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Crazy Doubleheader Weekend Finishes the 2016 Season

Willows, CA – The last weekend of the 2016 United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) season was filled with ups and downs and record breaking close finishes at Thunderhill Raceway in Northern California.

On Saturday, the biggest fight was in the Touring class with Gary Sheehan starting on pole position in the GoGoGear.com/Konig Wheels Hyundai Genesis Coupe. George Kibilov started second only 0.173 seconds behind in the SGH Home Solutions BMW M3. Third was Patrick Chio in the Speed SF Nissan 350Z. Once the race started, not much changed with Sheehan leading the pack and everyone giving chase and it looked like we may have a dull race but things really changed on lap 8. While leading the race, flames started to appear under Sheehan’s car and smartly he pitted immediately. Sheehan got out of the car quickly and the crew started to put out the fire but the fire was persistent and it would reignite. It took a long time but the fire was eventually put out but at that point the race was red flagged and Patrick Chio had scored his first ever win in USTCC. Finishing second was Kibilov and third was Michael Shawhan in the BTM Motorwerks BMW 330i.

The Sportsman class was also full of action as Larry Bani, driving the GoGoGear.com/Konig Wheels BMW M3 out qualified Tom Milburn’s Bay Area Drafting Acura RSX by 0.011 seconds to claim the pole position. That was the closes pole position battle in USTCC history. Once the race started, the battle raged on with Bani leading and Milburn not letting him go. “My tires were getting hot near the end as I was carrying about 275 pounds of success ballast so it was very difficult,” said Bani after the race. In the end, Bani finished 0.760 seconds ahead of Milburn. Dmytro Pykhanov’s Red Star Racing BMW M3 finished third.

The Super Touring class looked great at the beginning until Roger Eagleton broke an axle at the start of the race in his GoGoGear.com/Konig Wheels BMW M3. With Eagleton gone, the battle was between Doug Makishima’s SanDisk/MCS BMW M3 and Brad McClure’s BTM Motorwerks Porsche 911. Makishima edged out McClure by 1.138 seconds.

Daniel Akhromtsev won the GT class in the Red Star Racing BMW M3 with 2015 Touring Champion, Beau Borders finishing in second in the Hawk/CCI/GM Performance Chevrolet Camaro. Daniel Rose finished third in the TNI Racing Mazdaspeed 3.

After the big fire on Saturday, the mood seemed to change in the paddock and everyone seemed more concerned about safety. The best race once again was in the Touring class with Chio taking the early lead in the Nissan 350Z with Shawhan giving chase in the BMW 330i. With about three laps to go, Chio went wide at Turn six as he was passing lapped cars which left the door open for Shawhan to get through. It looked like Shawhan was going to win this one but Chio was not giving up and set his quickest lap time of the race on the penultimate lap of the race. He closed the gap to Shawhan and it was a drag race down the front straight to the line. The finish was so close that even the drivers were not sure who had won. It was announced that Chio had won by less than 0.04 seconds. The photo finish showed the difference at about 3 inches. Karl von Beckmann finished third in the Hawk/CCI/Sparta BMW M3.

The Sportsman battle was very close once again with Bani leading just in front of Milburn. Milburn was actually quicker on track by about 0.10 seconds and the crowd was expecting a pass but it never happened. With one lap to go, the Acura slowed down and was forced to pit as it ran out of fuel. Apparently the team had tried to save as much weight as possible and just cut it too close. Pykhanov once again finished third in his BMW M3.

The Super Touring battle ended with McClure claiming the win as Makishima experienced mechanical issues after leading most of the race. Eagleton finished in second place.

Akhromtsev made it two in a row as he won the GT class ahead of Borders’ Chevrolet Camaro. Daniel Rose finished in third place.

It was an amazing season with so many amazing moments. The teams and drivers now will have a few months to get ready for the 2017 season and to create more memorable moments. Both races will be shown on Comcast Sports Channel available on Comcast cable, AT&T Uverse, Dish Network and DirecTV. You can also watch the show on demand on www.finaldrive.tv

Special Awards Saturday

Wine Country Motorsports
George Kibilov finished second in the Touring Class and took home a $150 gift certificate from Wine Country Motorsports.
Advanced Clutch Technology
Karl Von Beckmann did an amazing job in the BMW and won the Advanced Clutch Technology $500 award.
Autometer
Brad McClure just needed a bit more for a win but second place meant that he was one step closer to winning the championship. He won an Autometer professional tire gauge and a battery maintainer courtesy of Autometer Products.
Cobra Top Team
Red Star Racing finished first in GT and third in Sportsman earning them their first Cobra Top Team award of the season. They took home a Cobra radar detector for their trip home.
CRC
CRC provided a large sample of their chemicals to Beau Borders for his outstanding drive,finishing in second place in GT class.
CSF Radiators Cool Move of the Race
Tom Milburn gave it everything he had and was the quickest car in the Sportsman class but ultimately he ended up second but he did win a new aluminum radiator from CSF.
Disc Brake Australia
The award is usually reserved for drivers but in this case Spencer Rowlands threw himself in a burning car to help his driver out of a car engulfed in flames. He won a set of brake rotors from DBA.
Go Pro
Go Pro provides a free GoPro to the winner of Touring, Super Touring and GT classes. Winning the GT class was Daniel Akhromtsev. Winning the Super Touring class was Doug Makishima and winning the Touring class was Patrick Chio.
Optima Batteries
Optima Battery is the ultimate power source. Everyone on the podium in GT, ST and TC classes wins a free Optima battery of their choice.
Perma-Cool
Felipe Loza ended up with some body damage during the race so he could not finish the race but he did win a $200 gift certificate for cooling products from Perma Cool.
Plastex
George Kibilov has been fast in every race but he had never won the Plastex Top Rookie award until this race with a second place finish. He earned a Plastex plastic repair kit for those emergency repairs that always come up.
Race Ramps
Perhaps nobody had a rougher day than Gary Sheehan who has had a horrible season after winning Round 1. He was leading the race when a fire erupted under the car. Fortunately, he was close to the pit entrance and he brought the car in and got out safely while the car was heavily damaged. He won a set of Race Ramps to help him recover.
Ram Mounts
Ram Mounts is a great way to mount your devices on anything from your bicycle to your car. Dmytro Pykhanov won an X Grip mount plus a $150 certificate for other accessories.
Rescue Tape
There are many times when you need to seal something and Rescue Tape is a revolutionary way to tape it without glue. The silicone tape works on gasoline, oil and other solvents and leaves no residue. Winning a sample package was Roger Eagleton who had a disappointing race after breaking an axle at the start of the race.
ScanGauge
ScanGauge is an OBD2 gauge and code reader that works really well and doesn’t take up much space. Tom Milburn scored his first pole position in the Sportsman class and won himself a free ScanGauge unit.
Sound Stream
Beau Borders switched cars and classes and he was rewarded with a second place finish in the GT class. He did win a new Sound Stream DVD navigation head unit that can provide enjoyment in any car.
Specialty Products Company
Daniel Akhromtsev won the GT class and made it look easy earning him a Specialty Products Company Fastrax camber caster gauge with toe attachment.
Sampson Racing
Communications is vital in racing and Andy Chittum managed to win a gift certificate for radio communications products from Sampson Radio Communications.
Stack Gauges
Daniel Rose continued his streak of podium finishes in GT and won the Stack Award with a new Stack oil pressure gauge.
Swift Spring
Doug Makishima was chased all race long but he never lost his focus and managed to take home the win in the ST class and won a set of Swift Springs of his choice to make his car go even faster.
Whiteline Performance Suspension
Whiteline Performance makes some of the best suspension components in the business and Patrick Chio ended up scoring a $300 gift certificate along with his first win in USTCC.

Special Awards Sunday

Wine Country Motorsports
Patrick Chio finished first in the Touring Class and took home a $150 gift certificate from Wine Country Motor Sports.
Advanced Clutch Technology
Daniel Rose finished third in the Mazda and won the Advanced Clutch Technology $500 award.
Autometer
Michael Shawhan came about 3 inches short of a victory with the closest finish in USTCC history. He won an Autometer professional tire gauge and a battery maintainer courtesy of Autometer Products.
Cobra Top Team
Brad McClure finished first and Michael Shawhan finished second which gave the BTM team the Cobra Team award. They took home a Cobra radar detector for their trip home.
CRC
CRC provided a large sample of their chemicals to Daniel Akhromtsev for his outstanding drive, finishing in first place in GT class.
CSF Radiators Cool Move of the Race
Dmytro Pykhanov finished in second place in Sportsman class and won a new aluminum radiator from CSF.
Disc Brake Australia
Larry Bani fought hard all weekend long and ended up winning both races each by a small margin. He won a set of brake rotors from DBA.
Go Pro
GoPro provides a free GoPro to the winner of Touring, Super Touring and GT classes. Winning the GT class was Daniel Akhromtsev. Winning the Super Touring class was Brad McClure and winning the Touring class was Patrick Chio.
Optima Batteries
Optima Battery is the ultimate power source. Everyone on the podium in GT, ST and TC classes wins a free Optima battery of their choice.
Perma-Cool
Michael Shawhan kept his cool all season long and never seemed to have any issues. He won a $200 gift certificate for cooling products from Perma Cool for a fantastic job.
Plastex
Michael Shawhan won the Plastex Top Rookie award at every race except one this year. At Round 7, he was once again the top placing rookie driver. He earned a Plastex plastic repair kit for those emergency repairs that always come up.
Race Ramps
Felipe Loza ended up with a damaged suspension and the team worked hard to get the car fixed but ultimately they just needed a bit more time. He won a set of Race Ramps to help him recover and get the car ready for the next race.
Ram Mounts
Ram Mounts is a great way to mount your devices on anything from your bicycle to your car. George Kibilov won an X Grip mount plus a $150 certificate for other accessories.
Rescue Tape
There are many times when you need to seal something and Rescue Tape is a revolutionary way to tape it without glue. The silicone tape works on gasoline, oil and other solvents and leaves no residue. Winning a sample package was Karl von Beckmann who finished on the podium in the Touring class.
ScanGauge
ScanGauge is an OBD2 gauge and code reader that works really well and doesn’t take up much space. Daniel Rose continued his podium finishing streak and finished in third place and won himself a free ScanGauge unit.
Sound Stream
Brad McClure had a great battle all race long and ended up winning the Super Touring class. He took home a new Sound Stream DVD navigation head unit that can provide enjoyment in any car.
Specialty Products Company
Andy Chittum has had a frustrating season with a few mechanical issues and they surfaced again but at least he wona Specialty Products Company Fastrax camber caster gauge with toe attachment.
Sampson Racing
Tom Milburn came close to winning the Sportsman class but in their pursuit of victory, they fell one lap short running out of fuel. A gift certificate for radio communications products from Sampson Radio Communications may help them in the future battles.
Stack Gauges
Doug Makishima looked unstoppable in Super Touring class but mechanical issues forced the team to retire the car but he did won the Stack Award with a new Stack oil pressure gauge.
Swift Spring
Patrick Chio had come close to winning a USTCC race so many times but he not only won his first race but also his second race at Thunderhill. He won a set of Swift Springs of his choice to make his car go even faster.
Whiteline Performance Suspension
Whiteline Performance makes some of the best suspension components in the business and Daniel Akhromtsev ended up scoring a $300 gift certificate along with his win in the GT class.

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