Tri-Point Motorsports Salvages 4th Place With Altenburg at Denver SPEED Touring Car Event It was an up and down weekend for the blue and white Tri-Point Motorsports MAZDA6s at the Denver SPEED World Challenge Touring Car race held on Sunday.
Tri-Point Motorsports Salvages 4th Place With Altenburg at Denver SPEED Touring Car Event
It was an up and down weekend for the blue and white Tri-Point Motorsports MAZDA6s at the Denver SPEED World Challenge Touring Car race held on Sunday. Tri-Point driver Jeff Altenburg of Ellicott City, Maryland finished a competitive 4th in his #72 entry, while Tri-Point drivers Randy Pobst of Gainesville, Georgia and Dino Crescentini of Malibu, California finished 8th and 9th respectively. The Denver race marked the sixth round of the ten-race 2006 SPEED World Challenge Touring Car schedule.
Pobst started off the weekend strongly for the Tri-Point squad with a solid qualifying lap of 1:20.955 around the bumpy and technical 1.657 mile temporary street course. Altenburg placed his MAZDA6 7th on the grid with a lap of 1:21.381 and Crescentini continued his streak of top ten qualifying positions by hustling his #74 Tri-Point Motorsports Mazdaspeed MAZDA6 to 10th on the 22 car grid with a lap of 1:21.496 at an average speed of 73.196 mph.
The standing start of the Denver event was as spectacular as ever, but as the cars headed into turns one and two Pobst made contact with a competitor, and although he was able to continue, the performance of his MAZDA6 was clearly degraded. Randy fought hard throughout the event, but he slowly fell back in the field to finish 8th at the checkered flag after the 30 lap race that saw two yellow caution periods for a total of six laps.
Once again, as we have come to expect of him, Altenburg gradually moved forward from his 7th place starting position and was able to pass several cars on his way to a 4th place finish. Altenburg's move forward in the field, and his placement as the highest finishing Mazda of the race ensured that Mazda was able to earn points crucial to the manufacturer's championship points race.
Crescentini also had a strong weekend, racking up his second top ten finish of 2006 with a ninth place at the checkered. In the process, Dino turned a blistering lap of 1:21.467, which was the quickest race lap of the Tri- Point trio.
Jeff Altenburg - #72
Even with the Acuras fighting amongst themselves we weren't able to stop them from sweeping the podium. Charles (Espenlaub - Tindol MAZDA6) and I were trying to help each other, but we couldn't close the gap. I do think that the second yellow hurt us a bit as my car kept getting better on longer runs. The crew did a great job on my MAZDA6, and as always the Stop Tech brakes were there for me the whole race.
Randy Pobst - #73
We qualified well which I'm happy about, but then I got roughed up by someone in turn two and from there it went downhill. Fortunately, my MAZDA6 can take a lick and still run strongly. It's actually more work and less fun when my car isn't running at 100%, but we still pushed hard and scored 21 valuable points to hold second in the championship race.
Dino Crescentini - #74
I thought I had a pretty good race. My MAZDA6 was strong throughout the race and really I think we hit the race set up pretty well. I actually ended up turning a race lap faster than my qualifying. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going for the rest of the year.
The Tri-Point squad doesn't have much time off as they travel to Road America this upcoming weekend, and then they head to Mosport at the end of the month for the 7th and 8th rounds of the 2006 Touring Car schedule. Log onto www.world-challenge.com for more scheduling info on the upcoming races as well as for statistics on the Denver race. SPEED will air the Denver Touring Car race on a tape delayed basis August 19 at 1 PM EST.