Tri-Point Motorsports Puts Two MAZDA6s in Top Ten at Cleveland Touring Car Event After the dust had settled on a hard fought and spectacular World Challenge Touring Car event at Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport circuit this past Saturday, ...
Tri-Point Motorsports Puts Two MAZDA6s in Top Ten at Cleveland Touring Car Event
After the dust had settled on a hard fought and spectacular World Challenge Touring Car event at Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport circuit this past Saturday, Tri-Point Motorsports found itself with two of its sleek blue MAZDA6s in the top ten at the checkered flag. The 5th round of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Series saw Tri-Point's #72 MAZDA6 of Jeff Altenburg finish 5th while the #73 of Randy Pobst finished 10th and earned the urbanracer.com Fast Lap Award. Dino Crescentini brought the #74 entry home in 20th after a very competitive weekend that saw him lapping with the leaders for almost the entire event.
Pobst, of Gainesville, Georgia, secured a second place starting position in qualifying with a strong lap of 1:23.950 around the 10-turn bumpy temporary road course that utilizes the runways and taxiways of Cleveland's Burke Lakefront airport. Crescentini, of Malibu, California, lined his #74 MAZDA6 up 4th on the grid with a lap of 1:24.097, and Altenburg of Ellicott City, Maryland, qualified a solid 8th at 1:24.781 despite carrying 150 lbs of SCCA mandated rewards weight.
The 29 car field took the green flag amidst clear conditions, and each car made it through the circuit's infamous turn 1 area unscathed. Pobst held 2nd place until having to pit to remove a dragging rear bumper cover that was considered a hazard by SCCA officials. Pobst spent the remainder of the race working his way back through the field, and clicked off an ultra quick 1:24.100 lap during the race.
Following a good start, Crescentini maintained 4th for much of the event and began to close on the leaders in the later stages of the 30 minute race. A malfunctioning alternator stopped the car with just over a lap left in the race, and 20th place was decidedly not just reward for such a fine drive.
Altenburg, focused on gaining points for the manufacturer's and driver's championship points race was tentative through turn 1 to ensure no contact, and spent much of the race moving toward the front. His calculated strategy paid off as he moved from 8th to 5th by the checkered flag.
Jeff Altenburg #72
I sort of tip toed through turn 1 just to make sure that we got through there OK, and I spent the rest of the time working my way back up. The car was great as usual and so were the Stop Tech brakes, but the rewards weight is hurting us a bit and it is really starting to take its toll.
Randy Pobst #73
We caught a black flag because of the rear bumper cover, but we're going to start winning some of these things real soon. We had the fastest car the whole race, and I think its just a matter of time.
Dino Crescentini #74
The car was just about perfect. I was actually gaining on the 3 leaders to the point where I mathematically could have caught them -- my quickest lap being my 4th from the last. Then? Nothing. The car just died, 1 and a half laps from the checker. It turns out that the alternator stopped charging the battery after the 4th lap, so I was running on battery power only -- with my high beams on. (SCCA mandate) Time to pull out the clich0x00e9: If it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all.
The Tri-Point crew will be hard at work as they prep the cars for the next event coming up the weekend of July 1-4 at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.