Cunningham to make 100th World Challenge start. Leads SPEED World Challenge in six categories. SAUKVILLE WI (July 9, 2002) -- RealTime Racing driver Peter Cunningham will become the first driver in SPEED World Challenge series history to make...
Cunningham to make 100th World Challenge start.
Leads SPEED World Challenge in six categories.
SAUKVILLE WI (July 9, 2002) -- RealTime Racing driver Peter Cunningham will become the first driver in SPEED World Challenge series history to make 100 race starts on Saturday, July 20, when he takes the green flag in the SPEED GT race at the RFK Stadium temporary street circuit in Washington, D.C.
Cunningham will drive an RTR-built Acura NSX SC in that race. The next day, he will make start #101 in the SPEED Touring Car race, this time driving one of his team's Acura Integra Type R's.
At the start of the 2002 World Challenge season, Cunningham ranked second in career starts to Honda driver Taz Harvey, 90 to 89, but Harvey competes only in the Touring Car Championship.
Cunningham founded RealTime Racing in 1987. After building championship-winning cars for professional ice racing and SCCA PRO Rally events, the company started building Honda and Acura race cars that captured seven World Challenge Driver's Championships, helped Honda and Acura win seven Manufacturer's Championships, and won 43 World Challenge races.
"American Honda and Acura Cars have always been at the forefront of our racing efforts," Cunningham said. "Since the cars we race are production-based without a lot of modifications, our success is proof positive the road-going versions are in elite company. On occasion, we also work with them on other activities promoting their individual brands of street cars to automotive media at race tracks across the country.
"Winning Driver's Championships is nice for us, individually, but winning Manufacturer's Championships is what has made RTR North America's top company for proving Honda and Acura cars are as good on the race track as they are on the streets. The SPEED World Challenge series is the best place to do that, because we are able to go head-to-head with the cars which Honda and Acura compete against in the showrooms."
Five other World Challenge categories also have the name "Cunningham" at the top of their all-time lists: Race Wins (24), Fastest Race Laps (15), Podium Finishes (54), Top 5 Finishes (69), and Top 10 Finishes (81).
Cunningham is currently involved in an intra-company rivalry with one of his drivers, Pierre Kleinubing, for another noteworthy honor.
"I started the 2002 season tied with Pierre at 21 for the most World Challenge Pole Positions," he said. "But through the first five races, Pierre has won two poles, and I only have one.
"I can't say that makes me unhappy, because since joining RealTime in 1997, Pierre has proven he is a fast driver who is as adept at telling the crew what he feels the car is doing, as he is at working with the media. For him to end 2001 with 21 poles in only 48 races is far better than my 21 in 89 start at that time. He's won three Touring Car Driver's Championships in an RTR-built Acura Integra Type R, and he's headed for his fourth. His abilities have become a tremendous asset to both RTR and to Acura Cars."
Last Fall, it was documented that Cunningham's 72 race wins in eight different series since 1985 was the more than any driver had ever accumulated, in a compilation of race results from 15 different American professional road racing series since 1963.
Eight of his 10 personal series championships, and 58 of the race wins, came in Honda and Acura cars.
Of his 24 World Challenge series wins, 10 of them, and 18 of his 54 podium finishes, have come on temporary circuits, like the RFK Stadium parking lot circuit where the series races on July 19-21.
"I'm not going to claim that I'm a better street fighter than anybody else," he said, "but I've always felt the time I spent competing in parking lot autocrosses, in ice racing, and in professional rallying, taught me well."
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