CENTENNIAL, Colo. (October 3, 2001)- Pierre Kleinubing, of Erexim, Brazil, need only finish 7th in the first race of the doubleheader weekend at Road Atlanta, part of the Audi Presents the Petit Le Mans, to secure his second-consecutive...
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (October 3, 2001)- Pierre Kleinubing, of Erexim, Brazil, need only finish 7th in the first race of the doubleheader weekend at Road Atlanta, part of the Audi Presents the Petit Le Mans, to secure his second-consecutive SCCA Pro Racing Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car Championship Kleinubing (No. 1 RealTime Racing Acura Integra Type R), holds a giant 49-point (208 to 159) advantage over 2000 Rookie of the Year runner-up Don Salama (No. 94 Large Inc/H&R Springs/JTD BMW 328is), with a maximum of 68 points available in the two remaining races. "I'm looking at the doubleheader as just another race weekend- you have to," said Kleinubing. "If you start thinking too much about it, that's when you get in trouble. My team and I will approach the final two races the same as if they were the first two of the season. "(On the hunt for the title) There's no added pressure on us either. If we finish well enough to clinch the title in the first race, I'm going to go right back out there and try to put it on the pole for the next one." Kleinubing might very well be able to accomplish such a feat, as the series new Toyo Tires, along with experience, will guide him around the 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course. "I've competed on this track almost every year since 1996," said Kleinubing. "My experience should help, and the track really suits the tires here. I can take the majority of the turns flat-out, whereas, on a racing slick you wouldn't be able to do that." Watch out for the battle for second, though, as Salama, with 159 points, Hugh Plumb (No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura Integra Type R), with 158, Ken Dobson (No. 7 Westek Electronics/SSF Import Auto Parts BMW 328Ci, with 152, Neal Sapp (No. 55 duPont Motorsport BMW 325is), with 150, Terry McCarthy (No. 23 FMG/Image Micro/ Dinan BMW 328is), with 147, and Will Turner (No. 92 Turner Motorsport/H&R Springs BMW 325is) are separated by only 18 points from second through seventh. BMW, who hasn't finished outside the top three once all season, pulled out to a 16-point advantage in the Manufacturers' Championship standings after its second place finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and now leads Acura 62 to 46. With a maximum of 18 points available at Road Atlanta, BMW only needs a finish of fourth or better to clinch. Roger Foo (No. 88 Foo Fighters Racing/Griffin Motorwerke Honda Civic Si) holds a 20-point advantage (111 to 91) over Rob Hines (No. 54 TeleStrategies/duPont Motorsport/ERT BMW 328is) for Rookie of the Year honors. The 2001 Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car Champion will receive a $20,000 bonus, with second place earning $8,000; $6,000 for third; $5,000 for fourth, with the remainder of the $50,000 points fund paid through 10th place.
<pre> Speedvision Touring Car Drivers' Championship Point Standings (After Eight of 10 Rounds)
Ps. Driver, Car Points Wins Poles 1. Pierre Kleinubing, #1 RealTime Racing Acura Integra R 208 3 3 2. Don Salama, #94 Large Inc./H&R Springs BMW 325i 159 0 0 3. Hugh Plumb, #43 RealTime Racing Acura Integra R 158 0 0 4. Ken Dobson, #7 Westek Electronics/SSF BMW 328Ci 152 0 1 5. Neal Sapp, #55 duPont Motorsports BMW 325is 150 2 2 6. Terry McCarthy, #23 FMG/Image Micro/Dinan BMW 328is 147 0 0 7. Will Turner, #92 Turner Motorsport/H&R Springs BMW 325i 141 0 0 8. Steve Pfeffer, #26 John Hancock/JJ's Snacks BMW 328is 127 1 0 9. Taz Harvey, #8 Dublin Honda/Ecko Function/CzechBeer.com Honda CivicSi 122 0 0 10. Roger Foo, #88 Griffin Motorwerke Honda Civic HB 111 1 0