Crescentini, Cunningham and Helms Quickest In World Challenge Afternoon Practice at St. Pete ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 26, 2010) -- Dino Crescentini, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., topped the time sheets of the second World Challenge practice ...
Crescentini, Cunningham and Helms Quickest In World Challenge Afternoon Practice at St. Pete
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 26, 2010) -- Dino Crescentini, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., topped the time sheets of the second World Challenge practice session of the day at the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg weekend. Crescentini was the GT class leader, with Peter Cunningham of Milwaukee, Wis., and Kevin Helms, of Charlotte, N.C., leading the GTS and Touring Car classes, respectively.
Crescentini's lap of 1:20.058 (80.941 mph) was the quickest time of the day, with lap times falling dramatically from this morning's damp, cool session. Driving the No. 4 Centric Parts/Stoptech GMG Porsche 911 GT3, Crescentini cut his time by nearly four seconds from this morning's session.
"It gives us a little confidence to be fastest in practice," Crescentini said. "The car felt good, GMG put it together well. It's a new car, the 2010 Porsche GT3 Cup car, but it seems to be working. It's hard to quantify the differences between this year and last year's car -- we didn't do any testing, and this is a track we haven't been to. More than anything else, I'm comfortable on this track. I've always mentioned I like street courses, and I'm glad we have a lot of them this year. While they can be hazardous, they're also a lot of fun. That's most of it.
"I was actually fastest in both sessions in a Mazda (in Touring Car) five years ago, until I had a pretty gnarly accident. I just like the track."
Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., was quickest in the morning session and second-fastest in the later session with a time of 1:20.081 (80.918 mph) in the No. 6 K-Pax Racing Volvo S60. Crescentini's GMG teammate, James Sofronas, of Newport Beach, Calif., finished third in the No. 14 GMG Porsche 911 GT3.
Andy Pilgrim was next, placing the second K-Pax Racing Volvo S60 into the top five. Kuno Wittmer, driving the No. 13 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Viper, finished fifth after running second quickest this morning.
Five-time series Champion Cunningham topped the new GTS class for the second time today, lowering his time form this morning by a second to a 1:25.944 (75.398 mph) in the No. 43 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX.
Nick Esayian (No. 34 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX), of San Diego, Calif., and Michael Pettiford (No. 41 Go 4 It Racing Schools/Hawk Pontiac Solstice), of Louisville, Colo., completed the top three in the GTS class.
World Challenge rookie Helms moved from second in this morning's session to first in the afternoon, turning a fast lap of 1:29.233 (72.627 mph) in the No. 04 DBA/Carbotech/AST/Exedy Honda Civic Si. Helms was more than two seconds quicker in the afternoon session than this morning.
"The car feels good," Helms said. "It's a real abrasive surface so we have some new tires for qualifying. We're excited for qualifying, that's where it counts. Practice doesn't mean much, we're going to try to put it up front in qualifying and go from there. This is my first time on a street circuit, and it's exciting. I enjoy it. But it's scary, you can see the walls and sometimes you have to leave a little on the table."
Helms edged Mark Hein, this morning's Touring Car leader from nearby Clearwater, Fla., who turned a lap of 1:29.781 (72.175 mph) in the No. 38 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Honda Civic Si. Todd Buras, of Daytona Beach, Fla., was third quickest in the Touring Car class in the No. 49 Irish Mike's Racing Volkswagen Jetta GLI.
Source: scca pro racing