IndyCar Weekend at Laguna Seca Draws Huge Field
The United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) drivers and teams were at Laguna Seca Raceway on September 9-11, 2022 for the biggest race of the season as the series was supporting the IndyCar weekend. Over 35 cars were on grid for this race with some very quick drivers and teams trying to win in front of the roughly 40,000 spectators present for the weekend.
This was a double header weekend for the championship with round 5 on Saturday and round 6 on Sunday. Some teams elected to have different drivers on for round 5 over round 6.
Saturday Round 5
In the GT class on Saturday, the fastest car was the Driving Ambition Acura NSX of Kip Olson (USA) who qualified just ahead of the GT points leader Bob Accardo (USA) driving the Accurate Arms Chevrolet Camaro. At the start, the NSX jumped to the lead and started to click super quick laps. That was enough to build a gap over Accardo who was turning some fast laps of his own. Olson would go on to win over Accardo with Daniel Rose (ROM) finishing in third place in the Rose Construction BMW M3.
In the Super Touring class, the competition was extremely tough with a wide variety of cars. At the end it was Viktor Czapla (GER), driving the CoolBoxx Audi R8, who held off a furious charge by JC Meynet (USA) in the Chevrolet Corvette. Meynet took the lead for most of the race but lost the lead on the last lap. Finishing in third place was Czapla’s teammate Matthew Rivkin (USA) in the other CoolBoxx Audi R8.
The Touring Car battle was perhaps the best race of the weekend with the top 4 within two seconds of each other for the entire race. Larry Bani (IRN) got a great launch in the JB Autowerkz BMW M3 at the start and jumped to the lead from fourth place. Behind him was a huge battle for second place between three cars. Dave Brown (USA), in the Gary’s Airbag Service Hyundai Genesis, ended up in third place but eventually managed to pass Reza Arsham (IRN) in the Konig Wheels Hyundai Genesis and eventually Bani as well. Brown managed to take the win while it was a drag race between three cars to the checkered flag for the second place position. Bani went on to finish second while Arsham finished third.
Sportsman is always the class with the most action and this one was another great one. Matt Million (USA) driving the Palomar Solar BMW M3 finished first with Lucas Weisenberg (USA) in the Lucas Racing BMW 330i in second place. The two BMWs were considerably quicker than the rest of the field so the battle became for third place which was grabbed by Taz Harvey (USA) in the Tracy Honda Acura Integra.
The Palomar Racing team managed to win the Top Team award while Matt Million earned the Plastex Top Rookie award.
Sunday Round 6
Sunday’s race was once again full of action but a late full course caution really jumbled everything up.
The GT class was not really affected by the full course caution that came about due to a stalled car on course. Kip Olson (USA) managed to take another win in the Driving Ambition Acura NSX with Bob Accardo (USA) scoring another second place and extending his points lead in the Accurate Arms Chevrolet Camaro. Finishing third once again was Daniel Rose (ROM) in the Rose Construction BMW M3.
The Super Touring battle was once again lead by Viktor Czapla (GER) in the CoolBoxx Audi R8. He was followed by his teammate Matthew Rivkin (USA) in the CoolBoxx Audi R8. Right behind was JC Meynet in the Chevrolet Corvette who was the third to cross the line but after the race it was deemed that he passed under yellow giving the third position to Nik Romano (USA) driving the Palomar Solar BMW M3.
The Touring Car battle was not as crazy as Saturday with Gary Sheehan (USA) driving his Konig Wheels Hyundai Genesis through traffic masterfully and building a gap over second place Larry Bani (IRN) in the JB Autowerkz BMW M3. Finishing third was the points leader Gary Trudeau in the Gary’s Airbag Service Hyundai Genesis.
The Sportsman fight was once again between Matt Million (USA) driving the Palomar Solar BMW M3 who finished first with Lucas Weisenberg (USA) in the Lucas Racing BMW 330i finishing in second place. Once again, the big fight was behind them as the restart caused chaos and a three way fight for third place. At the end, Sean Zhang (CHN) driving the Waifu Racing Mazda MX5 took the last spot on the podium after starting in last place and winning the Jabra Hard Charger award in the process.
The Palomar Racing team and CoolBoxx Team managed to tie for the Top Team award while Matt Million earned the Plastex Top Rookie award.