Cunningham Takes SPEED Touring Car Air Force Reserve Pole at Mosport CANADA (Aug. 7, 2004) -- Peter Cunningham, of West Bend, Wis., captured his first Air Force Reserve Pole Position of the season, and the record 26th of his career, for Sunday's...
Cunningham Takes SPEED Touring Car Air Force Reserve Pole at Mosport
CANADA (Aug. 7, 2004) -- Peter Cunningham, of West Bend, Wis., captured his first Air Force Reserve Pole Position of the season, and the record 26th of his career, for Sunday's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship Round Seven Race, part of the Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport at Mosport International Raceway. Four-time Mosport racewinner Pierre Kleinubing will line up alongside.
Driving the No. 4 NISMO/TeamRTR Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V, Cunningham turned a record-breaking lap of 1:29.688 (98.702 mph) around the 2.459-mile Ontario circuit, eclipsing the existing mark of 1:33.432 (94.746), set by Mike Fitzgerald's Lexus in 2003 on street compound tires. The lap was the fastest official lap ever turned by an SCCA SPEED Touring Car, eclipsing Cunningham's own lap of 95.411 mph turned at Road America in 2003.
"The very first lap, historically, has been the best lap," Cunningham said of his atypical record qualifying lap. "But, today and this weekend, because of the cool temperatures and maybe because of the nature of the circuit, that is not the case. I didn't have enough temperature in my tires on the first lap. But, my second one was a fast one."
Kleinubing, who had earned four poles in his previous seven attempts at Mosport, had to settle for second in the No. 42 A-SPEC/RealTime Racing Acura TSX after leading practice on Friday. Kleinubing's best lap was a 1:29.809 (98.569 mph), which stood on top early, until Cunningham's second flying lap. The Brazilian is a former teammate of Cunningham's, and still drives for RealTime Racing, which Cunningham owns.
"It is everyman for himself," Cunningham added about the possibility of working with his former teammate. "But, if we can work together, compared to two guys who were never teammates before, I think we'll try not to argue too much. But, I haven't talked to Pierre about it. I don't know what he has in mind. He probably would agree to that as long he can be the one that is leading."
James Clay, of Blacksburg, Va., enjoyed his career-best qualifying run, with a 1:30.194 (98.148 mph) in his No. 36 Bimmerworld/Ground Control BMW 325i. Matt Plumb, of Newport, R.I., was fourth in his Acura, followed by Jeff Altenburg, of Ellicott City, Md., in his Mazda 6.
Point leader Bill Auberlen, of Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., will start Sunday's race from ninth position despite missing practice on Friday, when he was qualifying on the pole position for this evening's Grand-Am race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Sunday's Round Seven race will make it's standing start at 9:55 a.m. (EDT), with Live Timing & Scoring Presented by Cadillac at www.world-challenge.com. Sunday's race will be broadcast Sunday, Aug. 15 at 12:00 p.m. on SPEED Channel.
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