Altenburg Finishes Third in Tri-Point MAZDA6 at Mid-Ohio TC Race Tri-Point Motorsports driver Jeff Altenburg of Ellicott City, Maryland drove his MazdaSpeed MAZDA6 to a well earned third place finish at Sunday's SPEED World-Challenge ...
Altenburg Finishes Third in Tri-Point MAZDA6 at Mid-Ohio TC Race
Tri-Point Motorsports driver Jeff Altenburg of Ellicott City, Maryland drove his MazdaSpeed MAZDA6 to a well earned third place finish at Sunday's SPEED World-Challenge Touring Car race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car course in Lexington, Ohio. Altenburg's podium result added valuable points for Mazda's manufacturer's championship bid, and he finished hard on the heels of series point leader Pierre Kleinubing's Realtime Acura TSX. Tri-Point drivers Randy Pobst of Gainesville, Georgia and Dino Crescentini of Malibu, California finished 6th and 12th respectively in their blue and white MAZDA6 racecars.
With a newly paved and extremely smooth surface available for the weekend's race activities, the Mid-Ohio circuit placed car set up at a premium, and the Tri-Point crew worked hard to make sure that the driver's cars were up to the challenge. Pobst turned in a strong lap at 1:33.575 around the undulating and challenging 2.25-mile 13-turn natural terrain road course to secure 4th qualifying spot in the 35-car Touring Car field. Altenburg hustled his #73 MAZDA6 to a lap of 1:33.854 to secure 6th on the grid, and Crescentini squeezed in a 1:34.979 to qualify in the top half of the field in 16th.
A clean start saw the eventual race winning StaSis Audi A4 of Chip Herr get a strong launch, leaving pole winner Pierre Kleinubing to give chase into turn one. Pobst maintained his position, but Altenburg, as has become his trademark of sorts was setting his sights to move forward in the field.
By lap 18 Altenburg had moved his way up to third and spent the remainder of the race in a tight battle for second with Kleinubing and the Audi A4 of Freddy Baker. Jeff's fine drive was good enough to bring his #72 Tri-Point MAZDA6 home third at the flag.
Pobst soldiered through the event starting and finishing in 6th with his #73 MAZDA6 entry, and it is indeed testament to the strengths of his MAZDA6 racecar and to Pobst's capabilities as a race driver that few would have bet on him finishing outside the top five at this event.
Crescentini had a strong drive during the race as he moved from 16th in qualifying to 12th at the checkered flag, and showed very competitive lap times during the event.
Jeff Altenburg #72
I had to overcome a bit of a mistake in qualifying. I think we might have had a front row car. We knew it would move forward in the race. I had a great restart after that last caution and was able to get by Randy. We are really moving forward with the same basic set up that we have had since Sebring.
As always, the Stop Tech brakes were terrific. We were able to slow down better than just about anybody else, and we were able to harass Pierre because of it.
We had a MAZDA6 club come out to the race with about 20 people and cars, and we wanted to thank those people for their support.
Randy Pobst #73
We got swamped by the Audis. I didn't have the car quite where I wanted it, but I felt that qualifying went well. During the race I got out of the car what I could. This weekend was another step toward the championship, and I'm working hard toward consistent finishes.
I also have to say that I appreciate the crew putting in some long hours chasing the set-up on my MAZADA6.
Dino Crescentini #74
I just tried to keep my nose clean and work my way forward. The car was good and I was able to finish ahead of where I started. We'll just keep working on the set up of the car and see what we can get out of it for the rest of the season.
Based on World-Challenge Rewards Weight rules, Altenburg will have 10lbs added for the next event, and Pobst will have 20lbs removed. Crescentini's car will remain the same.
Mazda still leads the race for the manufacturer's title with a 2-point gap to Acura 22-20. Pobst has a strong hold on second place in the driver's championship points race with 89 to current series leader Kleinubing's 90, while Altenburg sits eighth with 49 points and Crescentini is nineteenth with 20 points.
The Tri-Point crew will have a month long break in competition before they head to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California the weekend of June 23rd through the 25th. The SPEED World-Challenge will be sharing the weekend with the Nextel Cup series and large crowds will be in attendance. For more information on the upcoming Sonoma race, or to see more results information from the Mid-Ohio event, log onto www.world-challenge.com. You can also see what Tri-Point is up to by surfing to www.tripointengineering.com.