SEBRING, Fla. (March 12, 2008) – Kuno Wittmer, of Montreal, Quebec, topped the time sheets in morning practice for Round One of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship, part of the 56th Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring Presented by Fresh From Florida. Seth Thomas, of Cumming, Ga., was second quick, followed by RealTime Racing owner Peter Cunningham, of Grafton, Wis.
Driving an RSX last year, Wittmer has stepped into the No. 44 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Racing Acura TSX this season and immediately taken to the car. The Canadian turned a 2:21.823 (93.919 mph) around the 17-turn, 3.7-mile road course to lead the first practice session of the 2008 SCCA SPEED Touring Car season. Wittmer was the only driver in the session to break the 2:22 mark.
“The car is really working great,” Wittmer said. “Hats off to RealTime for putting the car together properly. It’s all thanks to them and Acura really. I’m very grateful to be in World Challenge again and with RealTime.
“There’s definitely some characteristics I’d like to have from the RSX on the TSX, but the gearbox is sweet and it’s the latest technology from Acura. The TSX definitely responds to the bumps better. The RSX is more twitchy - it’s a two-door versus a four-door. There are some tracks where the RSX will be faster than the TSX as we saw last year, but I think the TSX is the way to go.”
RealTime Racing cars held the top three spots on the timing screens before the No. 38 BimmerWorld BMW325i of Thomas broke into the second spot with a 2:22.333 (93.583 mph).
RealTime team leader Cunningham completed the top three, turning a 2:22.508 (93.468 mph) in his lucky No. 42 Acura Certified Pre-Owned Acura TSX. Teammate and four-time World Challenge Champion Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla., ended the session in fourth in his No. 43 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Racing Acura TSX, with a 2:22.546 (93.443 mph).
Thomas’ teammate and BimmerWorld owner James Clay, of Blacksburg, Va., was fifth-fastest in morning practice. Clay entered a time of 2:22.885 (93.221 mph) in the No. 36 BimmerWorld BMW 325i.
Charles Espenalub (MAZDA6), Chip Herr (MAZDA6), Nick Esyian (BMW 325i), Jason Martinelli (BMW 325Ci) and Michael Galati (MAZDA6) completed the top ten in Sebring practice.
The second SPEED Touring Car practice session at Sebring will take place at 4:50 p.m. (EDT). News, live timing and lap note are available on www.world-challenge.com.