Sonoma Race Brings Familiar Track to Most Drivers in USTCC
Sonoma, CA. June 9, 2017. – Next week the drivers from the United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) will head to Sonoma, California for the big Northern California Grand Prix at Sonoma Raceway. The teams are looking forward to heading to what is the home track for most of them. The track is also very familiar for most of the drivers.
The previous race was held at Auto Club Speedway in the heart of Los Angeles. It is a track that half the field had never seen before. It is also a track that requires top end engine performance. In contrast, Sonoma is a track that rewards balance and perfect handling. At Sonoma, you can have tons of horsepower but if your car does not handle well, you will have little chance to succeed.
Prima Racing won the first race of the season with their Rota Wheels Honda S2000. They must be considered the favorite to win the Touring Car class at Sonoma with a car that has great handling and even better brakes. Andrie Hartanto will be piloting the car and he has years of experience driving at Sonoma and he feels confident that he can take the class win.
Michael Shawhan and Roger Eagleton are probably the other favorite to win the Touring Car class in their BTM Motorwerks BMW 330i. BMWs have traditionally done very well at Sonoma due to a very linear power band and balanced handling.
The Super Touring class is going to be a battle between the SGK Home Solutions BMW M3 of George Kibilov and the GoGoGear.com BMW M3 of Mike Sekhon. Kibilov dominated at Fontana but Sekhon was getting used to a car that he had not driven in three years and was getting quicker in each session. The team has been making improvements and hope to bring it to the finish line in first place.
The Sportsman class battle is a four way fight between Thomas Pitre’s GoGoGear.com Acura Integra, Bay Area Drafting’s Acura RSX driven by Tom Milburn, Michael McColligan’s Mazdatrix Mazda RX8 and Armen Rafaelian’s Red Star Racing Honda S2000. Trying to pick a winner out of this foursome is like trying to pick a card from a stack of cards. You don’t know what you are going to get. These drivers are usually separated by less than a second in every session and the winner will be determined by whoever can work their way through traffic best.
The big boys race in the GT class and the championship will be between the Champion Spark Plugs FFR GTM of Carl Rydquist and the Red Star Racing BMW M3 of Daniel Akhromtsev. Also look for the BAF Racing Sterling Foam Jaguar XKRS of Sam Stowell who is always quick.