The Wheels Genesis Coupe

We wrap up our week dedicated to the venerable Hyundai Genesis Coupe with some race photography from the 2012 USTCC Season Opener at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, California.

There are 7 models of the Coupe based around two engine choices. Trim levels include: 2.0T Base, 2.0 R-Spec, 2.0T Premium, 2.0T Track (GT in Canada), 3.8 Base (For 2010), 3.8 R-Spec (For 2011), 3.8 Grand Touring, and a 3.8 Track (GT in Canada). The Track and R-Spec versions of 2.0T will only be offered with a 6-speed manual.

Ali Arsham, driving the Wheels Hyundai Genesis Coupe, finished in third place in round two of the Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California. The team fought hard against many other manufacturers including Volvo, Mazda, Dodge, Honda, Acura, Mitsubishi and BMW using crew mostly comprised of students and instructors from Universal Technical Institute, a leading training school for future automotive technicians.

The race started off in a normal fashion with Robert Thorne’s K-PAX Volvo C30 starting from pole position and assuming the lead. A fight soon began between the Volvo of Thorne and the TNI Racing Mazdaspeed 3 of Felipe Cabezas. Cabezas was glued to the yellow Volvo and would not let Thorne get away. The two started to pull away from everyone else and nearly collided on the first lap in Turn 6.Behind the pair, Arsham’s Hyundai was running on a completely different strategy. Things really got interesting as soon as the fuel stops started to come into play.

After about 90 minutes of racing the battle for the final podium spot started to heat up. Arsham’s Hyundai was running in third place in the latter part of the race. “My strategist was on the radio telling me that Cabezas was on the same lap as me and was gaining on me quickly. He did the math and said that I need to speed up considerably or I will get passed,” commented Arsham after the race.

The team’s strategy was bold and risky from the beginning. They decided to try and complete the race without stopping for fuel.”Hyundais are known for their excellent reliability and fuel economy. We knew that these were the strengths of our Del Genesis Coupe and knew that we needed to use those strengths to gain an advantage,” added Arsham.

The Hyundai crossed the finish line and then stopped on the side of the track, just after the pit exit in third place.”We used Hyundai’s fuel economy to our advantage to score a podium finish.This was our first podium finish in our Hyundai.