Dai Does it Again! Dai Yoshihara and Mike Bonanni Win MPTCC TU and TO Championships at North American Festival of Speed
MotoIQ Staff Report
Fresh off his 2011 Formula Drift Championship, Dai Yoshihara proved that he can drive grip as well as he can drift by clinching the MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship TU class at the first inaugural North American Festival of Speed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last weekend. Dai drove Team MotoIQ’s iconic Dog Car Nissan Sentra SE to one victory in the weekend double header after not finishing his first race due to a collision with the Acura TSX of APD Racing’s Brian Smith. The win gave Dai enough points to put a lock on the TU championship.
|The Dog Car evolves. The lowly Nissan Sentra started life as a Motorola Cup touring car sponsored by Petco (where it got its nickname) in the mid 90's and was sold to Mike Kojima who planned to use it as a beater track day car, however it started to evolve first into a NASA SE-R Cup car, then a Time Attack FWD Limited class car, then a NASA PTD car before being recycled as a MPTCC TU class car after sitting unused for 5 years. The car has been driven at times by Mike Kojima, Tom Paule, Chuck Johnson, Annie Sam and now Dai Yoshihara. The old Dog has proven to be very fast and the car to beat in the TU class driven by Dai and crewed by Costa Gialamas of GTI Technical Innovations.|
Richard Ho of the APM Motorsports team was second in the points race and Martin Gonzales of Team MotoIQ was third.
|The APM Racing RSX of Richie Ho got a new engine and showed some real speed for the event.|
|The MotoIQ B Team of Martin Gonzales and Steve Rockwood came to the North American Festival of Speed packing big turbocharged power with plans of world domination. It was working until the transmission packed it in causing them to DNF for the weekend dropping them from a solid second in points to third.|
Mike Bonanni of the Berk Technology Team won the championship in the TO class. Mike had clinched the title by round 4 of the series as the reliable Berk car decimated the temperamental TO field with three wins in a row.
|In the finicky TO class the Berk Technologies BMW One Series driven by Mike Bonanni dominated so badly that they only had to run the first three events to clinch the championship. TO cars have proven to be tricky beasts with cars proving to be so unreliable that finishing was a good way to get critical championship points. After three in a row the Berk team simply waited in the wings to see if anyone could come close.|
Joon Maeng of the Lucas Oil team was second and Robert Ramirez of the Road Race Engineering team was third in the points chase.
|Formula D ace Joon Maeng came in second in points by winning both rounds of the double header Willow Springs event in his Lucas Oil Nissan S13. Schedule conflicts with Formula D demo events prevented Joon from attending more events.|