RealTime to Defend Touring Car Titles SAUKVILLE, Wis. (Feb. 21, 2006) - With RealTime Racing's tenth SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championship trophies secured in its trophy case, the Wisconsin-based Acura ...
RealTime to Defend Touring Car Titles
SAUKVILLE, Wis. (Feb. 21, 2006) - With RealTime Racing's tenth SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championship trophies secured in its trophy case, the Wisconsin-based Acura squad will set out to defy the odds and challenge for supremacy once again in the 2007 SPEED Touring Car Championship.
"The manufacturers' battle in Touring Car will be tougher than ever this year," RealTime leader Peter Cunningham said. "The emerging Audi team got our attention last year; the BMWs now have a season of development on their new cars, and our chief rival Mazda returns with a vengeance. We can't do anything to hold those guys back, so our goal is to do everything we can to make the RealTime Acuras stronger!"
Defending SPEED Touring Car Drivers' Champion Pierre Kleinubing now has 100 Touring Car starts to his credit, and looks forward to again wearing the number one plate.
"The lucky No. 42 was good to me last year," Kleinubing said. "But I told my boss he could have it back since I have to run the No.1 this season."
That No. 42 has certainly been lucky for Kleinubing and team boss Cunningham as they have employed that car number on a variety of championship-winning cars over the years. Kleinubing won two of his four SPEED Touring Car titles with it while Cunningham has driven that number in each of his seven SCCA Pro Racing Championships.
Rejoining those two World Challenge stalwarts on the RealTime Acura team will be Brandon Davis and Nick Esayian. Davis was the 2005 SPEED Touring Car Rookie of the Year and secured his breakthrough SPEED Touring Car race-victory in front of his fellow Denver University classmates at that street fight in 2006. Esayian returns for his fourth year with the team and plans to build on his strong ninth-place ranking from last season.
RealTime is also excited to welcome a new driver to the five-man group: former Mercedes-Benz SPEED Touring Car standout Kuno Wittmer. Kuno was the 2005 Honda/ Michelin Challenge Drivers' Champion and is sure to be a significant contributor for RealTime this year.
"Being a part of the best and most-professional World Challenge team is a great feeling," Wittmer said. "I look forward to working hard with my four teammates to help achieve 2007 team goals. A great thank you to RealTime for giving me this opportunity."
RealTime Team Manager Nathan Bonneau discussed the team's readiness for its 15th year of SPEED World Challenge competition.
"We know that it will be difficult to repeat the successes we have enjoyed in these back-to-back championship seasons," Bonneau said. "But these guys have been putting in long hours to prepare for battle. We'll do one more test at Sebring before heading back down in a few weeks for the series opener, so we should have something good to show those boys."
From its traditional start at Sebring, Fla., the 10-event SPEED Touring Car calendar returns to many of its favorite perennial venues as well as two former World Challenge tracks that weren't on the 2006 schedule: Connecticut's Lime Rock Park and Upstate New York's Watkins Glen. So stay tuned to SPEED for another season-long collection of fender-to-fender SPEED Touring Car skirmishes.