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Road Atlanta: Tri-Point Motorsports race notes

Tri-Point places two on podium at Road Atlanta Sunday, June 29, 2003. Braselton, GA. Completing a stellar weekend of competition, Jeff Altenburg and Shauna Marinus drove their Tri-Point Motorsports Mazdaspeed Proteges to podium finishes in Round...

Tri-Point places two on podium at Road Atlanta

Sunday, June 29, 2003. Braselton, GA. Completing a stellar weekend of competition, Jeff Altenburg and Shauna Marinus drove their Tri-Point Motorsports Mazdaspeed Proteges to podium finishes in Round Four of the SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car Championship at the Chevy Grand Prix of Road Atlanta, marking the second consecutive podium finish at Road Atlanta for Altenburg and the first ever appearance on the podium for Marinus in World Challenge competition.

This was a fantastic weekend for Shauna, myself, and everyone at Tri-Point Motorsports as the cars worked flawlessly," an enthusiastic Altenburg commented. "After the tough couple of races leading up to this I have to say this feels like a turning point, and is indicative of what the cars and the team are capable of doing."

Marinus, in securing her best career finish with a third place drive will also go into the series record books as the first woman to record a podium finish in World Challenge competition. "This weekend has been a special treat," Marinus exclaimed. "The cars were great from the moment we hit the track and stayed that way throughout the weekend. Tri-Point has worked relentlessly to get these Proteges to perform and it feels great to pay back their efforts with a podium finish. It is an honor to be the first woman to claim a podium finish in the series and I hope this can inspire little girls to follow their dreams."

From the outset of the weekend both Altenburg and Marinus were setting the pace around the 2.54-mile road course. Altenburg topped the charts the first two practice sessions, with Marinus close behind in third place after the first session and up into second as they headed into qualifying. In qualifying Marinus was nipped from the pole position by Bill Auberlen by seven-hundredths of a second, while Altenburg would line up third on the grid.

On the start, Altenburg jumped into second in pursuit of Auberlen while Marinus battled excessive wheelspin and fell to fifth before regrouping and working her way back to third place by lap two. A yellow flag period bunched the cars up just past the midway point of the race, unfortunately the tires on Altenburg's car had been worn in the charge to catch Auberlen and wouldn't allow him to sustain a charge for the lead on the restart. "I hoped that I could find a way around him on the restart," Altenburg explained. "On the restart I was able to get a fender alongside him as we went down the backstraight but it wasn't enough to make a clean pass."

With Round Four added to the record books, Tri-Point Motorsports now turns their attention to Infineon Raceway for Round Five on July 25-27 with the goal of placing both cars one position higher up the podium.

For more information on Tri-Point Motorsports please visit www.tripointengineering.com.

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Series PWC
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Jeff Altenburg