Acura Wins Twice in Canada K.Wittmer Leads RTR Sweep on Saturday Cunningham's '09 TSX Nets First Win Sunday The RealTime Racing fleet of Acura TSX SPEED World Challenge Touring Cars returned to its winning ways this weekend by taking victory in...
Acura Wins Twice in Canada
K.Wittmer Leads RTR Sweep on Saturday
Cunningham's '09 TSX Nets First Win Sunday
The RealTime Racing fleet of Acura TSX SPEED World Challenge Touring Cars returned to its winning ways this weekend by taking victory in both Championship races held at Mosport International Raceway.
The Victoria Day Speedfest at the historic 2.459-mile Ontario circuit celebrates the annual Canadian holiday and provided the opportunity for the SCCA Pro Racing-sanctioned World Challenge machines to headline the weekend. Canadian Kuno Wittmer kicked things off on the right foot on Saturday, the first race of a special double header, by scoring a convincing victory in his 2008 Acura TSX. On an unbelievably wet and slippery track, the third year RealTime pilot scored the fourth series win of his career.
Team owner Peter Cunningham notched his record-extending 32nd career World Challenge series win in Sunday's race -- the first for the brand new 2009 Acura TSX in only its fourth race. Conditions may have been drier than the day before but it was unseasonably cold, with a wind chill barely above the freezing mark. The competition however was hotter than ever as the No.1 plated Acura led flag to flag.
The best result of the often-wet weekend was that the RealTime Racing troops were able to strengthen Acura's Manufacturers' Championship points lead to eight over nearest rival Mazda.
In Saturday's race, Kuno Wittmer blasted into the lead with a perfect start from his front row slot, while the race's pole-sitter stalled on the standing start and never recovered. Kuno rocketed away from the field in the wet conditions, on some laps more than two seconds quicker than his nearest rival.
Kuno's younger brother, Nick Wittmer, started 11th in his debut World Challenge race, moved up to fourth after Lap 1, and all the way to the second spot before the halfway point.
On the final lap, the Wittmer brothers were first and second, but the younger of the two was under fire from 13-year RealTime veteran Pierre Kleinubing. A slight bobble by Nick in Turn 3 was all the invitation Pierre needed to stick his nose inside as the pair sailed into the high speed left hand downhill Turn 4. In a synchronized drift, the two Acuras finally touched, straightening each other out, but with Pierre's new generation TSX bettering Nick's 2008 machine. Nick earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award for moving up the most positions from the start, while Kleinubing's pass of Nick resulted in the Autoweek Move of the Race trophy for him.
Cunningham qualified seventh and drove to fifth placing a RealTime Acura in four of the top-five spots.
RealTime teammate Toby Grahovec started 10th and finished a respectable eighth in his first rain event in his 2008 Acura TSX.
Qualifying for Sunday's race on a frigid but dry track featured laps that were 13 seconds per lap faster than Saturday's wet conditions. Cunningham was fifth quickest, but the most fortunate. After the coin toss to decide whether or not the top five positions would be inverted, he advanced himself to the pole position, at the sacrifice of Kleinubing who went from second to fourth when the coin landed with 'heads' showing.
Racing within a half second of his qualifying lap speed, Cunningham led all 28 laps to win by .564 seconds over 2005 Mosport winner Charles Espenlaub and current points leader Jason Saini in a pair of Mazda6s.
This maiden victory by the all-new 2009 Acura TSX marks the first win by a car built to the new less-permissive World Challenge rules. Cunningham's No.1 car and Kleinubing's No.42 are two of the first race cars built to this 'closer to stock' specification. Just as their predecessors, each of the team's Acuras are engineered and fabricated at RealTime's Wisconsin facility.
There was no RealTime domination of the victory stand Sunday, as had been the case Saturday. Pierre, Kuno and brother Nick were fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, while Toby was 10th today. Grahovec's fastest race lap was less than a second off Cunningham's best effort.
The SPEED TV broadcast of Sunday's Round Four race airs July 7 at 200p EDT.
Round Five of the 10-race SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship will accompany the Indy Racing League Honda-powered machines July 4 at Watkins Glen International.