LEXINGTON, Ohio (May 19, 2006) - Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla., was fastest after combined practice Friday in his No. 42 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Acura TSX, turning a 1:33.875 (86.591 mph) on the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during the afternoon session in advance of Sunday's third-round race, part of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Presented by Trenton Forging Quality Formed Solutions weekend.-30-
With a 1:34.163 (86.326 mph), Charles Espenlaub, of Lutz, Fla., posted the second-best time of the day in his No. 97 Sparco/Oakley/Tindol Motorsport Mazda 6. Chip Herr, of Lititz, Pa., was third with a 1:34.200 (86.293 mph) in his No. 17 STaSIS/QVALE Audi A4.
Foregoing the morning session, which featured a track riddled with puddles from morning rain, Kleinubing took advantage of a dry afternoon and dry track to turn his quick time.
"I"ve driven this car a lot in the rain, so I didn’t want to risk anything,” Kleinubing said. “The car is pretty good after we figured a lot of stuff out on test day. There was no need to put more laps on it, or to possibly make more work for our guys.”
While taking it easier Friday than he might have otherwise in normal conditions, Kleinubing did hint that he would have no problem pushing for his first pole position since the season-ending Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca SPEED Touring Car race in 2004 – a span of 13 races.
“Today was just practice,” Kleinubing said. “But I’ll sure try to go a little deeper tomorrow morning. I haven’t had a pole in a while, so getting one would be awesome.”
Times improved by nearly 30 seconds in the afternoon, which provided much different conditions than the morning. Water covered the track through the morning, but blustery conditions moved in before noon, drying out the newly repaved course.
Like the top three, the fourth and fifth-fastest drivers also took advantage of the dried out track as Jeff Altenburg, of Ellicott City, Md., was fourth in his No. 72 Mazdaspeed/Tri-Point Motorsports Mazda 6 with a 1:34.663 (85.871 mph), and 2005 SPEED Touring Car Rookie of the Year Brandon Davis, of Denver, Colo., was fifth in his No. 20 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Racing Acura TSX with a 1:34.670 (85.864).
SPEED Touring Car qualifying is set for 8:50 a.m. (EDT) Saturday. The SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Round Three race Presented by Trenton Forging Quality Formed Solutions is set for Sunday at 3:15 p.m.
To follow qualifying and 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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