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Sep 20, 2011 / reports


Dramatic race through the field results in victory in Touring Car division

Monterey, CA -- Last Sunday Lawson Aschenbach drove the race of his life at the famed Laguna Seca road course, nestled among the sand dunes of the beautiful northern California coast. Starting from the back of the pack, and with no practice time, Aschenbach made a perfect standing start in his #71 Honda Performance Development Civic Si, and quickly dispatched competitor after competitor, making his way into the top three in only a few laps.

Aschenbach, close behind championship rival Aaron Povoledo's Volvo and Tristan Herbert's VW, knew he had to finish well to secure his second World Challenge championship. When Povoledo, the only driver with a mathematical chance to challenge for the championship, dropped out after contact with debris, Lawson knew he had to bring the car home.

But he didn't stop pushing, and in the closing laps made a stellar pass on the VW for the lead and never looked back. The result marked his fifth win of the season, and netted Honda the Manufacturer's Championship, Aschenbach the Driver's title, and Compass360 Racing (C360R) the Team's Championship.

His great start netted him the Optima Batteries Standing Start award.

“Winning two championship in consecutive years with Compass360 Racing and Honda is a really good feeling,” Aschenbach said of this championship, having won Grand-Am's Continental Tire championship with the team a season ago. “Honda Racing/HPD has been a huge supporter of this program from day one. We knew this program had to be solid from the beginning of the year, all the way back to me actually getting the ride, and I can’t thank [C360R team principal] Karl Thomson enough for the opportunity.”



Ray Mason, in the #74 Columbus Truck Honda Civic Si also started at the back of the pack, as he and Lawson both were competing in the Grand-Am finale at Mid-Ohio the day before. "It's made for a hectic schedule, but I'm chasing the Rookie of the Year standings, which I think is kind of funny at my age."

Mason is sitting second in the Rookie standings, and finished sixth at Laguna. His main rival, Herbert, finished second, however, and has a handy lead going into the final World Challenge race at Road Atlanta.

Tom Ehlen continued his run of top-ten finishes in his #72 Speed Secrets Civic, netting a handy eighth place at the challenging circuit, while Brett Sandberg suffered contact and a broken suspension for the third race in succession, finishing in eleventh position.

"We're really thrilled to have had such a great debut to our World Challenge program," enthused Thomson. "Going into the season finale we have a good chance of all four of our drivers finishing in the top-ten championship points, and of course to have the Driver's, Manufacturer's and Team championships wrapped up means we're going to have good fun in Atlanta!"