Acuras 2-3-4-5 in the Wet at Mosport RealTime Drivers Score Key Points for Championships The RealTime Acura team may not have won the SCCA SPEED Touring Car race here at Mosport International Raceway today, but by placing finishers in the next...
Acuras 2-3-4-5 in the Wet at Mosport
RealTime Drivers Score Key Points for Championships
The RealTime Acura team may not have won the SCCA SPEED Touring Car race here at Mosport International Raceway today, but by placing finishers in the next four positions, it gained a significant advantage for Acura as the manufacturer closes in on a record sixth title. Thanks to the remnants of tropical storm Ernesto, wet conditions prevailed as race time neared, causing smiles for some competitors and frowns for others.
"It's been some time since we've had a wet Touring Car race, and after (former RTR pilot) Michael Galati's four-wheel drive rout in the GT race Saturday, some people were thinking pole-sitter Chip Herr's Audi Quattro would have an easy day," said team leader Peter Cunningham, "but the chassis setup that the RealTime crew provided us in our (front-wheel drive) Acuras gave him a bigger fight than he expected."
When the checkered flag fell, 2005 Rookie of the Year Brandon Davis led current Drivers' Championship points-leader Pierre Kleinubing, Cunningham, and teammate Eric Curran to the stripe.
The fifth RealTime driver, Nick Esayian, unlike many of his competitors, was able to improve his starting position by four spots and finished 13th.
Davis, Cunningham and Kleinubing all drove Acura Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles-sponsored TSX models, while Curran and Esayian each raced the RSX Touring Cars.
The race started late because of the inclement weather, and utilized a rare rolling start, after a number of cars either arrived late to the starting grid or experienced mechanical problems on their warm up lap.
Davis made the best start of all the RTR drivers, jumping from his ninth place qualifying position to seventh by the end of the first lap, fifth two laps later, then into the race lead when the leading Audi momentarily faltered on a lap 13 restart after a full-course caution.
"On the exit of turn 10, there's a concrete patch in the asphalt," Davis told the media. "You can't do this during the race because it would be too slow, but on the restart I went all the way to the outside to that patch of concrete, which gave me a great launch. Going into turn one, I was on the outside, so I carried a little more speed and passed Peter, Pierre and Chip."
"Randy Pobst is the closest driver to me in the points," added Kleinubing, "so he was my biggest worry. Once I passed him on the fifth lap, I had things under control."
After eight of ten rounds, Acura's lead in the Manufacturers' Championship has jumped to a 59-45 margin over Mazda, which could do no better than seventh place today.
"Pierre has top-three finishes in seven of eight starts this season," RealTime crew chief Mike Busalacchi reported. "Anything can still happen, but if he scores two more podiums, his fourth title is all but secure."
Kleinubing's third place result improved his Drivers' Championship lead to 24 markers over Mazda ace Pobst, 238 to 214. Defending Touring Car Champion Cunningham is third with 184 points, while Davis is fifth (173), Curran seventh (154), and Esayian ninth (115).
The Mosport race will air on the Speed Channel on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday, September 10 at 300p EDT.
Round Nine is next on September 29th at Road Atlanta, as a part of the petit Le Mans weekend. On October 22nd the World Challenge season finale will again take place at Monterey, California's Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca.
-credit: RealTime Racing