PWC

Road Atlanta race one report

BRASELTON, Ga. (October 5, 2001) -- Neal Sapp, of Ellicott City, Md., captured his third win of the season over teammate Jeff Altenburg, of Baltimore, Md., and Brazilian Pierre Kleinubing clinched his second consecutive SCCA Pro Racing ...

BRASELTON, Ga. (October 5, 2001) -- Neal Sapp, of Ellicott City, Md., captured his third win of the season over teammate Jeff Altenburg, of Baltimore, Md., and Brazilian Pierre Kleinubing clinched his second consecutive SCCA Pro Racing Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car Championship today at Road Atlanta. With its win, BMW clinched the Manufacturers' Championship with one race remaining. After starting second on the grid to polesitter Hugh Plumb's No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura Integra R, Sapp pulled away from the standing start first while chaos ensued behind, with a startline crash eliminating the cars of Drew Hagestad and Jim Daniels. After a lap-five restart, Plumb and Kleinubing, driving the No. 1 RealTime Racing Acura Integra R, moved around Steve Pfeffer's BMW into second and third. One lap later, Kleinubing and Plumb came together in turn one, with Plumb spinning to the back of the field. "The race went pretty smooth other than the incident with [teammate] Hugh [Plumb]," said Kleinubing. "I think he got on the brakes a little sooner than usual and there was nothing I could do- I got into him. It was my fault. I'm happy with the finish, as we did the best we could under yellow." From there, Sapp's No. 55 duPont Motorsport BMW 325is moved out to a 4.8-second advantage when a caution came out on lap 10 for Mike Fitzgerald's accident in turn 12, when an axle appeared to let go coming down the hill in his Acura. Fitzgerald was uninjured, but the cleanup was lengthy. On the lap-18 restart, Altenburg, who had moved to third prior to the yellow in the No. 51 European Racing Technologies BMW 325is, got the jump on Kleinubing and tucked in behind Sapp. As the pack went through turn one, Walter Markes Jr., Grant Lockwood, Carlos Steyer and Stephane Trahan were involved in an incident, eliminating Lockwood and Steyer and bringing out another caution period. "(On getting the start this weekend) I knew that [team owner] Alfred [duPont] had cracked a few ribs, but I thought someone else was going to sub for him," said Altenburg. "When I got the call, I literally jumped in my motor home and drove here all night. As far as the race, I started 10th and took advantage of some opportunities early. The duPont horsepower came though for me down the stretch and here we are." The 50-minute time limit expired on lap 21 under caution, with Sapp averaging 58.979 mph. "We were able to check-out early," said Sapp. "The car was great out of the box. I wasn't too happy to see the cautions, though, as my lead evaporated each time. We're just looking forward to going out on Sunday and getting at it again." With the season-ending Round 10 race set for Sunday, Kleinubing is simply looking to garnish his Championship season with more prize money, as he will start from pole. Sapp, however, will not have it as easy, as he is still heavily involved in a dogfight with four others for second place in the Drivers' Championship point race.

-SCCA/SCCA ProRacing-

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Series PWC
Drivers Pierre Kleinubing , Drew Hagestad , Walter Markes Jr. , Steve Pfeffer , Jeff Altenburg , Hugh Plumb , Grant Lockwood , Jim Daniels
Teams RealTime Racing