May 23, 2005 / Phoenix, AZ / C & R Promotions / Round two of the Hankook United States Touring Car Championship (West) was held in sweltering heat at the Phoenix International Raceway May 21 & 22! A large field of USTCC cars arrived in Phoenix Saturday morning to all-time recording breaking heat. Dave Brown, driving the Premier Choice, Spoon Acura RSX-R was in a class by himself all weekend in speed, leading all sessions with the fastest times, but could he survive the heat?
When the cars hit the track for the race on Sunday afternoon, the ambient temperature was an unbelievable 115 degrees, with track temperature at a staggering 170 degrees. At the standing start, Brown and second place qualifier Justin Elin, driving the P1 Motorsports T1R Civic, darted away. Neil Vanni, driving the Hopkins Honda of Sunnyvale Civic, got bumped from behind when he checked up to avoid the bottleneck at turn one. This caused Vanni’s Civic to spin to the inside and hit the wall, ending his day, and doing significant damage to the car. The incident (which Vanni walked away from), caused a red flag, and the cars formed up for a second standing start!
At the second start, all cars got away cleanly. Brown slowly built a lead and drove away from the competition. Despite the heat and concerns about using up the car, Brown never missed a step, and in the end, his lead was insurmountable. Elin finished a fine second, with John Hotchkis surviving the heat in his Hotchkis Performance Toyota Celica rounding out the podium in third. Rookie of the year contender Dale Sievwright, in the MPACT Motorsports BMW and Jonathan Meris, in the Motorsports Dynamics Honda, fought hard over fourth place all race with Sievwright getting the position for good and claiming highest placing rookie honors. Rookie of the year point leader Brian Locke, suffered a bent suspension piece, and had to retire his Subydude.com Subaru WRX.
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Public Relations Director, USTCC