LEXINGTON, Ohio (May 20, 2006) - After Friday's practice, SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car standout Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla., said he wanted to end his pole-less streak, which had grown to 13 races. On Saturday, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Kleinubing stamped out that streak in style by setting a new SPEED Touring Car qualifying record in his No. 42 Acura Certified Pre-Owned RealTime Acura TSX, in advance of Sunday"s race, part of the SPEED World Challenge Presented by Trenton Forging Quality Formed Solutions weekend. -30-
Chip Herr, of Lititz, Pa., will start on the front row alongside Kleinubing, driving the No. 17 STaSIS/QVALE Audi A4.
Kleinubing turned the fast time of 1:33.231 (87.189 mph) on his third lap of the 18-minutes session, which was interrupted by a red flag near the midway point of the session. The stoppage came as the No. 6 Circuit City/Kicker/Eclipse Mazda 6, driven by Lance Stewart, of Coconut Grove, Fla., was pulled from the gravel at Turn Seven of the 13-turn, 2.258-mile track.
The pole, which was the 27th of his career and put him just two behind teammate Peter Cunningham for SPEED World Challenge pole positions all-time, was a long time coming, Kleinubing said.
"It has been a while, I almost forgot what it feels like,” Kleinubing said. “It feels good to be back on the front row.”
Starting up front, he continued, would be important because of who will line up on his right in Sunday’s Round Three race.
“I just know I’m going to be in second by the time we get to Turn Two because the Audi is going to launch so well,” Kleinubing said. “But, I’ve got a great car, and hopefully it will be as good on the last lap as it will be on the first lap. Hopefully, [Chip] will burn his car down trying to work hard at it.”
Herr’s time of 1:33.397 (87.035 mph) was also faster than the previous qualifying mark of 1:33.463, set here a year ago by Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga. Herr’s time also came on his third lap.
Reigning SPEED Touring Car Drivers’ Champion Peter Cunningham, of Grafton, Wis., will start third in his No. 1 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Acura TSX, next to Pobst, in his No. 73 Mazdaspeed/Tri-Point Motorsports Mazda 6. Charles Espenlaub, of Lutz, Fla., will start fifth in his No. 97 Sparco/Oakley/Tindol Motorsports Mazda 6.
The SPEED Touring Car race, part of the SPEED World Challenge Presented by Trenton Forging Quality Formed Solutions weekend, is scheduled for Sunday at 3:15 p.m. (EDT).
The race will be broadcast via tape-delay on SPEED Channel Saturday, May 27, at 8 p.m. (EDT).
To follow race action via real-time lap notes and Live Timing and Scoring presented by SRT, visit www.world-challenge.com, click on the Mid-Ohio event page and select the SCCA Pit Board.
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