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Mid-Ohio: Touring Car practice one report

Wittmer Leads Opening World Challenge TC Practice at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 7, 2009) -- Defending race winner Kuno Wittmer, of Montreal, Quebec, led the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Cars Friday in morning practice for ...

Wittmer Leads Opening World Challenge TC Practice at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 7, 2009) -- Defending race winner Kuno Wittmer, of Montreal, Quebec, led the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Cars Friday in morning practice for Sunday's Toyo Tires World Challenge Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Presented by Dish Network Round Seven race. Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., and Eric Foss, of Fort Worth, Texas, completed the top three.

Driving the No. 44 Acura/RealTime/Red Line Oil Acura TSX, Wittmer turned his fastest lap time of 1:34.562 (85.962 mph) late in the 45-minute session combined with the World Challenge GT cars. In the 2008 race, Wittmer led every lap around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile circuit.

"At the beginning of the session, it was definitely a bit slippery," Wittmer said. "We didn't test here yesterday, but from what I've heard from the other competitors, it was slippery all day yesterday too. The track is finally starting to come in with more rubber. Who knows what it'll be like by Sunday. I think it'll be in our favor though, with the Acuras. The car is feeling really good right now. It basically feels like it did last year, and last year we had really good results. It feels exactly the same, so I'm really happy with that.

"This is among one of my favorite tracks. This is a great place to really show what you've got, because it's a tricky track. There's not a lot of high-speed stuff. There's a lot of technical corners, a lot of corners that I like to tackle. I definitely enjoy being here and driving an Acura product -- I couldn't ask for anything better."

Cunningham, who started from the pole in 2008, turned the session's second-fastest time in his No. 1 Acura/RealTime/Red Line Oil Acura TSX, with a 1:34.751 (85.791 mph). Both Wittmer's 2008-body TSX and Cunningham's 2009-body TSX were the only two cars beneath the 1:35 threshold.

Foss, the top rookie thus far this season, was the fastest of the MAZDASPEED/Stoptech/ProParts MAZDA6s, turning a 1:35.266 (85.327 mph) that was good for third.

Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla., was fourth in his No. 42 RealTime/Acura/Red Line Oil Acura TSX, with a 1:35.419 (85.190 mph). Patrick Lindsey, of Santa Barbara, Calif., was fifth fastest in his return to Touring Car, with a 1:35.451 (85.162 mph) in the No. 57 Horton Autosport MAZDA6.

Point leader Jason Saini (MAZDA6), Charles Espenlaub (MAZDA6), Seth Thomas (BMW 328i), Nick Esayian (BMW 328i) and James Clay (BMW 328i) completed the top 10.

The series hits the track for practice session two at noon (EDT). Live timing and lap notes are available at www.world-challenge.com. Sunday's Toyo Tires Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Presented by Dish Network race is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. (EDT) standing start.

Attached: Image of Kuno Wittmer during Fridaymorning's practice session at Mid-Ohio

-credit: scca pro racing

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Series PWC
Drivers Pierre Kleinubing , Peter Cunningham , Charles Espenlaub , James Clay , Nick Esayian , Kuno Wittmer , Jason Saini , Patrick Lindsey