Cunningham paces SPEED GT practice at VIRginia. ALTON, Va. (October 25, 2002) -- Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., needs to be fast and win this weekend at the VIR SpeedFest Weekend Presented by the Justin Bell GT Motorsports Experience if he...
Cunningham paces SPEED GT practice at VIRginia.
ALTON, Va. (October 25, 2002) -- Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., needs to be fast and win this weekend at the VIR SpeedFest Weekend Presented by the Justin Bell GT Motorsports Experience if he hopes to dethrone Michael Galati and win this year's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship. Today, he proved that he has the speed going into Woody's Ice Qualifying, as he topped the practice charts. Newly-crowned Rookie of the Year John Young, of Woodside, Calif., was second fastest, followed by Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga.
Making the most of a trip to VIRginia International Raceway earlier this year in an endurance event, Cunningham piloted his No. 42 RealTime Racing Acura NSX SC to a lap of 2:00.229 (97.856 mph) around the 3.27-mile circuit. Cunningham is 15 points behind Galati coming into the final round. Galati needs to finish only seventh to clinch the title. He was fifth in practice.
"This is a great track, one of my top-10 favorites," said Cunningham. "I really like a track that has esses like there are here. Very high speed. I think my track knowledge is a big help today. I'm basically a couple sessions up on a lot of other drivers, so that's been a key.
"I ran my fast lap on used, but good, tires. I think that with some sticker tires we might be able to see some 1:59s. The cool conditions today really helped make big horsepower. However, I don't think it was so cold to rob all of the grip out of the pavement."
Despite missing most of the test day while changing a motor in his No. 44 Contract Metal Products Saleen SR, Young was able to put a lap of 2:00.787 (97.460 mph) together in the afternoon session good enough for second quick. Pobst's lap of 2:01.064 (97.237 mph) was good enough for third in his Porsche.
Johannes van Overbeek, of Danville, Calif., and Galati, of N. Olmstead, Ohio, completed the top five.
Woody's Ice Qualifying and the Top-10 Shootout to determine the starting lineup are set for Saturday afternoon. For more information, please visit www.world-challenge.com.
-scca pro racing-