- Paul Bonaccorsi drove the Tri-Point Mazdaspeed entry to both his and the Protégé's
first World Challenge victory. Bonaccorsi made it the finish line only 0.384 of
a second ahead of the second place finisher, Pierre Kleinubing in the RealTime
Acura Integra Type R.
"It feels great to get the first win in this car for Mazda," said Bonaccorsi.
"It's a little selfish, but I'd hoped it would be me to get the first one.
My teammates and this crew has worked so hard."
started third in the No. 40 Tri-Point/Mazdaspeed entry, and jumped into second
behind Woody's Ice Polesitter Kleinubing on the standing start. After following
Kleinubing's No. 1 RealTime Racing Acura Integra R for two laps, Bonaccorsi made
his successful bid for the lead in turn one.
a three-lap caution period to retrieve cars from the gravel traps, Cunningham
jumped past second-starting James Sofronas and Taz Harvey to follow teammate Kleinubing.
Rookie Marc Kirberg joined suit, and followed the two RealTime cars in his BMW.
feverishly bumped Kleinubing on the straightaways to stay ahead of Kirberg and
keep the Mazda in sight. Cunningham's bumps were working for Kleinubing, but overheated
Cunningham's brakes on lap 10, allowing Kirberg through into third, and leaving
the young Brazilian to fend for himself in his pursuit of Bonaccorsi. Kirberg's
teammate Ken Dobson joined the fight for third, setting fastest race lap in the
process, before his throttle stuck twice on lap 12, eventually landing him in
the turn eight gravel trap.
the front, Bonaccorsi kept a lead of between 1.5 and two seconds until the final
tour, when Kleinubing closed dramatically and made bids for the lead in turns
13 and 14. The Mazda's grunt was too much for the Acura coming out of the final
corner, and the two crossed the finish line nose to tail.
know Pierre [Kleinubing] is great under braking, so I was going as deep as I could,"
said Bonaccorsi. "At the end of the race, I was losing my brake pedal and
had to pump it up on the straights. I was really pushing on the last lap to make
up for the braking issues, and Pierre was there. I was able to kind of block him
in the last couple of corners to hang on.
brakes were overheating too," said Kleinubing, who extended his point lead
to 28 over teammate Cunningham (140 to 112). "The Mazda team certainly deserves
the win, they've been working hard for two years.
expectation for the weekend was to try for a top-10 finish because the Acura is
not very good on the long straights, so a second place finish feels like a win.
It's great for all the guys on the team, who all live close to the track."
was able to work past Kirberg and take his second third-place finish in as many
days (equaling his finish in Saturday's SPEED GT event).
feels like my chair," joked Cunningham about sitting in the third seat at
the press conference. "Touring Car is definitely the most fierce battle out
there, it's just a blast to drive. Everyone up front races clean, but doesn't
give an inch.
love coming here to Road America. It's very much our home race. All the guys who
work on these cars live just minutes from the track, and we've got a lot of family
and friends here with us this weekend."
held on for fourth, followed by Shauna Marinus, of Folsom, Calif., who battled
with Will Turner, of Newburyport, Mass., in the race's final laps for the position.
made a bad call on my brake setup, said Turner. I was strong at the
start and felt like I could move up quickly. The #92 Turner Motorsport/H&R
Springs/Patrick BMW 325i felt very good. However, after the restart, my brakes
faded badly. I got into a few battles for position, but without the braking, I
couldnt make them stick. Ill take the sixth place finish and move
on to the next one. The team worked hard and did a good job making sure we stayed
in it. Im pleased.
Prall, of Cupertino, Calif., Chuck Hemmingson, of W. Des Moines, Iowa, Bobby Sak,
of Troy, Mich., and Rick Gilhart, of Cincinnati, Ohio, completed the top 10.
Baxter, of Atlanta, Ga., passed 18 cars on the opening lap from his 45th starting
position to earn the B&M Holeshot Award.
SCCA Pro Racing SPEED Touring Car Championship next travels to the Cadillac Grand
Prix of Washington, D.C. July 19-21. Today's race will be broadcast July 27 at
8:00 p.m. (EDT).
from - http://www.world-challenge.com/news/02press63.html