Fiery end to the Roval at Fontana for Arsham’s Civic
Fontana, CA - Two weeks on from the twisty and flat road course in Las Vegas, the second round of the USTCC season took the drivers to a completely different challenge, a fast-paced Roaval circuit at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
For Reza Arsham’s Konig Wheels Gogogear.com Honda Civic, this circuit is exactly the opposite of what the car enjoys. The underpowered B18C5 powered Civic struggled to keep up with the high top speeds of the other higher horsepower cars in Sportsman. Topping out at 120 mph compared to some other competitors’ 130mph, the Civic was losing too much time on the oval to make it up on the infield section. It cannot be said, however, that Reza was not driving the car hard enough. After the running on Saturday, the team discovered a cracked engine mount that had to be welded back together using a Miller welder. After missing the Sunday morning practice due to welding, Reza was determined to get one last session before the race to try and claw back some of the lost time. Reza found an additional six-tenths in the practice session on older tires by going flat out on the banked oval and working on braking points for the tight corners. Data analysis showed that if Reza could have gotten in the draft of the other Sportsman competitors, he might mitigate some of the lost time on the oval. However, before the session could come to a close, Reza was chased down by a safety truck and ordered to stop by a marshall with a red flag. A common issue on some older Honda Civics, one of the fuel tank straps had failed, and the fuel tank was dragging on the floor. The 100 octane fuel was quickly ignited, and Reza was leaving a trail of fire behind him. Reza quickly got out of the vehicle, and fire marshalls had the fire put out in less than a few minutes. To many, a broken engine mount and a car fire would have been enough to deter them from running the race, but the Gogogear.com Racing Team had other ideas. Upon further inspection, the damage was contained to the fuel tank, and the underside of the car was not too badly damaged. A new fuel tank and Reza could be back in the race. Unfortunately, the closest junkyards drill holes in their fuel tanks to drain them, so the team could not source one in time for the race. Reza and the Gogogear.com team hope to have the car ready for Round three at Sonoma in a month. “The underpowered Honda Civic also has some substantial power upgrades coming in the near future that will transform the car into a race winner,” said Reza when asked about plans for the hatchback.