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VIR: Series practice one report

Kleinubing Flies in SPEED Touring Car Practice at VIR ALTON, Va. (April 25, 2008) -- Six years after the series' last visit to VIRginia International Raceway, Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla., clocked a practice time more than six...

Kleinubing Flies in SPEED Touring Car Practice at VIR

ALTON, Va. (April 25, 2008) -- Six years after the series' last visit to VIRginia International Raceway, Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla., clocked a practice time more than six seconds faster than the previous race lap record. Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., and Kuno Wittmer, of Montreal, Que., were second and third fastest, respectively, in practice for Saturday's Round Two of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship, part of the Bosch Engineering 250 Weekend at VIR.

The defending race winner from 2002, the last SCCA SPEED Touring Car race at VIR, Kleinubing entered a 2:05.422 (93.859 mph) around the 17-turn, 3.27-mile road course. Kleinubing brought the No. 43 Acura/RealTime/Eibach/Red Line Acura TSX into pit lane shortly thereafter, satisfied with the car's setup and his time.

"The car feels good," Kleinubing said. "Yesterday I wasn't very happy, but we made some changes today. It seems to be a consistent car, which is important because it will be a long race and this is a fast track. If it's not right, it will be a hard car to manage. Qualifying will be a lot warmer and it seems like the warmer it gets, the less grip we have, so this might be the fastest session."

Kleinubing has seen the best of times and the worst of times in his previous SCCA SPEED Touring Car visit to VIR. In 2002, during single car qualifying, Kleinubing barrel-rolled his car through the Climbing Esses, but went on to win the race.

"This is a great track. I really enjoy the place. I did have a big moment in qualifying the last time we were here, but I did win the race. If I can leave here with a good finish I'll be happy."

Kleinubing's RealTime teammates Cunningham and Wittmer completed the top three in practice. Cunningham entered a 2:05.545 (93.767 mph) in the No. 42 Acura/RealTime/Eibach/Red Line Acura TSX, while Wittmer's No. 44 Acura/RealTime/Eibach/Red Line Acura TSX stopped the clocks at 2:05.788 (93.586 mph).

Charles Espenlaub, of Lutz, Fla., led the Mazda contingent in his No. 73 Mazdaspeed/Stoptech/Racinghart MAZDA6, ending the session fourth with a 2:05.876 (93.520 mph). Tri-Point teammate and defending SCCA SPEED Touring Car Champion Jeff Altenburg, of Ellicott City, Md., completed the top five in the No. 1 Mazdaspeed/Stoptech/Racinghart MAZDA6, turning a 2:06.015 (93.417 mph).

The third of the Tri-Point cars, Jason Saini was sixth. Seth Thomas (BMW 325i), Blacksburg, Va. driver James Clay (BMW 325i), Michael Galati (MAZDA6) and Chip Herr (MAZDA6) completed the top 10.

The SCCA SPEED Touring Cars will have a second practice session today at 1:20 p.m. (EDT). Qualifying was scheduled for 3:20 p.m. (EDT).

Results, photos, live timing and lap notes are all available at www.world-challenge.com.

-credit: scca pro racing

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Series PWC
Drivers Pierre Kleinubing , Michael Galati , Peter Cunningham , Charles Espenlaub , Jeff Altenburg , James Clay , Kuno Wittmer , Chip Herr , Seth Thomas , Jason Saini