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Road Atlanta: Touring Car round four preview

Kleinubing atop Speed Touring Car points going into Chevy GP TOPEKA, Kan. (June 24, 2003) -- Since Pierre Kleinubing joined RealTime Racing and began competing in the SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car Championship in 1997, he has won three...

Kleinubing atop Speed Touring Car points going into Chevy GP

TOPEKA, Kan. (June 24, 2003) -- Since Pierre Kleinubing joined RealTime Racing and began competing in the SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car Championship in 1997, he has won three Championships and finished no worse than second. It's no surprise then that he sits atop the series Championship heading into Road Atlanta for Round Four, part of this weekend's Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta.

After running perhaps more laps than any race car driver in the world in an Acura Integra Type R, RealTime Racing built its lead driver a brand new Acura RSX Type S for this year, and the results have been the same, with the Brazilian winning two of the first three races, and finishing second in the other.

Not to be completely outdone, Bill Auberlen might be in a similar position if it weren't for a chaotic start in the rain at Lime Rock Park, in which he was hit at the start and fell to last at the end of the first lap. No bother though, for the Sebring race winner and Mosport runner-up, who sliced through the pack to finish fourth in his H&R Springs/Turner Motorsport BMW 325i. He trails Kleinubing by eight points (93 to 85) in the standings. Auberlen is also second in the SCCA Speed GT point standings.

Auberlen's teammate and team owner Will Turner sits third heading to Road Atlanta, a track which he earned the pole position for in 2002 and led before spinning out four laps from the end. Turner started first at Lime Rock Park, but had to serve a stop-and-go for creeping from his starting box. He recovered to finish ninth and has 61 points.

Jon Prall's year started out badly in his STaSIS Audi A4, jumping the start at Sebring and having to battle back to a 14th-place finish, but his last two events have produced a fifth at Mosport and a career-best third at Lime Rock Park. He sits tied for fourth in points (58), along with Roger Foo (H&R Springs/Advance Clutch/BBS Mazda Protege ES).

While currently 23rd and out of the Championship hunt, defending series Champion Peter Cunningham will again be the focus of a lot of attention at the event, as he looks for the first win for his TeamRTR/Nissan Motorsports Nissan SE-R Spec V. Cunningham won both the Speed Touring Car and GT races at Road Atlanta in 2003, only the second driver to pull off the double in series history.

The first driver to do that, Mike Fitzgerald, also pulled it off at Road Atlanta and still seeks the elusive first victory for Lexus in his Team FBR/Trans Sport Lexus IS 300. Fitzgerald is seventh, behind Chuck Hemmingson and Ken Dobson, and earned the first pole for Lexus this year at Mosport.

Another driver to watch intently is Rookie of the Year candidate Matt Plumb, who is ninth in points, coming off of a career-best second at Lime Rock Park.

Acura is out in front of the SCCA Speed Touring Car Manufacturers' Championship Presented by Racer Magazine, with 25 points to BMW's 23. Lexus, Audi and Mazda follow, with eight, seven and six, respectively.

As with it's counterpart SCCA Speed GT Championship, rules adjustments have come since May's Mosport and Lime Rock Park events, with the Acura RSX-S, BMW 325i entries running the latest engines and the Nissan gaining 100lbs. The Lexus IS 300 gained 50lbs.

For all the event information of this weekend's SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car Round Four race, including stories, notes, quotes, results and live timing and scoring, please visit www.world-challenge.com. For more information about the Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta, please visit www.roadatlanta.com.

-scca pro racing-

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About this article
Series PWC
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Pierre Kleinubing , Ken Dobson , Peter Cunningham , Will Turner , Chuck Hemmingson , Roger Foo , Matt Plumb , Jon Prall
Teams RealTime Racing , Turner Motorsport