Wittmer, Cunningham and Mosing Sweep Friday World Challenge Practices At Miller Tooele, Utah (October 2, 2010) -- In a repeat of Saturday morning's World Challenge Championship practice, Kuno Wittmer, of Montreal, topped the afternoon practice...
Wittmer, Cunningham and Mosing Sweep Friday World Challenge Practices At Miller
Tooele, Utah (October 2, 2010) -- In a repeat of Saturday morning's World Challenge Championship practice, Kuno Wittmer, of Montreal, topped the afternoon practice for the Toyo Tires Utah Grand Prix Presented by Bondurant. Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., and Jeff Mosing, of Autsin, Texas, also swept the sessions for the GTS and Touring Car classes, respectively.
Wittmer was even quicker in the afternoon session on the 3.048-mile, 15-turn "Outer Course" configuration at Miller Motorsports Park, posting a time of 1:57.810 (93.140 mph) in his No. 13 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Viper.
All of the World Challenge Viper teams have extra motivation this weekend, as the weekend is being shared with the annual gathering of the Viper Owner's of America.
"The car is really good this weekend," Wittmer said. "Out of the box this morning, it worked really well and has responded well to all of the changes that we've put on the car. We feel pretty optimistic that we can do something good tomorrow. The car is just working really well.
"I think a mid-56 will take the pole. I've got about 1,700 [Viper enthusiasts] here supporting us this weekend so that's always motivation to get into the 52s, but obviously that's not going to happen! We've got a lot of fans, let's see what we can do for them."
Just 0.013-second behind Wittmer on the combined charts was Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla. Pilgrim set his fast lap in the No. 8 K-Pax Racing Volvo S60 early in the 45-minute afternoon practice, running a time of 1:57.823 (93.130 mph). Pilgrim was briefly on the top of the charts in the session until Wittmer crossed the timing stripe just seconds later.
Pilgrim's teammate and recently-crowned GT Drivers' Champion Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., was third on the day in the No. 6 K-Pax Racing Volvo S60 with a best time of 1:58.373 (92.697 mph). Pobst was fourth in the morning session, but moved ahead of James Sofronas in the No. 14 GMG Porsche 911 GT3. Sofronas also posted his best time of 1:58.562 (92.479 mph) in the afternoon session to remain in fourth.
Jeff Courtney was fifth-quickest on the day in his No. 99 Kenda Tires Dodge Viper with a time of 1:59.141 (92.099 mph), again in the afternoon session.
Cunningham, who clinched his sixth World Challenge Drivers' Championship in the previous round at VIRginia International Raceway, led both sessions and the combined practice charts, but posted his quickest time of 2:08.387 (85.466 mph) in the morning session behind the wheel of the No. 43 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX.
"I think that the Acura is probably quickest in the corners, and we're maybe not as quick in a straight line as some of the other cars," Cunningham said of the diverse GTS field "But it's a pretty neat battle as some of the other GTS cars learn the track and get it dialed in. This is a pretty impressive GTS field."
This weekend's World Challenge event caps a busy week for the RealTime team, who prepared an Acura TSX at last week's SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Subway for Richard Cullen, who drove the machine to the inaugural Super Touring Under National Championship at Road America.
"Helping Richard Cullen win the Runoffs was a really neat deal," Cunningham said, speaking as the team owner. "RealTime has never run a Club Racing event except when we've run them for testing time, and we have always pulled in at least once so as not to try to take points from people who are racing all season. This, I think, was the first Club Racing win for RealTime Racing, and to do it at the Runoffs for a National Championship was neat."
Kyle Kelley, of Huntington Beach, Calif., improved his lap times behind the wheel of the No. 79 UPR.com/Jamison Eng Chevrolet Corvette in the afternoon session, with his best time of 2:09.554 (84.697 mph) quick enough for second place in both the session and the combined charts.
Hometown driver Ben Crosland, from Salt Lake City, sits third on the combined charts after posting a time of 2:09.777 (84.551 mph) in his No. 25 RPMotorsports Ford Mustang FR500S. Nick Esayian (No. 34 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX) was fourth with a best time of 2:10.466 (84.105 mph), followed by Kris McCoy (No. 00 Gear X/IL4 & Supremacy Racing Acura RSX) with a time of 2:10.616 (84.008 mph). All three turned their quickest times in the afternoon session.
Mosing swept the time charts in his No. 08 Frank's International Mazda RX-8, improving in the afternoon session to 2:13.673 (82.078 mph). Mosing is making just his third World Challenge start this weekend, but finished second in the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup race at Miller Motorsports Park in that Series' season finale.
"I like the flowing turns here at Miller," Mosing said. "MER has been really instrumental in helping me get up to speed, including here. They've given me a really good Mazda RX-8 here to drive this weekend.
"In the first session, one of the plugs on the ECU came loose and we lost throttle. That happened early on in the session and we didn't get to do any tuning and testing. In the second session, the ABS put a scare in me and I had a monster off in Five. I came within inches of the guard rail.
"We were out on practice tires. We're not real concerned with practice times, even though we were able to be quickest. Qualifying is what's important. We pretty much know what the car can do on stickers with the setup that we have."
Pierre Kleinubing, second in the World Challenge record books in both all-time wins and pole positions and the 2009 Touring Car Champion, trails only Mosing in Saturday's practice reports after an afternoon time of 2:14.291 (81.709 mph). Kleinubing is driving the No. 1 Mazda/Cybernation MAZDASPEED3 in his return to the Series for the first time in 2010. Mike Pettiford was third in combined practice with a best time of 2:14.516 (81.572 mph) in the No. 41 Go 4 It Racing Schools/Hawk Volkswagen Jetta GLI.
Taylor Hacquard (No. 31 Mazda/Cybernation MAZDASPEED3) was fourth, with a best time of 2:14.739 (81.437 mph) in the afternoon session. Eric Meyer (No. 32 XOWii/Samaritan's Feet/Delvira Mazda RX-8 was fifth on the combined charts with a time of 2:14.967 (81.299 mph), set in the morning.
The World Challenge Championships GT, GTS and Touring Car classes qualify on Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. (MDT) to set the grid for Sunday's season finale. The lights go out for the standing start at 2:55 p.m. (MDT).
-source: scca pro racing