Sept 22, 2012 – Sonoma Raceway, Calif.
Sonoma Raceway was the site of the 2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship race, the first visit by the FIA to the US since the 2007 F1 race at Indianapolis.
“With new sponsors on board for this race… ReplayXD, Perfect Fitness and Tour Angle 144˚… this was to be an exciting weekend,” said Geoff Sykes. “I was teamed in the GT class of the US Touring Car Championship support race with European Motorworks (EMW), who provided race prep and additional crew support. Not only was this my first race in the USTCC, it was also my first race since Pure Performance had modified the E46 M3, from engine cooling to ECU programming, from new bodywork to setting up a new suspension system. And the car performed flawlessly!”
Sykes started on the outside of row 2 in Saturday’s race in the GT class, with its own standing start behind the Touring Car class. “This meant that I would be passing the TC class cars, whilst battling with my GT competitors. I had a great launch and shot ahead into second place and held that for several laps, until the higher horsepowered car of VJ Mirzajan came through and pushed me to 3rd. I kept that position for the rest of the race, taking the podium both in class and overall race position.”
In Sunday’s race, Sykes started on the inside of row 2 and kept himself in 3rd place, until race leader John Handal in the other EMW M3 ran wide in turn 9, allowing both Ken Kurtz in the 750HP Firebird and Sykes to pass for position. Sykes and Kurtz battled for the rest of the race, with Geoff finishing second overall and taking the “fast lap of the race”, making it two podium finishes for the weekend and plenty of champagne all around!