Plumb Runs 4th at Round Four
-Plumb, Kleinubing Net 7th and 8th at Round Five -
July 18, 2004 – Sonoma, California
Matt Plumb, the 2003 SPEED Touring Car Championship Rookie of the Year, continued his battle for the title this weekend by driving RealTime Racing’s A-SPEC equipped Acura TSX to a fourth place finish in Saturday’s race, and a seventh in Sunday’s event at Infineon Raceway. The ten event series normally has one race per weekend, the double header here being the exception.
“We were the ‘best of the rest,’” Plumb said following Sunday’s 23-lapper on the 2.53-mile road course north of San Francisco, an event where BMW drivers finished one-through-six.
Plumb qualified the RealTime Racing Acura TSX sixth for Saturday’s race and seventh for Sunday’s event, which aired live on the SPEED Channel.
His teammate, three-time series champion Pierre Kleinubing, gridded his Acura TSX second on Saturday, but fell out of the race on the 18th lap when a motor mount broke. The part was replaced for Sunday’s race – Kleinubing qualified sixth and finished eighth.
“We were very hopeful that we could repeat our win at Mid-Ohio last month,” Plumb said, “but we just didn’t have the speed of the BMWs. Hopefully as we enter the second half of the season, we can continue to improve and get back to the top step of the podium.”
With the 2004 season now at its halfway point, Plumb’s 115 points ranks him behind only Bill Auberlen and Nick Jonsson, two BMW drivers who have won four of the five races to date. Plumb is the only driver, so far, to spoil their record. Acura remains second for the Manufacturers’ Championship.
Nick Esayian, a candidate for the 2004 season Rookie title, finished 16th in Saturday’s race with his Total Trolley/Datamine Acura RSX, and 19th in Sunday’s race. Esayian is now fourth in the hotly-contested chase for this year’s RoY honor.
RealTime Racing welcomed another newcomer at Infineon, 18-year old Brandon Davis, who was caught up a multi-car crash Sunday when his Acura RSX slipped on oil dropped by an Audi driver. Davis was credited with 22nd place on Saturday, and 26th on Sunday.
Round Six of the 2004 SPEED Touring Car Championship is Saturday, July 24 at Portland (Ore.) International Raceway, where the series again joins the American Le Mans Series show.
The RealTime Racing Touring Cars are sponsored by the Acura Division of American Honda, A-SPEC Performance Parts, Red Line Oil, Eibach Springs, BOSCH, Sparco, Hella, Brembo, Hawk Performance, and Acura Genuine Parts.