RealTime Podiums 2 at St. Petersburg Four Acuras in Top 10 RealTime Racing teammates Peter Cunningham and Pierre Kleinubing secured a two-three finish in Round 2 of the SCCA SPEED Touring Car Championship on the shores of old Tampa Bay. Their...
RealTime Podiums 2 at St. Petersburg
Four Acuras in Top 10
RealTime Racing teammates Peter Cunningham and Pierre Kleinubing secured a two-three finish in Round 2 of the SCCA SPEED Touring Car Championship on the shores of old Tampa Bay. Their matching Acura Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles-sponsored TSX racecars looked quite at home tearing through the concrete canyons of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Brandon Davis placed eighth in his RealTime Acura TSX, and Nick Esayian was tenth in one of the team's Acura RSX cars to give RealTime's drivers eight top-10 finishes in the first two races of the 2006 season.
Cunningham's TSX took the checkered flag a scant 0.938 seconds behind winner Randy Pobst's Mazda in the thrilling 29-lap race on the 1.8-mile temporary circuit. Kleinubing's TSX crossed the stripe 3.506 seconds behind Cunningham.
Eric Curran, the fifth member of the Touring Car Championship's most successful team, saw his RSX among four cars eliminated in a chaotic melee the moment the race started.
Kleinubing is now nine points out of the lead for the Drivers' Championship, and defending series champion Cunningham is another six back.
"The RealTime Acuras performed flawlessly today," said Cunningham. "I was able to keep the heat on the polesitter after just a few laps of green flag racing. As the race wore on, I had the Mazda in my sights, but lapped traffic at the end of the race prevented me from taking a shot at him precisely when he was most vulnerable.
"Our new Crew Chief, Michael Busalacchi, saw to it that all five of our car chiefs gave us perfectly prepared cars to race, but a 'point and squirt' track like this just doesn't favor us the way some of the other high-speed tracks on the schedule may. Right now Acura sits five points behind Mazda, so we have some work to do if we want to help Acura retain the Manufacturers' Championship."
Kleinubing and Cunningham were second and third respectively on the starting grid. When the red lights went out Pierre was shuffled back a couple of spots, trapped on the outside, while Peter moved up to second. Because a multi-car crash occurred behind the duo at the start, SCCA immediately declared a full-course yellow. After a major cleanup, the green flag was shown and Pierre was able to regain third on the eighth lap.
Davis, the 2005 season's Rookie of the Year, picked up two positions from his 10th place start, while Esayian had the team's best position gain -- four places from a 14th spot on the starting grid.
The St. Petersburg race was televised just hours after it happened and will re-air Monday (today) at 3pm ET and Wednesday noon on the Speed Channel.
The third SPEED Touring Car race of the season will be May 20-21 as part of an American Le Mans Series weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.