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Electrical issue derails Reza Arsham’s TC class debut

Willows, CA - After a successful third season in the USTCC-SP class, Reza Arsham made the step up to drive with his defending champion teammate Gary Sheehan for Racing in the Touring Car class.’s Hyundai Genesis Platform has won the TC class for four successive years. Reza spent much of the weekend developing his driving style to match the requirements of the car. After spending much of his time in lightweight, front wheel drive cars, Reza took some time to get comfortable in the rear wheel drive Genesis. However, he was able to find time each session and improve to within a few seconds of the provisional pole time set during Saturday’s qualifying session by ex-champion Dave Brown’s similarly prepared Red Panther Motorsport Hyundai Genesis Coupe. With his benchmark time of a 1:59.647 to beat, Reza put on his brand new set of Hankook slicks that he had saved for Sunday’s qualifying and went out to set a representative time. After a few laps behind traffic, he found his way into clean air and set off on his lap. “I had a predicted time of 1:58 on my dash that I had aborted at the final turn the lap before due to traffic so I know that I had a fast time in me, it was just putting it all together” said Arsham after qualifying. The lap that counted ended up being a 1:57.802, nearly two seconds faster than second place. The lap was also Arsham’s first time under two minutes at Thunderhill Raceway, a feat that can be a right of passage for many young drivers.

As the race crept up, Arsham’s spectacular qualifying meant he would start fourth overall. Despite carnage at the start for others, Arsham kept his nose clean and made a safe getaway from the line. Brown made an attempt at the inside into turn 1, but Reza held his ground and swept around the outside to maintain the lead. Only three laps into the race Brown was still following close behind when Arsham’s race was cut short. Heading down the main straight, the throttle pedal threw an error code and the electronic throttle failed, leaving Reza with no acceleration as he came to a slow halt after turn 1. Despite trying to restart the car, the error persisted and he was unable to rejoin the race. This meant that Arsham would only manage fourth place points and not have a chance to defend his lead. The charging newcomer to the TC class will have to wait until Round 2 at Sonoma to challenge for the victory. 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

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