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Auberlen dominates Road Atlanta Touring Car win

Braselton, Ga (June 29, 2003) - Bill Auberlen won his second Touring Car win of the season in fine fashion by leading from flag to flag at the Road Atlanta 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course. Auberlen got off to a great standing start and never...

Braselton, Ga (June 29, 2003) - Bill Auberlen won his second Touring Car win of the season in fine fashion by leading from flag to flag at the Road Atlanta 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course. Auberlen got off to a great standing start and never looked back.

"I walked away as fast as I could," stated the winner. "Had a fast consistent car, what more could one ask for. It will be a tough challenge this year (for the championship)." Auberlen took the lead in the points with the win today.

Turner Motorsport's Auberlen cruised him BMW 325i to the victory and his only setbacks were the two full course yellows. Even with the field tightening up, Auberlen continued to pull away when the green flag waved again. The win today gave BMW the manufacturers' points lead.

Jeff Altenburg finished second in his TriPoint Motorsports Mazda Protege, he started third for today's race and dropped back to fourth working his way with his teammate Shauna Marinus back to the podium positions. Marinus also dropped back from second on the grid to fifth.

"Bill (Auberlen) got a good start," Altenburg commented. "He had a good advantage. The car felt great, all weekend we were fast, this is a quality team."

On lap two, Altenburg took the second spot after applying pressure to Auberlen, Marinus took the final podium slot on lap three. Marinus' first podium in the SCCA Speed World Challenge series is also the first for a woman.

When asked about racing against his own teammate who just happens to be a woman, Altenburg responded, "Of course I'll try to pass Shauna (Marinus). I wouldn't feel skirted if Shauna went by me."

Marinus added, "I wouldn't feel skirted either."

The 25-lap race had lots of action with side-to-side bumping and nose-to-tail contact, especially in the early laps. The field did settle down with clean battles for position.

Chuck Hemmingson put the pedal to the metal to challenge Marinus for third from lap six, really working it in the closing laps. The ARC driver kept looking for a way around the Protege in his Protege but had to settle for fourth.

"It feels incredible," Marinus said on her podium finish.  "I knew the
BMW's would get a better start.  Now, I am looking forward to Sears Point."

Moving through the field from 20th starting position was Pierre Kleinubing. The RealTime Racing Acura RSX-S finished in fifth. Another charge to the front move was Roger Foo who was moved to 38th on the grid due to failing post-qualifying tech inspection. Foo finished eighth.

The hard charger of the race was rookie driver Tim Pappas who started 30th and finished 14th in his Team FBR/Trans Sport Lexus IS300.

Rounding out the top ten were: Peter Cunningham in sixth, Nic Jonsson in seventh, Mike Fitzgerald in ninth and rookie James Clay in tenth.

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About this article
Series PWC
Drivers Nic Jönsson
Teams RealTime Racing , Turner Motorsport