Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., earned the first-ever SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car pole for the new Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V on his home track at Road America today. Shauna Marinus, of Folsom, Calif., will join him on ...
Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., earned the first-ever SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car pole for the new Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V on his home track at Road America today. Shauna Marinus, of Folsom, Calif., will join him on the front row for this afternoon's Round Seven race, part of the Road America 500 Weekend.
Driving the No. 1 TeamRTR/Nissan Motorsports/Nismo entry, Cunningham ripped off a record-shattering lap of 2:32.737 (95.411 mph) on his second tour around the 4.048-mile circuit. The defending series Champion and third-place finisher in last year's event gave Nissan it's first-ever pole position in the Touring Car category. Nissan previously won three poles in the early 1990s in what is now the GT category.
"The car is working great," Cunningham said. "It (Nissan) is a program that I would say in online now after being pretty good right out of the box. The testing we did here really paid off. We tested here last week and we tested here at the end of June. This being our home track we really felt good and we knew going into the session that we'd have shot at it."
The lap obliterated Pierre Kleinubing's 2002 track record of 2:35.855 (93.502 mph) by over three seconds.
Marinus earned her third front-row starting position in the last four races driving the No. 4 TriPoint Motorsports/Mazdaspeed Mazda Protege ES. However, the lap of 2:32.823 (95.357 mph) was 0.086-second short of her first-career pole position.
"It's just one of those things, I guess I hit a fly on the back straight or something," Marinus said of her qualifying run. "It just seems to be happening that way. That is what is so exciting about this series and that it is so close. You just can't give away anything."
Jeff Altenburg, of Ellicott City, Md., was third in his TriPoint Motorsports/Mazdaspeed team car to Marinus with a fast time of 2:32.971 (95.265 mph). Rookie Tim Pappas piloted his Team FBR/Trans Sport Lexus IS 300 to the fourth fastest time, followed by Kleinubing's Acura RSX-S.
In all, 26 cars bettered the old track record.
Today's Round Seven race will make its standing start at 4:35 p.m. (CDT). For complete coverage, including live timing and scoring, please visit www.world-challenge.com.
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