Kleinubing Goes Wire-to-Wire Again Scores RealTime's 60th World Challenge Win RealTime Acura driver Pierre Kleinubing started from the pole position and led every lap in the SPEED Touring Car race at Miller Motorsports Park on Saturday, ...
Kleinubing Goes Wire-to-Wire Again
Scores RealTime's 60th World Challenge Win
RealTime Acura driver Pierre Kleinubing started from the pole position and led every lap in the SPEED Touring Car race at Miller Motorsports Park on Saturday, bolstering the respective points leads for both Drivers' and Manufacturers'. This victory was Pierre's second-consecutive, his series career 26th, and the milestone 60th World Challenge series win for RealTime Racing.
Kleinubing's Acura Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles-sponsored Acura TSX felt the heat in more ways than one in the 100-plus temperatures as the Mazda of second-in-points Randy Pobst filled his mirrors throughout the 13-lap contest. After staving off a charge on the penultimate lap, Kleinubing took the checkered flag more than a second ahead of Pobst.
Coming into the inaugural professional race weekend on the new 4.486-mile, 23-turn layout with a 12 point lead over Pobst, Kleinubing maxed-out on points and heads home to Florida with a 164-146 gap.
The win also doubled Acura's margin over Mazda; Acura now leads 40 to 34.
The pole shot was Kleinubing's third consecutive this season and now ties his team boss Peter Cunningham for the World Challenge series-record at 29.
"My car was just unbelievable today! Even with the blistering-hot conditions, the handling of my Acura continued to improve as the race went on and the fuel load lessened," Kleinubing reported. "The RealTime crew once again gave me a fantastic racecar and I wasn't about to let that Mazda get past me and disappoint them."
"Pierre has both qualified and finished in the top three at all five races so far this season," noted Crew Chief Mike Busalacchi. "He's showing the kind of consistency that may earn him his fourth Touring Car driving championship in October. It also shows the strength of the Acura and the ability of the RealTime crew to put consistent cars on the track."
RealTime teammate Eric Curran, driving an Acura RSX, earned his first podium finish of the season with a strong third place result. Curran moved up from his fourth place starting spot to third off the standing start and proceeded to continually pressure the second place Mazda allowing Kleinubing an extra ounce of breathing room. The points for third moved Curran up one more spot for the series Drivers' Championship to eighth.
The 2005 Rookie Champion Brandon Davis continued to show his speed, securing the third-quickest time in practice before qualifying a less representative tenth. He deftly maneuvered through the competitive field in his TSX finishing sixth for the second straight race.
Teammate Nick Esayian started 17th in his RSX but climbed up the order to finish eighth, recording his seventh consecutive top-10 finish since late in the 2005 season.
Cunningham qualified his TSX one position ahead of Curran in third, but by the end of the first lap was shuffled back to sixth. On Lap 6, side-to-side contact with another competitor sent him to the pits for a new tire. He returned to the action in 22nd, moving up to 18th by the finish.
Cunningham maintained third place in the hunt for the championship, but lost precious ground to the leaders.
The race was taped for broadcast on Saturday, July 22 at 300p ET on the Speed Channel.
Immediately following the Salt Lake City event, the RealTime Acura transporters were dispatched back to their shop in Saukville, Wisconsin to re-prep the cars for a test at Road America, the team's home track and host to Round 7 of the Touring Car Championship on August 18-19.
Round 6 takes place on the mile-high streets of Denver, Colorado, sharing the card with the Champ Cars on August 11-13.