Pobst Earns Podium Finish in Tri-Point Motorsports MAZDA6 at World Challenge Touring Car Lime Rock Event SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car pilot Randy Pobst finished 2nd in his Tri-Point Motorsports prepared MAZDA6 in this past Saturday's...
Pobst Earns Podium Finish in Tri-Point Motorsports MAZDA6 at World Challenge Touring Car Lime Rock Event
SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car pilot Randy Pobst finished 2nd in his Tri-Point Motorsports prepared MAZDA6 in this past Saturday's event at Lime Rock Park Raceway. Tri-Point drivers Jeff Altenburg and Dino Crescentini, racing the team's other two MAZDA6s, finished 7th and 13th respectively in the 50 minute long 6th round of the 11 round 2005 schedule.
A Hard Fought Race
After missing pole position by a mere .03 seconds, Pobst, of Gainesville, Georgia, who qualified on the front row with a lap of 57.872 around the 1.5 mile hilly circuit, experienced wheel spin at the start and was quickly ambushed by a trio of RealTime Racing Acuras. Keenly aware of the importance of earning points for the manufacturer's championship title race, Randy assumed a conservative initial pace with his #73 MAZDA6, and skillfully selected the right opportunities to pick off each of the Acuras before the checkered flag. The close racing made for a great show, and is the calling card of World Challenge Touring Car competition.
Jeff Altenburg, of Ellicott City, Maryland, hustled his #72 Tri-Point Motorsports entry to a 6th place qualifying run with a lap of 58.244. Despite intense pressure from the #27 BMW of Nic Jonsson, Altenburg threaded his way through traffic and was running as high as fourth before Jonsson, in a heavy handed attempt to pass, made solid contact with the sleek blue #72 MAZDA6, and sent Jeff back in the field. After a good drive that surely deserved more, Altenburg would eventually have to settle for 7th at the flag.
Dino Crescentini, who earned rookie of the year honors in World Challenge competition in 2004, came to the Tri-Point Motorsports organization with high hopes for the 2005 season. But bad luck has plagued the Malibu, California resident, and Dino was intent this weekend on ensuring that he simply finish the Lime Rock event. Crescentini accomplished his goal, and was even able to better his starting position by the checkered flag, as he moved from 16th to 13th over the 41-lap event.
Jeff Altenburg #72
The car was good through most of the race, although we did scramble to get a setup under my MAZDA6. During the race, I started to get a bit of understeer after a 10-lap stint or so. We were moving up steadily, and I think we were running 4th when Nic (Jonsson - BMW 325) got into me pretty hard and dropped me back a bit. It is a shame too, because we had worked our way past PD (Cunningham - Acura TSX) and Pierre (Kleinubing - Acura TSX) and we were looking good to be able and score some important points for Mazda, which would help close the gap to the Acuras.
Randy Pobst #73
I was pleased with the way qualifying went. From the first race of the season, my MAZDA6 has been a good handling machine and we have only had to make small changes for set up. Lime Rock though is big challenge, because even though it is short, it is very fast, and there are quite a few pavement changes. Also, the grip level on track changes quite a bit over the course of a weekend. We put a set up on the car that we thought would work on the track as it changed, and it seemed to be the right call. We were especially good through turn 6. I thought the weekend went well overall, and I'm happy to be on the podium and to be able to add points to Mazda's manufacturers title chase.
Dino Crescentini #74
Really, I was just trying to make sure that I got to the finish cleanly, and from that standpoint I'm happy with the results this weekend. The Tri-Point crew does a great job, and the MAZDA6 is obviously a solid racecar. If I can get a little of the bad luck to stay away, I think we'll be able to move our way a little closer to the front.
The SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Series travels next to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California for the Infineon Grand Prix the weekend of July 15-17. Look for the brilliant blue MAZDA6's of the Tri-Point Motorsports team as they take to the track the morning of July 15th for first practice. For more information on the upcoming Sonoma event, or for more comprehensive results of the Lime Rock race, be sure to log onto www.world-challenge.com. Also, keep up to date with the fantastic new MAZDA6 at www.tripointengineering.com.