LAKEVILLE, Conn. (May 26, 2007) - Hot off his second-straight win to open the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship season, Jeff Altenburg, of Ellicott, Md., continued to lead practice after the second session for the Round Three race at Lime Rock Park. Defending SCCA SPEED Touring Car Champion Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla., was second, followed by Seth Thomas, of Cumming, Ga.-30-
Driving the No. 72 Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development Mazda 6, Altenburg improved upon his fast time from yesterday’s practice session to turn a 58.305 (93.851 mph) around the 1.53-mile circuit and keep his spot atop the time sheets.
"This is a handling track more than anything and we’ve gotten this Mazda 6 to the next level as far as the handling goes,” Altenburg said. “Utah was a handling track as well so the car was good out of the box. We basically ran the exact setup from Utah, we didn’t change anything. We played around with some Lime Rock stuff and I didn’t like it, so we’re back to exactly what we ran for the race at Utah except with sticker tires on and that’s where we are.
“I’m comfortable that I have a fast car. I’m comfortable that I have pretty good knowledge of the track and we should be shooting for a top-five.”
A four-time winner at Lime Rock Park, Kleinubing improved his time throughout the session, but was unable to catch Altenburg. The No. 1 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Acura TSX put in a fast time of 58.383 (94.342 mph).
“I feel like I catch them under braking and through the corners, but I don’t have the torque,” Kleinubing said. “They seem to be able to make a mistake and still fix it with the gas pedal, where my car seems flat on the gas. Our gear ratios are the same now so we can tell exactly where we’re different.”
As the BimmerWorld team continues to develop the cars, its pace continues to quicken. Thomas, who qualified third at Miller Motorsports Park, was third fastest in practice at Lime Rock Park. The driver of the No. 38 BimmerWorld BMW 325i turned a 58.441 (94.249 mph).
RealTime team owner Peter Cunningham put in a 58.545 (94.081 mph) in his No. 42 Acura Certified Pre-Owned Acura TSX to finish practice in fourth. The No. 97 Mazdaspeed/Tindol/Oakley/Sparco Mazda 6 of Charles and Espenlaub completed the top five with a time of 58.557 (94.062 mph).
With the top 16 cars separated by less than 0.9-second, Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session will be a hard fought contest and drivers will find it difficult to use their teammates as drafting partners on the short and quick Lime Rock course. The 30-minute qualifying session is scheduled to begin at 5:10 p.m. (EDT).
To follow all the weekend action via live web notes and timing and scoring, check out the SCCA Pit Board at www.world-challenge.com.
Link to story: http://www.scca.com/News/News.asp?Ref=813