Wittmer, Cunningham and Meyer Top Combined World Challenge Practice Charts at VIR ALTON, Va. (September 10, 2010) -- Kuno Wittmer, of Montreal, improved his morning practice times at the Race Keeper World Challenge VIR Grand Prix presented by ...
Wittmer, Cunningham and Meyer Top Combined World Challenge Practice Charts at VIR
ALTON, Va. (September 10, 2010) -- Kuno Wittmer, of Montreal, improved his morning practice times at the Race Keeper World Challenge VIR Grand Prix presented by Special Ops Watch by sweeping the Friday's World Challenge Championships GT class practices. Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., and Eric Meyer, of Indianapolis, Ind., led the GTS and Touring Car classes, respectively, based on times set in the morning session.
Wittmer topped the time charts in the morning and backed it up with the fastest lap in the 30-minute afternoon session, running a time of 1:56.957 (100.652 mph) on the 17-turn, 3.27-mile track.
"The Dodge Viper is working pretty good," Wittmer said. "We've thrown a lot of things at it, and it's a very tricky track to tune to because it's very narrow and so high speed but also very low speed in some corners. The car is working very well. It's still a practice day, though, and there's so much stuff that can still develop. Qualifying is another story, yesterday we timed Randy Pobst and he was a second quicker than I was today. We'll see how it all shakes out, but we're going to give it all we've got, just like we've done all season. We're working hard day and night, and our guys are tired, but we're hoping to give them a gift at the end of the weekend."
Wittmer trails Randy Pobst in the GT Championship, and with three races to go has an opportunity to make up ground in this weekend's round 10 and 11 races.
"Randy still hasn't won this thing," Wittmer said. "I'm a competitor, and so is he, and I'm going to fight him clean right to the end at Salt Lake City, down to the last lap. There's no way he's going to walk away from this one without a fight from us."
Following Wittmer on the combined practice charts is Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., who turned a time of 1:57.310 (100.349 mph) behind the wheel of the No. 8 K-Pax Racing Volvo S60 in the afternoon session. Pilgrim was also second quickest in the morning practice.
Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., put his No. 6 K-Pax Racing Volvo S60 third on the combined charts based on his morning fast lap, a 1:57.683 (100.031 mph).
James Sofronas (No. 14 GMG Porsche 911 GT3) and Jason Daskalos (No. 5 Daskalos Developments Dodge Viper) turned times of 1:57.964 (99.793 mph) and 1:58.183 (99.608 mph), respectively, in the afternoon session to finish fourth and fifth.
Cunningham swept both of the sessions in the GTS class, with his fast time of 2:07.687 (92.194 mph) behind the wheel of the No. 43 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX coming in the morning session.
"It was slippery this afternoon," Cunningham said. "We stickered up this morning and were on the same tires this afternoon and just went slower. Our Acuras have good balance, and that's the key. The high speed corners are where the Acuras shine. We're not doing a whole lot of lifting through the high-speed esses, and that's where we're making up a lot of time."
Trailing Cunningham was his RealTime Racing teammate, Nick Esayian, of San Diego, Calif. Esayian's fast time of 2:08.907 (91.321 mph), set in the No. 34 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX, also came in the morning 30 minutes.
Karl Poeltl, of Knoxville, Tenn., improved in the afternoon piloting the No. 83 Racer's Edge/Wossner Pistons BMW E46 325i and finished third on the combined charts with a time of 2:10.802 (89,998 mph).
Like the GTS class, the Touring Car field was also slightly slower in the afternoon session. Meyer, in the No. 32 XOWii/Samaritan's Feet/Delvira Mazda RX-8 posted a time of 2:13.363 (88.270 mph) in the morning to top the session. Meyer was second quickest in the afternoon session.
"There are only a couple of rear-wheel drive cars in Touring Car, both Mazdas," Meyer said. "We knew we'd have an advantage hooking up and coming onto the front straight, and we can really make up some ground there. We're killing people in the braking zone, but this is a good track for our RX-8."
The day was encouraging for Meyer, who trails Robert Stout in the Touring Car championship.
"With Robert ahead of us, ideally we need a couple of poles for the points this weekend, and we're right there," Meyer said. "If we get some really good finishes this weekend, we'll head into the finale with a shot at the championship, and that would be exciting. I'm looking forward to seeing if we can make up some ground this weekend."
Todd Buras, of Daytona Beach, was second on the day in his No. 50 Irish Mike's Racing/Krispy Kreme Volkswagen Jetta GLI, turning a best time of 2:13.795 (87.985 mph) in the morning session. Buras' topped the afternoon practice, completing the circuit in 2:13.959 (87.877 mph).
Robb Holland's time of 2:13.934 (87.894 mph) behind the wheel of the No. 22 303 Motorsports/Track Pro/Emich VW Volkswagen GTI was good for third-best for the day.
The World Challenge Championships GT, GTS and Touring Car classes set the grid for Saturday afternoon's first race of the weekend with a qualifying session at 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning.
-source: scca pro racing