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Lime Rock: Touring Car round five qualifying report

Herr Takes SPEED Touring Car Pole for Second Lime Rock Race LAKEVILLE, Conn. (May 26, 2008) -- Chip Herr, of Lititz, Pa., will start today's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Round Five race from the pole, after topping ...

Herr Takes SPEED Touring Car Pole for Second Lime Rock Race

LAKEVILLE, Conn. (May 26, 2008) -- Chip Herr, of Lititz, Pa., will start today's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Round Five race from the pole, after topping qualifying at Lime Rock Park. Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., completes the front row for the second half of the SCCA SPEED Touring Car doubleheader this Memorial Day Weekend in Connecticut.

Following a third-place finish in Saturday's Round Four SCCA SPEED Touring Car race, Herr will start first for part two of this weekend's doubleheader at Lime Rock Park. Driving the No. 97 Mazdaspeed/Tindol Motorsports MAZDA6, Herr circulated the seven-turn, 1.53-mile course in 58.125 seconds (94.761 mph) to take his second pole of 2008. Herr's previous pole came at VIRginia International Raceway in April.

"This is a short track with a lot of momentum," Herr said. "I went back to my Spec Miata days and realized that I need to get on the power early and carry momentum at the middle of the corner. We learned a lot in [Saturday's] race and for 50 minutes, I was consistent, so I feel pretty confident going into the race.

"For qualifying, we made a small adjustment and on the first lap I already felt the difference going into Turn One. I can't thank Tindol Motorsport enough for being open-minded to make changes for me, because I'm still new to the Mazda. I can't even think of anything to change. The car was perfect.

"I was surprised at three tenths [back to Cunningham]. I'm used to seeing three thousandths. I still had my fingers crossed the whole session because you never know who's going to do a flier at the end or get a draft."

RealTime team owner Cunningham will start from second on the grid. Cunningham entered a lap of 58.438 seconds (94.253 mph) in the No. 42 Acura/RealTime/Eibach/Red Line Acura TSX.

Michael Galati, of Olmsted, Ohio, qualified third in the No. 95 Mazda North America/Tindol MAZDA6. Galati earned his best SCCA SPEED Touring Car grid position of the season with a lap of 58.440 seconds (94.250 mph).

"It's going to be an awesome race," Herr added. "Michael Galati, my teammate, was up to second, but got bumped back to third, so he's starting right behind me. It's two Mazdas in the top three and an Acura. We've got a Mazda sandwich.

"We're going to go out and get, hopefully, my first win for Tindol and a podium for Michael."

Polesitter for Saturday's race, Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla., will start fourth in the No. 43 Acura/RealTime/Eibach/Red Line Acura TSX, after turning a 58.441-second lap (94.249 mph) in the 10-minute qualifying session.

James Sofronas, of Newport Beach, Calif., completed the top five in the No. 29 GMG/Tecmark BMW 325Ci. Sofronas, who finished fourth in Saturday's race, entered a time of 58.491 seconds (94.168 mph).

Saturday's race winner and current point leader Kuno Wittmer, had trouble during qualifying, pulling his No. 44 Acura/RealTime/Eibach/Red Line Acura TSX off-track in Turn Six after an electronic sensor came loose. Despite only completing two laps in the session, the Canadian will start sixth.

Miller Motorsports Park race winner Jason Saini (MAZDA6) will start seventh ahead of a pack of BMW 325is, including James Clay, Bill Auberlen and Seth Thomas, who complete the top 10.

-credit: scca pro racing

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Series PWC
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Pierre Kleinubing , Michael Galati , Peter Cunningham , James Clay , Kuno Wittmer , Chip Herr , James Sofronas , Seth Thomas , Jason Saini