Photos by Sam Draiss Media and Denise Conner
Millville, NJ – New Jersey native Roger Maeda brought home the Championship Gold at his home track, clinching the fast lap of the race from his pro racing competitors while securing his team's first USTCC Championship Trophy.
This year-long victory would only come after a gauntlet of three close races in which the StudioVRM.Racing Honda Prelude fended off challenges from racers in both the Sportsman and Super Touring classes. When the dust settled, it was the privateer Honda team that emerged on top, clocking the fastest lap out of any of the US Touring Car Championship cars that raced this weekend.
Saturday Heat Race 1
Cold track conditions and blustery crosswinds tipped polesitter Brandon Lewis into a Lap 1 spin, turning Heat Race 1 into a straight shootout between Roger’s Honda Prelude and Andrew Conner’s E90 BMW 325i. The series champions-to-be traded places and ran within striking distance through the entire 10 lap Heat Race before Andrew unleashed the full 300hp from his BMW’s S54 engine and beat the green Honda to the line on the very last lap.
Saturday Heat Race 2
More lap 1 excitement ensued when Martin Szwarc’s BRT Honda Civic Si turned completely sideways directly in front of the Studio Prelude on the Ski-Jump Turn 5 corner. Roger dodged the sliding Civic and brought the car home safely in preparation for the all-important Feature Race ahead.
Sunday Feature Race
Roger’s fervent pursuit of the SP class leader was cut short by the untimely intervention of the Safety Car. Undeterred, Roger switched his sights to Andrew Conner’s Super Touring class On Q Racing BMW 325i in a revenge match from the first Heat Race. In the process, the StudioVRM.Racing Honda Prelude clocked a fast lap of the race of 1:16.092 – Faster than the 300hp machines in the Super Touring class.
Roger Maeda - #22 StudioVRM.Racing Honda Prelude Si VTEC
Feature Race: 2nd in Sportsman, 3rd overall in USTCC
Fastest Lap: 1:16.092
“It’s a good day for us here at StudioVRM.Racing. All we can say is - Thank you.
Thank you to our loyal crew who have sacrificed countless hours to keep our team running. Thank you to our amazing fans who came out to the track to support us all season.
Thank you to our technical partner Bad Guys Worldwide and IT solutions partner Blue Leaf Technologies for lending us your tremendous skills while believing in us. Thank you to the members of the Honda Prelude Racing Group who provided technical advice, upgraded components, and the encouragement we needed through the good times and bad.
Thank you to our competitors on both the East and West coasts of the US Touring Car Championship for giving us great battles and even better support. Thank you to all of you who follow us on StudioVRM.net and are subscribed to us on our YouTube channel for your kind words and never-ending support.
Thank you to my exceptionally patient family – Especially my 7-year-old daughter, who I hope will one day join me on the podium as a pro driver in the USTCC.
We would like to dedicate our championship victory to a fellow Prelude racer by the name of Gordon Forbes. Gordon was one of the first people to ever contact us through our tech tips website, StudioVRM.net. His unwavering support has often been the bright light that helped us get through our darkest days. Thank you, Gordon. This one’s for you.”