Acura Inches Closer at Road Atlanta Tight Manufacturers' Battle Now a One Race Shoot out at Monterey Finale The RealTime Acuras headed south to Road Atlanta for the penultimate round of the 2009 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring ...
Acura Inches Closer at Road Atlanta
Tight Manufacturers' Battle Now a One Race Shoot out at Monterey Finale
The RealTime Acuras headed south to Road Atlanta for the penultimate round of the 2009 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship with its objective clear: Score maximum points in an attempt to retake the Manufacturers' points lead. A race win wasn't in the cards for the Acura squad but they beat their closest competition to halve the deficit from two points to one--effectively forcing the championship to a winner-take-all decision at the season finale in less than two weeks time.
The Acura TSXs set the pace throughout testing and official Practice with Kuno Wittmer and Peter Cunningham showing the way. Qualifying was another matter as Wittmer and Cunningham set times good for only fourth and sixth. Road America winner Pierre Kleinubing struggled with a slight mechanical gremlin and placed his car in eighth.
On race day it was a BMW podium sweep with the Mazdas and the Acuras fighting for what was left. Wittmer led the non-BMW finishers with a fourth place result, beating the best Mazda, driven by Eric Foss, by one position to earn back the one point. Cunningham had a heated race long battle with Foss, but had to settle for sixth. Kleinubing was forced to make pit stop to change a flat tire after an altercation with another competitor but recovered to round out the top ten.
"Congratulations to the BimmerWorld Team," said Cunningham, regarding the BMW team's first-ever sweep of the top three positions. "The Acuras have always been fast at Atlanta but those guys sure found their way. Our primary focus was to beat the Mazdas, but you know we would have preferred to been on that podium ourselves!"
Catch the action of the SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Toyo Tires Road Atlanta Grand Prix Presented by Dish Network on the SPEED Channel on Tuesday, October 20, at 2:00p EDT.
The tenth and final round of the 2009 Touring Car Championship will take place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on October 9-11. Both the Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championships are yet to be decided, so the entire season comes down to this one event.
Mazda's Jason Saini leads the points for Drivers' but needs a strong result to prevent Kleinubing or Cunningham from stealing the crown. The Manufacturers' Points Race is a virtual tie and the RealTime drivers will doing all they can to help Acura to its unprecedented eighth title!