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Shawhan Wins a Close Battle in Sonoma

Sonoma, CA -- Michael Shawhan won a tight battle at Round 3 of the United States Touring Car Championship at Sonoma Raceway in the Touring Class. Carl Rydquist won the GT class while George Kibilov won the Super Touring class. Armen Rafaelian scored his first win in the Sportsman class.

Shawhan took the early lead with a great start in his BTM Motorwerks BMW 330i but was soon passed by Andrie Hartanto’s Supertech/Rota Wheels Honda S2000. Hartanto started pulling away but on the last lap he suffered a puncture which allowed Shawhan to take the lead. Gary Sheehan finished third in the Wheels/Total Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

Carl Rydquist was quick all weekend long and ended up winning the GT class in the Champion Factory Five GTM. He was followed by Sam Stowell’s BAF Racing/Sterling Foam Jaguar XKR-S and Felipe Loza’s Redwood General Tires Chevrolet Camaro.

George Kibilov made in three in a row in the Super Touring class with his SGK Racing BMW M3. He was followed by Mike Sekhon in the BMW M3 who finished second. Larry Bani was running second in the Wheels/Total BMW M3 until ignition issues slowed him down and he ended up finishing third.

The very competitive Sportsman class was full of action as usual. David Vodden took the early lead in the Wheels/Total BMW M3 but was eventually passed by Armen Rafaelian’s Artech Fab Honda S2000 who went on to take the win. Thomas Pitre who had won the first two races ended up finishing in second place in the Pitre Racing Acura Integra while Vodden finished third.

The teams now enjoy their summer break before heading out to one of their favorite tracks, Thunderhill Raceway on August 12-13. Be sure to follow the action on 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


Special Awards

Advanced Clutch Technology
Larry Bani almost had his best finish of the season but an ignition issue slowed him down and he still managed to finish in third place. He won the Advanced Clutch Technology award good for $500.
AutoMeter Products
Patrick Chio finished just outside the podium but he did end up winning an AutoMeter battery charger and an AutoMeter professional tire gauge.
Classic Motorbooks
Carl Rydquist improved his chances of winning the championship with a win and a set of books from Classic Motorbooks.
Andy Chittum ended up having to start in the back but charged his way forward to finish in sixth place. He won the CRC Industries award with an assortment of CRC products.
CSF Radiators
Pete Bovenberg had overheating issues and ended up finishing in 8th place. He took home the CSF Radiators award and hopefully will not have any more cooling issues.
Disc Brake Australia USA
Felipe Loza had his best finish of the season with a third place and won the DBA USA award along with a set of DBA high performance rotors that can help him in the future.
Flowmaster Mufflers
Daniel Akhromtsev is accustomed to winning but a broken bumper led to a flat tire and ended his day prematurely. He did manage to win $500 from Flowmaster Mufflers for his efforts.
Gary Sheehan had a horrible time in qualifying but he was patient and worked his way up to finish third. He won the Molecule Sports award with a complete Molecule cleaning kit.
Cedric Walker started and finished his first professional race with a beautiful BMW from Life’s Good Racing. He won the Mothers Polish award with a big bucket full of car cleaning products.
Michael Shawhan continued his unbeaten streak at Sonoma with a win from second place. He collected the $200 Perma Cool Products award.
Race Ramps
Roger Eagleton showed true sportsmanship by volunteering his car for another team who had mechanical issues. For his efforts, he took home $300 from Race Ramps.
Ram Mount
David Vodden was one of the quickest drivers in the Sportsman class in his debut race and he won the RAM Mounts award.
Rescue Tape
Andrie Hartanto ended up with pole position and almost won the race until a puncture ended his day. He won the Rescue Tape award.
Rostra Precision
Sam Stowell had his best finish of the season with a second place and looked strong during the race. He won the Rostra Precision Control award.
Sampson Racing Products
George Kibilov made it three wins in a row and won the Sampson Racing Radios and Communications award.
Scan Gauge
Thomas Pitre’s streak of wins in a row ended with a second place finish but he still won the Scan Gauge award.
Sound Stream
Mike Sekhon finished in second place after starting in the back of the field and won the Sound Stream award.
Specialty Products Company
Michael McColligan had issues with the heat but he still won the Specialty Products Company award.
Mike Sekhon drove a great race and finished second in Super Touring and took home the Stack Limited award.
Swift Springs
Armen Rafaelian scored his first USTCC win and won the Swift Springs award collecting some new springs to help him go even faster.
Thule is well known for vehicle racks but are now making superb pieces of luggage. Winning one was Patrick Chio.
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 Larry Bani who won the Touring Car class.
Cobra Electronics
Winning the Cobra Electronics Top Team award was the Speed SF team with a first and fourth place finish.
Optima Batteries GT
The OPTIMA Batteries podium in the GT class was Carl Rydquist, first place, Sam Stowell second place and Felipe Loza third place.
Optima Batteries Touring Car
The Optima Batteries podium in the Touring Car class was Michael Shawhan, first place, Andrie Hartanto, second place, and Gary Sheehan, 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
Cedric Walker finished in fifth place and won the Wine Country Motor Sports $150 award.