July 6, 2002 - Elkhart Lake WI
RealTime Racing driver Peter Cunningham scored a third place finish at Elkhart Lake's Road America, about a 30-minute drive from the team's shop in Saukville, Wis., but lost ground to defending SPEED World Challenge GT champion Michael Galati.
Peter remains second in the Drivers' Championship points, 19 points behind Galati. Acura remains third in the Manufacturers' Championship points, eight behind Audi.
Peter qualified the RTR Acura NSX SC fourth fastest, 1.193 seconds off the pole, and did so at the most opportune time possible. "It was ten minutes into the 20-minute qualifying session when I got a clear enough track to put down my best time," he said. "Just then, Justin Marks crashed his Porsche heavily, which brought out the black flag, and time ran out before we could get back on course again."
On a track where Peter has been racing since 1982, he made a banzai start, passing second-starting Johannes vanOverbeek before turn one. "Galati was in another Zip Code by the end of the first lap. I saw Johannes coming; he came and went, and I managed to hang onto third, staving off the pressure from Jeff McMillin?s BMW." Peter finished 7.886 seconds out of the win, and four seconds behind vanOverbeek.
"We're very pleased with this third place finish, as far as our relative competitiveness has been lately, that was the best we could hope for. The season is half over now and we're still in striking distance behind Michael," Peter added.
The Audi will now add 40 additional pounds for the next race, July 20-21, on the streets of Washington, D.C., and the Porsche adds 30, but Cunningham's Acura NSX SC will add only 20 pounds.
The next race will be July 20 on the new RFK Stadium circuit in Washington, DC. Peter has an excellent history on temporary circuits -- 10 wins and 18 podiums on World Challenge street courses. "Our goal will be to qualify early, qualify fast, and get out front of the carnage," he added.
Road America's SPEED GT class race will be televised on the SPEED Channel, Saturday, July 27, at 9 p.m. EST.