SAUKVILLE, Wis. (March 8, 2002)-Seven-time SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Champion RealTime Racing has revealed its initial 2002 season plans, with the team returning with Acura cars in the Speed GT and Speed Touring Car ...
SAUKVILLE, Wis. (March 8, 2002)-Seven-time SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Champion RealTime Racing has revealed its initial 2002 season plans, with the team returning with Acura cars in the Speed GT and Speed Touring Car Championship.
Leading the Touring Car charge will again be Pierre Kleinubing, who seeks his unprecedented third-straight Drivers' Championship in 2002. Like in 2001, and sticking with the philosophy of 'why mess with a winning combination?' Kleinubing will carry the number one on the side of his RealTime orange and white Acura Integra Type R.
Kleinubing, 27, has always had a strong cast of Championship-caliber teammates, but none may be tougher than his 2002 stable mate, team owner Peter Cunningham, who will return to the Touring Car ranks that he cut his teeth on in the early 1990s. Cunningham will, at least, start the season in the No. 42 Touring Car, with the decision on whether to run a full season to be made later.
"We're going to start the season off with both Pierre and I in Integra Touring Cars," said Cunningham. "We'll determine at a later date if it's sensible for me to continue with that program and also if we should continue with the Integra Type R or move to the new RSX Type S that the RealTime crew has been working on.
"We've taken the last two Championships in Integras, but both were uphill battles that were won with exceptional driving and teamwork. If, through testing, the RSX exceeds the performance of the Integra, then we'll consider making the change"
Ageless Fred Meyer also returns to the Touring Car stable to drive his familiar No. 45 Integra Type R. This is Meyer's seventh season with RealTime, and, even at age 74, he is showing no signs of slowing.
Now the career leader in nearly every statistical category with the exception of starts (which he will likely eclipse early in the season if he continues running in Touring Car), Cunningham will seek his sixth SCCA Pro Racing Drivers' Championship in 2002 driving the No. 42 Speed GT Championship Acura NSX SC. Last year, Cunningham topped the season statistical charts, with five wins and seven poles in 10 races, but fell short of the Championship in the end. Second place will not be an acceptable finish to the season two years in a row.
"Like I said last year, if there was someone to finish second to, I'd prefer that it be my old teammate Michael [Galati]," said Cunningham, who turns 40 this year at his hometown race at Road America. "This year will be different though. There's a higher expectation after a season of development with the Vortech-supercharged NSX.
"This year, the team's goal is to win both the GT and Touring Car Drivers' Championships and return Acura's name to the Manufacturers' cup. We've helped carry American Honda to seven Championships in the past, but in 2001, they were shut out. The Acura name deserves to be back there, and we're the team to help them accomplish that."
RealTime Racing is proud to welcome back its prime supporters: Acura Division of American Honda, Red Line Oil, Goodridge, Vortech, Eibach, Bosch, Sparco, Hawk Performance, Gemini, Hella, Racetech, Valley Graphics, PPG Paints, Total Autobody and Acura of Brookfield.
The team still has open seats in both an Integra Touring Car and a second GT Championship NSX SC for the right driver.
-scca pro racing-