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Las Vegas Season Opener Full of Action

Las Vegas, Nevada -- The 2016 season opener of the United States Touring Car Championship was non-stop action at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Winning the Touring class was last year's runner up, Gary Sheehan. In the Super Touring class, VJ Mirzayan took the win while Larry Bani took the Sportsman class victory. The GT class was won by Daniel Akhromstev.

The Touring class was the most competitive and the largest class with a very tight battle for the win among three cars. The win was captured by the 2014 champion, Gary Sheehan driving the Wheels Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Finishing right behind was rookie Michael Shawhan driving the BTM Motorwerks BMW 330i. Finishing in third place was the Speed SF Nissan 350Z of Patrick Chio who was the 2015 Plastex Top Rookie.

In the Super Touring class, VJ Mirzayan took the win driving his Achilles Motorsports BMW M3. He was followed very closely by Doug Makishima's SanDisk/MCS BMW M3 followed by the Wheels BMW M3 of Roger Eagleton who moved from Sportsman to Super Touring class this year.

The Sportsman class featured some of the best racing of the day with Larry Bani winning the class in his Wheels BMW M3. He was followed by newcomer Dmytro Pykhanov, driving the Domport/Red Star Racing BMW M3. Third place was Michael McColligan in the MazdaTrix/Racing Beat Mazda RX8.

Daniel Akhromstev won the GT class in the Domport/Red Star Racing BMW M3 while Ron Valtierra finished second in the TNI Racing Mazdaspeed 3.

Special Awards

Wine Country Motorsports Award
Ace Robey finished in 7th place and won the Wine Country Motor Sports $150 gift certificate.
Whiteline Performance Suspension Award
Beau Borders came in as the defending champion driving a new car with the same team. He qualified in seventh place and ended up finishing in eighth. He won the $300 Whiteline Performance gift certificate.
Swift Springs Award
Roger Eagleton is another driver who switched cars but decided to stay with the same team as last year. His decision seems to have paid off as he finished in third place in his class and won a pair of Swift Springs of his choice for his hard work.
Stack Gauges Award
Michael Shawhan came in the series as one of the rookies of the 2016 season but showed that he was going to be a force to be reckoned with by finishing in second place. He won a Stack gauge for his efforts.
Soundstream Award
The Soundstream award went to Larry Bani for a tremendous effort to get two cars prepared and ready for the race when a few days before it looked like at least one of the two cars may not even make the race. Both cars made the race and both made it to the podium. That was enough to earn the Soundstream award with a new DVD audio/video player and navigation unit.
ScanGauge Award
ScanGauge is a unique tool that plugs into your OBDII port and can be a gauge or a diagnostic tool. It can come in handy in any car and Patrick Chio managed to win the award with his third place finish.
Sampson Racing Award
Jim Stevens switched classes and moved up to a faster class and ended up finishing in fifth place. He won a $100 gift certificate for auto racing radio equipment from Sampson Racing Radios.
Rostra Precision Award
Pete Bovenberg won the Rostra Precision award which was a rear view camera that works on any car, truck or trailer. Bovenberg was doing very well until a mechanical issue left him to finish ninth place.
Rescue Tape Award
Rescue Tape is a fantastic silicone tape that has over one thousand uses. It can be used to seal leaks or cover things that need protection all without any glue and it is totally resistant to solvents.
Ram Mount Award
Ram Mount provided a Ram Mount X Grip system plus $150 gift certificate to customize your system to Becky Arsham who had a broken suspension in practice and had to miss qualifying but ended up finishing fourth in her class.
Race Ramps Award
The Race Ramps award went to the BTM Racing Team who brought three cars to the race and all three were super quick. They ended up finishing in second, fourth and seventh after making many adjustments to make their cars quicker. They won a $300 gift certificate for a Race Ramps set of their choice..
Perma-Cool Award
Daniel Akhromstev continued where he left off last season by dominating the GT class. For his efforts, he earned a $200 gift certificate for Perma Cool cooling products.
Mothers Clean Car Award
One car really stood out in the Las Vegas sun which was the blue, red and chrome Porsche of Brad McClure. He won a complete car cleaning kit from Mothers to maintain the shine.
Disc Brake Australia Award
Disc Brake Australia USA awarded a set of their high performance brake rotors to Dmytro Pykhanov who finished second in his first USTCC race.
CSF Award
Karl Chicca did a superb job and made the best start passing numerous cars on the first lap, earning the CSF Radiator Cool Move of the Race award and a free aluminum radiator of his choice.
CRC Award
Nik Romano had been trying to make it on a team in USTCC for a couple of years. He finally ended up with a front running team and his driving talent was obvious as he finished sixth in his first race. CRC Products awarded him as assortment of chemicals for his work.
Classic Motorbooks Award
Ron Valtierra earned a collection of books from Classic Motorbooks when he had problems during the first part of the race but the TNI Racing crew managed to repair the damage and he finished second in his class.
Autometer Award
AutoMeter awarded a professional tire pressure gauge and a battery maintainer to Andy Chittum who returned to the USTCC after seven years.
Advanced Clutch Technology Award
Michael McColligan struggled last season but this season he seems to have found his groove and was running up front and ultimately finished in third place in his class winning the Advanced Clutch Technology $500 gift certificate.
Optima Battery Award
The top three in Touring, Super Touring and GT classes were winners of Optima batteries. This included Gary Sheehan, Michael Shawhan and Patrick Chio in Touirng; VJ Mirzayan, Doug Makishima and Roger Eagleton in Super Touring; and Daniel Akhromstev and Ron Valtierra in the GT class.
Cobra Top Team Award
There were six multi car teams present at Las Vegas but the Racing Team bested them all with a first place in the Touring class and a first place in the Sportsman class. That earned the team a new Cobra radar detector.
Plastex Top Rookie Award
There were several new rookies at Las Vegas but Michael Shawhan nearly stole the show with a second place finish winning the Plastex plastic repair kit.