Podium finish for Reza Arsham in season opener
Las Vegas, Nevada - After what has felt like a short offseason compared to the elongated offseason of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Reza Arsham of Gogogear.com Racing returned to the track in his familiar Honda Civic hatchback. Although the number has changed to a more familiar #32, the car has remained quite similar to the car that Arsham drove at the season finale in Sonoma.
Clearly the most eager of the drivers to get the season underway, Arsham was the first driver on track in the morning’s FP1 session. Leading the way onto a dusty track that was the site of Reza’s debut race two years ago, Arsham, still the youngest driver on the grid, reflected on the previous two seasons that have seen him come fourth twice in the driver’s championship, despite piloting 5 different cars.
Ultimately, as all the drivers got to grips with the track Arsham’s lack of straight-line speed became his downfall. Despite this Arsham pushed on and was only a few tenths from qualifying P3 and managed a fourth-place grid position. Arsham has always been one of the most consistent starters at the series’ patented standing starts and Saturday’s race was no exception. Despite being front-wheel drive, the Honda Civic was able to out launch teammate Charlie Frank and his The Speed Traveler BMW M3 and close the door by the first turn to take third place. From there, Arsham never looked back and was on the attack. The next target was Ken Kurtz’s Netapp.com Lexus IS300 in the touring car class. Arsham’s excellent warm-up lap meant that he and the car were ready to go at the drop of the green while Kurtz was still warming his tires in the early stages of the race. However, despite many attempts for a pass in the tighter sections that favored the nimble Honda, the Lexus’ power was too much and once Kurtz warmed up the racing he was able to pull away and leave Reza behind. From there, with no immediate threat from behind or target ahead, Arsham was left to run his own race. The final laps saw Arsham lift and coasting into corners to save fuel due to being slightly under-fueled for the race. Arsham’s tactics worked perfectly and he was able to manage the gap behind and finish on the podium for only his third podium in the series thus far.
Round 2 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana will prove to be a challenging race with the high top speeds for the underpowered Honda, but Arsham is targeting a mid-season power upgrade to compete with the front runners in the sportsman class.
GoGoGear.com Racing Team is a professional racing team that has been winning races since 1994 and has grown from one car to seven cars. The team has won dozens of championships since then in different classes and different cars. The team most recently won the driver’s championship in the United States Touring Car Championship in 2019 and placed second in the Team Championship. The team does more than just win races though. The team has built some awesome project cars, including ones for the SEMA show for major manufacturers including General Motors, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota and Kia.
USTCC is a professional road racing series comprising of late model sport compact sedans such as BMW 3 series, Mazdaspeed 3, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche 911, Audi R8, Ford Mustang, Honda Civic and others. The cars use slightly modified engines and highly modified suspensions with aerodynamic ground effects and sticky Hankook slick race tires. The races can be seen exclusively on Final Drive TV available on NBC Sports on Xfinity cable, Dish Network, DirecTV and AT&T U-verse. For more information on USTCC, visit www.ustcc.com.