TOOELE, Utah (July 14, 2006) – Despite being outside of the top 10 during practice on Thursday, Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla., topped the competition for the inaugural Larry H. Miller Dealers Grand Prix of Utah pole position at Miller Motorsports Park, his third-straight SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car pole. Championship rival Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., will start Saturday’s race second.
Driving the No. 42 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Racing Acura TSX, Kleinubing turned a fastest time of 3:09.233 (85.342 mph) around the 4.486-mile, 24-turn road course on his first flying lap. It is Kleinubing’s 29th-career pole, tying him with team owner Peter Cunningham for the most in series history.
“I’m as surprised as anyone,” Kleinubing said of his pole qualifying time. “I was struggling yesterday, when I was 11th fastest. But, fortunately enough, I have great teammates and I pretty much copied what Peter [Cunningham] was doing in his car. And, I went for it and it paid off.”
Pobst, who sat on the pole earlier this season, at St. Petersburg, turned a quick time of 3:09.417 (85.260 mph) in his No. 73 Tri-Point Motorsports/Mazdaspeed Mazda 6. While Pobst will be happy with the four bonus points for his effort, Kleinubing extended his lead over Pobst to 13, with his five point bonus.
Cunningham, who sits third in points, will start behind the Championship leaders in third after turning a fast time of 3:09.550 (85.200 mph) in his No. 1 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Racing Acura TSX. Teammate Eric Curran, of East Hampton, Mass., made it three RealTime cars in the top four, with a lap of 3:09.820 (85.078 mph) in his No. 43 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Racing Acura RSX.
Charles Espenlaub, of Lutz, Fla., will start fifth in his No. 97 Sparco/Oakley/Tindol Motorsports Mazda 6, followed by Jeff Altenburg’s Mazda 6, the BMW 325i of James Clay, Dino Crescentini’s Mazda 6, Seth Thomas’ BMW and Brandon Davis’ Acura TSX.
The standing start for Saturday’s Round Five race is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. (MDT). Live Timing and Scoring Presented by SRT and Live Race Notes will be available during the race via the SCCA Pit Board through the event home page www.world-challenge.com. SPEED Channel will broadcast the race on July 22 at 3 p.m. (EDT).