LAKEVILLE, Conn. (May 23, 2008) – Kuno Wittmer, of Montreal, Que., led practice for Round Four of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship at Lime Rock Park. His RealTime Racing teammates, Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., and Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla., completed the top three on the time sheet.
A podium finisher in every SCCA SPEED Touring Car round thus far, Wittmer’s No. 44 Acura/RealTime/Eibach/Red Line Acura TSX climbed to the top of the timing screen in the closing moments of the 30-minute practice session. The current point leader had been swapping spots with his RealTime Racing teammates in the top three before entering the fastest time of the session, a 58.600 (93.993 mph).
“RealTime definitely did a great job getting the car prepped from Utah,” Wittmer said. “They prepped a really good car right out of the box. We barely did any changes on the car and were right there the whole time. Hats off to them for the first practice.
“Qualifying’s a different story though. It’ll be some different weather and we’ll see how that goes, but for this morning [the car] was definitely pretty sharp.
“We went out with some pretty fresh tires this morning and the car actually got quicker as the session went on. I turned my fastest lap two laps from the end of the session, which is a good sign for the race.”
Wittmer has a busy weekend ahead of him. In addition to two SCCA SPEED Touring Car races he will be driving another Acura TSX in the Koni Challenge race.
“[The two cars] have different characteristics. One is more of a production car, and one is more of a touring car; two very different cars, two different driving styles, two different setups and two different tires. It doesn’t hurt at all to run both series on the same weekend. It helps.”
Driving the No. 42 Acura/RealTime/Eibach/Red Line Acura TSX, RealTime team owner Cunningham led the majority of the session, before settling behind Wittmer with a 58.705 (93.825 mph).
Four-time Lime Rock Park winner Kleinubing ended the session in third at the wheel of his No. 43 Acura/RealTime/Eibach/Red Line Acura TSX. The polesitter at Lime Rock Park last year, Kleinubing’s fastest practice lap around the seven-turn, 1.53-mile track was a 58.736 (93.776 mph).
In his first SCCA SPEED Touring Car event since Road Atlanta in 2007, James Sofronas, of Newport Beach, Calif., was fourth-fastest in the No. 29 GMG/Tecmark BMW 325Ci. Sofronas entered a 58.822 (93.638 mph).
Returning to World Challenge competition for the first time since Sebring in 2006, Bill Auberlen, of Redondo Beach, Calif., ended the session fifth on the time sheets. Driving the No. 92 Turner Motorsports BMW 325i, the current qualifying and race lap record holder at Lime Rock Park clocked a 59.046 (93.283 mph) in practice.
Tindol teammates Chip Herr and Michael Galati were sixth and seventh on the time sheets. BimmerWorld teammates James Clay and Seth Thomas followed in eighth and ninth.
Local driver Jason Martinelli, of Roxbury, Conn., was 10th-fastest. The No. 8 GoodHill/Torrington Supply/Litco BMW 325Ci driver clocked a 59.296 (92.890 mph).
Qualifying for Round Four of the SCCA SPEED Touring Car Championship will take place later today at 4:50 p.m. (EDT). There will be an additional practice session beforehand at 3:35 p.m. (EDT) which will serve as practice for Monday’s Round Five race.
Live timing and scoring will be available throughout the weekend at www.world-challege.com.