CUNNINGHAM READIES FOR TITLE RUN, PACES SPEED TOURING CAR LAGUNA PRACTICE MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 14, 2005) -- Needing a fourth-place or better finish to secure his fourth SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Championship, Peter Cunningham,...
CUNNINGHAM READIES FOR TITLE RUN, PACES SPEED TOURING CAR LAGUNA PRACTICE
MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 14, 2005) -- Needing a fourth-place or better finish to secure his fourth SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Championship, Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., showed his hand early, pacing the opening SCCA SPEED Touring Car practice session at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Driving the No. 42 A-SPEC/RealTime Racing Acura TSX, Cunningham turned a blistering lap of 1:37.410 (82.710 mph) around the 2.238-mile circuit, leading a sextet of drivers eclipsing the current qualifying record of 1:38.261 (81.993 mph) set by Pierre Kleinubing in 2004.
Cunningham holds a 12-point advantage over Randy Pobst and a 13-point advantage over teammate Kleinubing entering the final race of the season, meaning he needs to finish fourth or better regardless of how many bonus qualifying or race points either of his protagonists score.
Dino Crescentini, of Malibu, Calif., was second fastest in his No. 74 Mazdaspeed/Centric Parts/TriPoint Mazda 6 with a fastest time of 1:37.786 (82.392 mph). RealTime Racing teammates Kleinubing, of Brazil, and Brandon Davis, of Denver, were third and fourth, respectively in their Acura TSXs. Two-time defending race Champion Jeff Altenburg, of Ellicott City, Md., was fifth in his Mazda 6.
Acura and Mazda are battling one another for the Manufacturers' Championship Presented by RACER Magazine, with Acura currently holding a two-point advantage. Acura will clinch the Championship if it finishes in front of or right behind the first Mazda in Sunday's race.
Final practice is set for Friday afternoon at 5:10 p.m. (PDT) and qualifying for the final Air Force Reserve Pole Position is set for Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. (PDT). Sunday's finale is scheduled for 10:55 a.m. (PDT) Sunday morning and will air on SPEED Channel at 3 p.m. locally, 6 p.m. (EDT).
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