SEBRING, Fla. (March 16, 2005) – Tri-Point Motorsports scored good early returns on the season by finishing in the top two spots after Wednesday’s SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car practice sessions at Sebring International Raceway, site of Friday’s Round One race as part of the 53rd Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring.-30-
Jeff Altenburg, of Ellicott City, Md., led the Mazda 6 assault in the No. 72 Mazdaspeed/Point Motorsports Mazda 6 with a 2:21.845 (93.905 mph). He was followed by former Audi driver and new teammate Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., who posted a 2:21.894 in the No. 73 Mazdaspeed/Tri-Point Motorsport Mazda 6.
Altenburg said picking up Pobst as a teammate played a major factor in the team’s runs on Wednesday.
“I’ve known Randy for many years,” Altenburg said. “We get along very well, and I think it’s good to have somebody who is of his caliber because if I can keep pace with him then it’s good for us. And if I don’t, then it means I have to dig a little bit deeper.”
Two-time defending SPEED Touring Car Champion Bill Auberlen, of Rolling Acres Estates, Calif., was just off the lead pace in the No. 1 Turner Motorsports/H&R Springs/BMW 325i, posting a 2:22.200.
Peter Cunningham, of West Bend, Wis., was fourth (2:22.338), turning the afternoon’s fastest time in his No. 42 A-SPEC/RealTime Racing Acura TSX. Cunningham’s RealTime teammate Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla., wound up fifth (2:22.372).
Qualifying for SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car is set for 11:20 a.m. (Eastern) on Thursday.
To follow Thursday’s qualifying session and Friday’s race through live timing and scoring, visit www.world-challenge.com.
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