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Kibilov hangs in to Win Super Touring, Pitre Fights for Sportsman Win at Auto Club Speedway

Fontana, CA – George Kibilov won his second consecutive Super Touring class race at round two of the United States Touring car Championship while Thomas Pitre had to fight all race long to win the Sportsman class. Gary Sheehan won the Touring Car class while Daniel Akhromtsev had a fight on his hand in order to come out ahead in the GT class.

Auto Club Speedway is a unique circuit on the USTCC calendar. The long speedway section of the track makes this track the fastest on the calendar. While the Touring Car class cars normally hit about 120 mph at most tracks, they can hit speeds of around 140 mph at Auto Club Speedway. The Super Touring and GT cars can go even faster. This presents challenges to the teams as the higher speeds test their aero packages and gearing.

Kibilov was the quickest qualifier in the Super Touring class in his SGK Home Solutions BMW M3. His competitors had issues during the weekend and by the time the green flag dropped for the race they were pressuring Kibilov. Mike Sekhon and his teammate Larry Bani were both setting some quick lap times in their GoGoGear.com/Total/Konig Wheels BMW M3s. In the end, Kibilov was just too quick to be caught. Sekhon was confident and said “we will get him next race.”

The Touring Class is always very competitive and Sheehan made things interesting as he qualified second but took the lead at the start with a terrific launch and proceeded to set two blistering lap times with no traffic around him while everyone else was fighting for position behind. He built a seven second gap and managed to hold the gap from that point in his GoGoGear.com/Total/Konig Wheels Hyundai Genesis. Pole sitter Patrick Chio’s Speed SF/Auto Logic Nissan 350Z finished second and Roger Eagleton’s BTM Motorwerks/Five Star Property Management BMW 330i finished third. Chio said, “I was pretty slow at the start. I had a bad launch and I think I dropped to third or fourth and then I caught up to second but by that time first was too far ahead.”

The best battle had to be in the Sportsman class with four cars taking the lead during the race and the lead seemed to change every lap. The pole sitter was the Mazdatrix/Racing Beat Mazda RX8 of Michael McColligan but he had a bad start and dropped to fourth place. McColligan had to put his head down and fight back as he passed two cars and was soon on the rear bumper of the leader with two laps to go. Unfortunately, he went a little wide at Turn 5 and spun while attempting to make the pass for the lead. That gave the lead to Armen Rafaelian in his Red Star Racing Honda S2000 who must have felt confident that he was going to win this race. That is not the same thing that Pitre was thinking as he closed the gap to Rafaelian and on the last lap got a run on the S2000 but Rafaelian protected the inside forcing Pitre’s GoGoGear.com/Konig Wheels/Total Acura Integra to the outside and Pitre hung in there knowing that the next corner was to the left and he would have the edge. Pitre made the move stick and received the checkered flag moments later and made it two wins in two races.

The high power cars in the GT class loved the long straights at the Auto Club Speedway. Hitting almost 160 mph was the Champion Spark Plugs FFR GTM of Carl Rydquist and while the V8 powered FFR had the edge on the oval section, the Red Star Racing/ Domport Auto Body BMW M3 of Daniel Akhromtsev was better in the tight sections. That translated to an almost identical lap time overall and at the end Akhromtsev managed to pull out the win by less than a second.

After the high speeds of Auto Club Speedway, the teams now head out to perhaps the tightest track on the calendar, Sonoma Raceway on June 17-18. Be sure to follow the action on www.ustcc.com and watch every show on Final Drive TV on NBC Sports BA available on Comcast cable, AT&T Uverse, Dish Network and DirecTV. You can always follow Final Drive on Facebook at www.facebook.com/finaldrivetv

FULL RESULTS

Special Awards

Advanced Clutch Technology
Armen Rafaelian took over the Red Star Racing seat and almost won in his debut race but ultimately fell to second but he won the Advanced Clutch Technology award good for $500.
AutoMeter Products
Andy Chittum was hoping to do well at his team’s home track but his new engine just was not 100%. He collected the AutoMeter Products, Inc. award.
Classic Motorbooks
Mike Ostby debut in the Prima Racing Honda S2000 was a success with a fourth place finish and winning the Quarto Knows award.
CRC
Carl Rydquist had a huge battle all race long for the GT class lead and fell short of a win by the smallest of margins. He won the CRC Industries award with an assortment of CRC products.
CSF Radiators
Tom Pitre made it two wins in a row and took home the CSF Radiators award
Disc Brake Australia USA
Tom Milburn knew he could have won this race but his brakes let him down. He won the DBA USA award along with a set of DBA high performance rotors that can help him in the future.
Flowmaster Mufflers
Patrick Chio had the quickest car all weekend but a bad start cost him the victory but he did manage to win $500 from Flowmaster Mufflers for his efforts.
Molecule
Andy Chittum had a disappointing finish with engine issues but he won the Molecule Sports award with a complete Molecule cleaning kit.
Mothers
Mike Sekhon showed up with a beautiful new livery on his BMW that won him the Mothers Polish award with a big bucket full of car cleaning products.
PermaCool
Groge Kibilov made it two wins in a row in the ST class and collected the $200 Perma Cool Products award.
Race Ramps
Michael McColligan had a roller coaster weekend scoring his first pole position, having a bad start and falling back but managed to climb back and fight for the lead until he spun and hit the guard rail. For his efforts, he took home $300 from Race Ramps.
Ram Mount
Tom Milburn was one of the quickest drivers in the Sportsman class and he won the RAM Mounts award.
Rescue Tape
Armen Rafaelian took home the Rescue Tape award for a great finish in his debut race with USTCC.
Rostra Precision
George Kibilov made it a great race in the Super Touring class and won his second in a row as he won the Rostra Precision Control award.
Sampson Racing Products
Larry Bani had communications problems during the race and won the Sampson Racing Radios and Communications award to hopefully remedy the problem for next time.
Scan Gauge
Scan Gauge is an awesome gauge and tool for reading and clearing tools and Daniel Akhromtsev has one now.
Sound Stream
Roger Eagleton knew this track was not suited for his car but fought hard and still finished on the podium and won the Sound Stream award.
Specialty Products Company
Mike Ostby had specific instructions from his team boss for his race debut and he did not disappoint. He won the Specialty Products Company award.
Stack
Mike Sekhon drove a great race and finished second in Super Touring and took home the Stack Limited award.
Swift Springs
Larry Bani had a chance to win but an electrical issue cost him but now he has a set of Swift Springs to help him go even quicker.
Thule
Thule is well known for vehicle racks but are now making superb pieces of luggage. Winning one was Michael McColligan.
TYLT
TYLT makes terrific products that busy people on the move need such as phone chargers and battery packs. Winning a backback full of their products was Gary Sheehan who won the Touring Car class.
Cobra Electronics
Winning the Cobra Electronics Top Team award were three teams who all tied, Speed SF, Red Star Racing and GoGoGear.com.
Optima Batteries GT
The OPTIMA Batteries podium in the GT class was Carl Rydquist, first place and Daniel Akhromtsev, second place.
Optima Batteries Touring Car
The Optima Batteries podium in the Touring Car class was Gary Sheehan, first place, Patrick Chio, second place, and Roger Eagleton, third place.
Optima Batteries Super Touring Car
The Optima Batteries podium in the Touring Car class was George Kibilov, first place, Mike Sekhon, second place, and Larry Bani, third place.
Wine Country Motorsports Award
Patrick Chio finished in sixth place and won the Wine Country Motor Sports $150 award.
 

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