Realtime Race Results from Monterey
Date: October 23, 2007 15:42
RTR Acuras Sweep Podium in Monterey
Cunningham, Wittmer and Davis Go 1-2-3
October 22, 2007 – Monterey, California
RealTime Racing’s phalanx of Acura drivers delivered a sweep of the top three positions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca today, the final round of the 2007 SPEED Touring Car Championship.
Team leader Peter Cunningham and his Certified Pre-Owned Acura TSX crossed the stripe on the back bumper of teammate Pierre Kleinubing, but SCCA Pro Racing officials assessed the defending champion a 30-second penalty for contact as he fought for the lead, handing Cunningham the victory.
It was Cunningham’s record-extending 31st World Challenge victory and the RealTime team’s 64th in 15 years of SPEED Touring Car and GT competition.
Kuno Wittmer and Brandon Davis completed the all-RealTime Acura podium.
For Wittmer, this second place was a long overdue result. In his first year as an Acura driver, the 24 year old Canadian showed consistent speed week in and week out, but until today he was unable to translate it into a top-three result.
Davis proved his mettle by winning last year’s Denver street race, but in 2007, he too found it difficult to best the slew of Mazdas, Audis and BMWs preceding him. Today’s finish was well deserved and caps off his three years with the team on a strong note.
Nick Esayian finished ninth at the track he calls home and was awarded the Toyo Cup. At times during the 24-lap contest Esayian was running in sixth, but he lost out in a scrum with the eventual series champion and was forced to battle back.
Kleinubing, in his unrelenting fight for the lead, had unfortunate contact with Mazda driver Randy Pobst in Turn 2. Pobst spun, dropping a number of positions. With only two laps to go, his hopes for victory were dashed. After the incident, Kleinubing proceeded to the finish line in the lead, but with the penalty was credited with 13th place.
2007 has turned out to be the year of the Mazda. Jeff Altenburg and Pobst were responsible for four of Mazda’s five race wins, contributing to its first-ever SPEED Touring Car Manufacturers’ Championship and placing themselves in the top-two for the Drivers’ Championship. Acura and Audi scored two wins each while BMW secured one victory in the ten-race season.
“Our congratulations to Jeff and to Mazda,” said Cunningham. “They upped their game this year to a level we’ve never before seen. RealTime left Monterey as champions the last two years; now it’s their turn.”
On the strength of this weekend’s results, Acura finishes second in the manufacturers’ chase. And when the final season drivers’ points were tallied, Wittmer holds the distinction as the highest finishing RealTime pilot in third. Kleinubing and Cunningham are fourth and fifth, with Davis in tenth and Esayian 13th.
At the Awards Banquet, longtime RealTime Team Manager Nathan Bonneau was the surprise recipient of the prestigious Zimmermann Cup. This annual honor is presented in memory of Jerome Zimmermann (1967-2003), the multi-Championship winning RealTime crew chief. It is awarded to the member of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge community who demonstrates the passion, dedication and success that Zimmermann exemplified in his too brief life.
In each of the four years since the inception of the award, Bonneau has been the representative from RealTime who presented the Cup to the deserving party. Once again he was invited to the stage as SCCA Director of Communications, Eric Prill, began to describe this year’s winner.
In a deliberate ambush, Bonneau was rendered speechless when he eventually realized he was the receiver instead of the presenter.
The Laguna Seca finale will air on the SPEED Channel on a tape-delayed basis on Saturday, October 28 at 330p EDT.
The RealTime Acura team is sponsored by Acura, Acura Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, Red Line Oil, Eibach Springs, buyBrakes.com, Sparco, Hawk Performance, Brembo, A-SPEC, BOSCH, Valley Graphics, Total Auto Body, PACT and A-YES.
The TOV would like to congratulate RealTime Racing for these fantastic results and wish the team the best of luck for the 2008 season.
Last edited by JeffX on
October 23, 2007 16:03