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Road Atlanta: Touring Car qualifying notes

Auberlen Takes Speed Touring Car Pole As Well In Atlanta BRASELTON, Ga. (June 28, 2003) -- Moments after securing the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT Championship pole position at Road Atlanta, Bill Auberlen, of Hermosa Beach, Calif.,...

Auberlen Takes Speed Touring Car Pole As Well In Atlanta

BRASELTON, Ga. (June 28, 2003) -- Moments after securing the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT Championship pole position at Road Atlanta, Bill Auberlen, of Hermosa Beach, Calif., jumped into his Turner Motorsports/H&R Springs BMW 325i and equaled the feat for Sunday's SCCA Speed Touring Car Round Four race, part of the Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta. Shauna Marinus, of Folsom, Calif., and Jeff Altenburg, of Ellicott City, Md., completed the top three.

Utilizing his experience from the SCCA Speed GT session, which went from damp to drying conditions, Auberlen was able to put in a fast lap of 1:39.320 (92.066 mph) during the opening minutes of the 20-minute session.

"My track surface knowledge was definitely an advantage," said Auberlen, who also took the Speed Touring Car pole at Sebring International Raceway. "These tires peak in their first two or three laps, and I was able to push when the tires were good, while other drivers were still searching for grip."

After setting his fast lap, Auberlen circulated for two laps and then parked in pit lane, waiting to see if anyone would get close. He looked to be in the clear, but Marinus, driving her No. 4 TriPoint Motorsports/Mazdaspeed Mazda Proteg0x00e9 ES, got to within 0.071-second with just one minute remaining. With Auberlen unable to leave pit lane and start a flying lap, she had one more attempt, but could not improve on her 1:39.391 (92.000 mph).

Marinus is the first woman to ever start an SCCA Speed Touring Car race from the front row.

Altenburg, driving the team car to Marinus, turned a fastest lap of 1:39.989 (91.450 mph). James Clay, of Blacksburg, Va., and Sweden's Nic Jonsson completed the top five in their BMWs.

Point leader Pierre Kleinubing spun and made contact with the wall coming out of the final corner on his first lap. The crew worked diligently throughout the session, and he was able to return to the track in his Acura, but could only manage 21st position.

Round Four of the SCCA Speed Touring Car Championship will make its standing start Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. Visit www.world-challenge.com <http://www.world-challenge.com/> for live timing and scoring.

-scca pro racing-

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Series PWC
Drivers Nic Jönsson
Teams Turner Motorsport