Acura, Kleinubing Maintain Leads Home Track No Advantage for RealTime Drivers After last weekend's great results in the mile-high city of Denver, the RealTime Acura team was looking forward to today's SCCA SPEED Touring Car event here in their...
Acura, Kleinubing Maintain Leads
Home Track No Advantage for RealTime Drivers
After last weekend's great results in the mile-high city of Denver, the RealTime Acura team was looking forward to today's SCCA SPEED Touring Car event here in their backyard at Road America. While there was no repeat of a podium sweep, the team did see four of its cars finish in the top-10.
The highest finishing Acura Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles-sponsored RealTime driver was Eric Curran, in fifth place. After qualifying sixth, Eric's RSX immediately sliced its way forward for a time, before getting repassed by a couple of competitors on a run to his fourth-consecutive top-five result. Three manufacturers were represented in the four cars that crossed the stripe ahead of the best Acura: Audi, Mazda, and Dodge.
Two-time defending race winner Peter Cunningham qualified his TSX in third place, but lost a little ground after a lap or two. As the final laps were winding down, it looked like he might finish directly behind his teammate, but with one lap to go, Jeff Altenburg made a clean pass in Turn 1 and Peter had to settle for seventh.
Points leader Pierre Kleinubing scored an eighth place finish -- his first non-podium finish of the season -- but maintains the majority of his advantage. Pierre was saddled with more REWARDS weight than any other driver in the field, earned by previous cumulative top-three finishes. This 110 pounds, coupled with the extra 50 pounds of minimum weight the sanctioning body saw fit to add to each of the Acura TSXs prior to the weekend, made for a tough fight.
After his maiden professional race victory six days ago, Brandon Davis arrived in Elkhart Lake ready to go. In qualifying he was on an early flyer when he braked a few feet too late in Turn 12 and ran it off the road, ruining his chance for a front row start. He was still able to secure the ninth quickest time and figured he'd move up during the race. Unfortunately, contact with another competitor gave him a realignment he didn't need and he did well to bring his TSX home in 10th.
Only Nick Esayian was not running at the finish, pulling off course after two laps with a broken drive axle in his RSX.
After seven of 10 races, Acura holds a 52-45 lead over Mazda for the Manufacturers' Championship. In the quest for the Drivers' title, RealTime drivers sit first, third, fifth, seventh and 10th. Kleinubing has a 21-point advantage over Mazda challenger Randy Pobst, followed respectively by Cunningham, Davis, Curran and Esayian.
"Our Denver results are more indicative of the spirit of this RealTime team, but everyone worked just as hard this weekend without the same outcome," said Cunningham.
"As we head into the final three rounds of the 2006 season, our drivers and crew will do everything possible to achieve a favorable result", he added. "We've been victorious 15 times at these three venues over the years, so we are confident that we can get the job done."
The Road America race was aired on a 30-minute delay on the Speed Channel, and will be rebroadcast on Wednesday, August 23rd at 100p--one hour after the Denver Touring Car rebroadcast.