Kleinubing?s Acura whacked again, this time in Ohio, by same driver
RealTime?s McKee wins ?Hard Charger? award
August 10, 2003 -- Lexington, Ohio
Three-time SCCA Speed Touring Car Champion Pierre Kleinubing was knocked out of a chance for the victory today at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, for the second straight race, and by the same driver.
Kleinubing pitted to have the damage to the RealTime Racing Acura RSX repaired, and returned to the track, but the damage was fatal to the team?s chances today. He finished 35th, and is now 60 points behind leader Bill Auberlen for the series Driver?s Championship. Acura remains in second place for the Manufacturer?s Championship, by 12 points to BMW, thanks to today?s solid win by another RSX-equipped team.
Kevin McKee brought home one of the RealTime Acura Integras 16th, the best finish of the day for the World Challenge Touring Car series? most successful team. McKee?s effort, from a 35th place start, earned him the race?s ?Sunoco Hard Charger? award.
Zac Mazzotta, who, like McKee, is a candidate for the series? top rookie honors, finished 29th in his RealTime RSX, after colliding with another car. He had run as high as 12th, after a 21st place start, until the lap 16 mishap.
Seven-year veteran RealTime pilot Fred Meyer returned to the squad at Mid-Ohio, qualified his Integra 36th and finished in the points-paying position of 25th. After officially retiring from full time team driving duties at the end of last year, Fred was eager to climb behind the wheel for the first of two ?guest appearances?. His second start will be at Laguna Seca in early September.
Also on the slate of RealTime Acura drivers this weekend was Rick Gilhart, making his debut with the team after a full season last year in a BMW. Rick was forced to start last in the 38-car field after suffering a camshaft failure in qualifying. He recovered nicely to finish in the money in 20th and will return for a second race at Road America in two weeks.
Interim crew chief Paul Truess had mixed-feelings after the race. ?A driver with Pierre?s experience and ability is too smart to initiate accidents,? he said. ?We feel good about his performance, but bad for his results in the last two races. Neither his 20th place two weeks ago in California nor this 35th place finish were his fault, and certainly not the car?s fault.
?On the positive side, both Zac and Kevin are really coming along for the team, and are very productive members. Zac already has one top 10 finish this season, and I see more for both of them in the future.?
The next outing for RealTime Racing will be Aug. 22-24 at their home track at Elkhart Lake?s Road America, where the Touring Car show joins the American Le Mans Series.
Mid-Ohio?s Touring Car event will air on the SPEED Channel, Friday, August 22, at 9 p.m. EST.
The RealTime Racing Touring Cars are sponsored by the Acura Division of American Honda, Red Line Oil, Eibach Springs, BOSCH, Sparco, Hella, Gemini Technologies, Goodridge, Brembo, Hawk Performance, and Acura Genuine Parts.