MONTEREY, Calif. (October 9) - Pierre Kleinubing, of Erexim, Brazil, lead a podium sweep for his RealTime Racing team in the Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car Championship race at Laguna Seca Raceway, leading flag-to-flag to top...
MONTEREY, Calif. (October 9) - Pierre Kleinubing, of Erexim, Brazil, lead a podium sweep for his RealTime Racing team in the Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car Championship race at Laguna Seca Raceway, leading flag-to-flag to top teammate Hugh Plumb by 0.346-second for his second win of the year. RealTime Racing rookie Kevin Schrantz finished third for the podium sweep to earn Rookie of the Year honors, while Michael Galati finished fourth to clinch his third career and second-consecutive World Challenge Drivers' Championship title. Kleinubing finished the Championship second, three points behind Galati, 265 to 262. Starting from the pole, Kleinubing, driving the No. 42 RealTime Racing Acura Integra R, was able to extend his lead until lap 17 when a full course yellow bunched the field. The restart saw Kleinubing pull out a one-second led over Plumb and Galati, who had moved into second and third, respectively. The rest of the race never saw Kleinubing challenged for the lead en route to a victory-under-caution, the third full-course yellow of the 22-lap, 49.236-mile race. "Michael (Galati) knew how to run for the Championship today and he did," said Kleinubing. "I had some left in the car during the race. When I got a gap I backed off a bit and started short shifting a bit to save the car. I was worried on the restarts but was able to keep the lead and it all worked out for me." Galati, driving the No. 13 Duplicolor/Redline/DC Sport Acura Integra R, got off to a conservative start, maintaining his fifth-place starting position until the first full course yellow. The restart saw Galati advance into third place, remaining there until the final restart. The multi-car incident in turn two, resulting in no injuries, pushed him back to fourth, good enough to win the Drivers' Championship. "I knew what I had to do today and raced accordingly," said Galati. "It was intimidating this year to take on my old teammates. I would have been happy to finish in the top-five in points. I got a great start to the season with four straight wins, but then we got sideways a little bit and had a couple not-so-good races. But my guys did a great job and we worked it out and were faster again. This title is very special to me, the most special of the three. It is with my own team and that gave me new motivation and more satisfaction. Again, my guys did a fantastic job all year." Plumb, driving the No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura Integra R, fell back one position at the start but kept the lead group in site. As the race progressed Plumb was able to retake his third-place starting position and take second on the last restart. Plumb finishes third in the Speedvision World Challenge Touring car Championship with 253 points. "The race certainly was not uneventful for me in my mirrors," said Plumb. "I saw Michael (Galati) make a run at me and then I saw Charlie Downes make a run that turned into an overrun. He was simply on fire through turns one and two all race but at the end he got in too deep and spun. I was inches away from him and was lucky not to get hit." Driving the No. 44 RealTime Racing Acura Integra R, Schrantz gained the final podium position after the lap 19 incident in corner two held up the front runners. "This was my most gratifying race of the season," said Schrantz. "I was able to avoid the trouble at the end, and am very happy to be part of the RealTime Racing 1-2-3 finish. I was real glad to get this ride. I met Peter (Cunningham, team owner) over the winter and we talked for a while and he gave me the ride. I have to thank him very much." Completing the top five in the race was Kurt Buchwald, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio.
MONTEREY, Calif. – Results from Saturday's 22-lap, 49.236-mile Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car Championship race at Laguna Seca Raceway, part of the VISA Sports Car Championship weekend, with race position, car number parenthesis, driver, hometown, car, laps completed, reason for not finishing. 1. (1), Pierre Kleinubing, Erexim, Brazil, Acura Integra R, 22. 2. (3), Hugh Plumb, Chadds Ford, Pa., Acura Integra R, 22. 3. (6), Kevin Schrantz, Boulder, Colo., Acura Integra R, 22. 4. (5), Michael Galati, Olmstead Township, Ohio, Acura Integra R, 22. 5. (10), Kurt Buchwald, Mt. Vernon, Ohio, BMW 328is, 22. 6. (25), James F. Sofronas, Newport Beach, Calif., BMW 328is, 22. 7. (20), Grant Lockwood, Cumming, Ga., Honda Prelude, 22. 8. (13), Jeff Tarr, New York, N.Y., BMW 328is, 22. 9. (24), Mark Reed, London, England, Mazda 626, 22. 10. (19), Joe Jordan, Orange, Calif., Mazda Miata, 22. 11. (14), Jeff Lepper, Phoenix, Ariz., Olds Calais, 22. 12. (18), Bill Hatem, Pleasanton, Calif., BMW 328is, 22. 13. (15), Manny Matz, Somers, N.Y., BMW 328is, 22. 14. (9), David Rosenblum, Langhorne, Pa., BMW 328is, 22. 15. (22), David Rodziewicz, Atlanta, Ga., BMW 328, 22. 16. (23), Fred Meyer, Dallas, Texas, Acura Integra R, 22. 17. (4), Charlie Downes, Hawthorne, Calif., BMW 328is, 22. 18. (8), Will Turner, Newbury Port, Mass., BMW 328is, 21. 19. (2), Alfred DuPont, Wilmington, Del., BMW 328is, 20. 20. (12), Brian Wade, Newfields, N.H., BMW 328is, 19, Crash. 21. (11), Steva Lisa, Scottsdale, Ariz., Mazda 626, 19, Crash. 22. (17), David Mills, San Jose, Calif., Acura Integra, 12, Mech. 23. (16), Rick Ellinger, Rockville, Md., Mercedes-Benz, 11, Mech. 24. (7), Taz Harvey, Danville, Calif., Acura Integra R, 6, Mech. 25. (21), Derrick Moennich, N. Vancouver, B.C., Can., Nissan NX2000, 2, Susp. 26. (27), Gary Davis, Grosse Isle, Mich., BMW 328si, 0, DNS. 27. (26), Albert Mirko, Morgan Hill, Calif., Ford Contour SVT, 0, DNS.
Time of race: 46 minutes, 24.564 seconds. Average speed: 63.654 miles-per-hour Margin of victory: 0.346-second Lap leaders: 1- 22 Pierre Kleinubing Fastest race lap: Alfred DuPont, 1:43.214 (78.059 mph) Cautions: Three for nine laps.
Source: SCCA/SCCA Pro Racing