Nissan 'straight-lines' Road America Cunningham wins from pole, leads every lap August 23, 2003 - Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin -- Peter Cunningham's ...
Nissan 'straight-lines' Road America
Cunningham wins from pole, leads every lap
August 23, 2003 - Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin -- Peter Cunningham's #1 badge on TeamRTR's Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V was justified at Elkhart Lake's Road America today, as the defending Touring Car series champion gave Nissan its first World Challenge series race pole and first win.
The dominant performance by the "home team," based in nearby Saukville, vaulted Cunningham from ninth to sixth in the championship points. It also earned nine Manufacturer's points for Nissan, moving them past Audi for fifth.
Cunningham's Sentra SE-R beat the Lexus IS300 of Tim Pappas to the checkered flag by 1.053 seconds. He averaged a track race record 85.054mph, only hours after setting a new track qualifying record of 95.411mph.
The win was the 75th of Cunningham's professional career, and his 27th in the World Challenge series.
"This is a very emotional day for all of TeamRTR, RealTime Racing, and for me," said Cunningham. "A motorcycle accident a month ago cost the team our long-time friend and RealTime crew chief, Jerome Zimmermann. There's no better place than our home track to win our first race with Nissan and to send a sign to Jerry that no matter how much we miss his ability and friendship, we're capable of winning races. He's still inspiring us, and I know he was cheering us on today."
The win was also a thrill for 18-year old Nick Pulos of nearby Sheboygan, who was TeamRTR's special crewman for the weekend, the result of a joint promotion between the team and The Make-A-Wish Foundation