete Bovenberg and his Honda Civic. After mechanical issues for both Chittum and Arsham Bovenberg then found himself defending from Andrew Gardner’s Lexus IS300. Gardner and Bovenberg swapped places and Gardner managed another strong podium finish in third place. Behind them, there were many other exciting battles between Sean Milburn’s Acura RSX, Michael McColligan’s Mazda RX8, and Ali Arsham’s BMW M3. Those three traded positions a few times and it was McColligan who managed to get the better of them to grab another solid fourth place position. However, after the conclusion of the race, Bovenberg was given a two-place penalty due to avoidable body contact and track limits, moving Gardner to second and McColligan up to third position.
Greg Evans won the Plastex Top Rookie award with a first place in TC. The AR-G Motorsport team won the Top Team award with a two first-place finishes finish.
The next race will be on a circuit that is very familiar to most of the drivers, Sonoma Raceway on October 26-27, 2019 giving the team seven weeks to make repairs and improvements Follow the action on Facebook and Instagram and be sure to watch the race exclusively broadcast on Final Drive TV on NBC Sports.