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Road Atlanta: Touring Car Wednesday report

Brian Smith Tops SPEED Touring Car Practice at Road Atlanta BRASELTON, Ga. (Sept. 27, 2006) -- Rookie Brian Smith, of Simpsonville, S.C., topped the afternoon practice at Road Atlanta Wednesday, in preparation for the penultimate round of the...

Brian Smith Tops SPEED Touring Car Practice at Road Atlanta

BRASELTON, Ga. (Sept. 27, 2006) -- Rookie Brian Smith, of Simpsonville, S.C., topped the afternoon practice at Road Atlanta Wednesday, in preparation for the penultimate round of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship. Charles Espenlaub, of Lutz, Fla., and Eric Curran, of East Hampton, Mass., completed the top three.

Smith's first hot lap of the afternoon session proved to be the fastest of the day. Behind the wheel of his No. 13 Woodhouse Auto Family/Kicker/Dodge SRT-4, Smith registered a time of 1:33.992 (97.284 mph) and surprising himself in the process.

"I didn't think we'd be that quick," Smith said. "After the morning session we were in the ballpark and did some tweaking on the car, tried to dial it in a bit more. I figured we'd pick up some speed, but didn't figure we'd pick up quite that much.

"We're going to make a couple little changes. There's some changes that we made to the car for the race that we're going to change back for qualifying which should help us. Hopefully with a little cooler temperatures, we should be able to go a little faster and we'll have to, to stay in front of everybody."

Driving the No. 97 Sparco/Oakley/Tindol Motorsports Mazda 6, Charles Espenlaub was able to record the second quickest lap around the 12-turn, 2.54-mile track with a 1:33.999 (97.277 mph). Espenlaub was followed by the quickest man in the morning session, Curran, who powered his No. 43 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Acura RSX to a time of 1:34.131 (97.195 mph), slightly faster than his morning time.

Teammates Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., in his No. 73 Mazdaspeed/Tri-Point Motorsports Mazda 6 and No. 72 Jeff Altenburg, of Ellicott City, Md., finish out the top five with times of 1:34.131 (97.141 mph) and 1:34.619 (96.640 mph), respectively.

SPEED Touring Car qualifying at Road Atlanta takes place at 12:45 p.m. (EDT) Thursday, Sept. 28. To follow along on Live Timing & Scoring presented by SRT and live laps notes, log onto the SCCA Pit Board at www.world-challenge.com

-credit: scca pro racing

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Series PWC
Drivers Randy Pobst , Eric Curran , Charles Espenlaub , Jeff Altenburg , Brian Smith