Cunningham drops to third in SPEED GT points
August 4, 2002 ? Trois-Rivieres, Quebec
An engine problem two laps into the race was the straw that broke the camel?s back for RealTime Racing driver Peter Cunningham, who persevered in his Acura NSX-SC to a ninth place finish in the SPEED World Challenge GT championship event at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.
The finish dropped Cunningham to third in the Drivers? Championship points, now 27 points behind Audi S4 Comp. driver Michael Galati, and three points behind Johannes van Overbeek in a Porsche 911. Acura remains third in the Manufacturers? Championship, but their gap to Porsche grew by nine points to 22.
Randy Pobst won the race on the 1.521-mile circuit laid out around the fairgrounds and baseball stadium in this city, 80 miles northeast of Montreal, along the banks of the St. Lawrence River. First run in 1967, Trois-Rivieres is the oldest temporary circuit in North America, and has the reputation of hosting some of the most fervent race fans on this side of the Atlantic.
Pobst has competed in only four of the seven 2002 races, winning three of them, wire-to-wire, from the pole in his Porsche 911 Cup car. Galati and Van Overbeek followed Pobst to the checkered flag at respectful distances.
As usual in the GT Championship, the top-three finishers will be required to add 40, 30, and 20 pounds, respectively, while Cunningham?s Acura NSX will lose all 40 of his remaining ?bonus? weight under SCCA Pro Racing?s R.E.W.A.R.D.S. System.
Cunningham put the RTR Acura NSX in fourth spot on the grid, .952 seconds off the pole. ?The second through eighth fastest qualifiers were covered by less than one second,? Cunningham said, ?yet Randy had .813 seconds on the second fastest car, no matter how much weight SCCA adds to his car, he is still the class of the field. Sadly, it is a fact that through the first seven races, there has been only two lead changes, both at Mosport in May. Hopefully, the rules makers will continue to look at all the cars in the GT Championship, in attempt to make them more equal in performance at any venue.?
?But speaking for RealTime Racing,? he added, ?we were never in a position to challenge for the win. A podium result might have been in our future here, if not for our engine problem, but I can only look forward to going back to a ?real? racing track, where the faster corners will play to the NSX?s strengths.?
Since the SPEED GT teams will not be going to Mosport with the Touring Cars in two weeks, their next race is Sept. 20-22 at Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, Calif.
The Trois-Rivieres SPEED GT race will debut on the SPEED Channel on Sunday, August 17 at 10pm EST.
The RealTime Racing Acura NSX-SC is sponsored by the Acura Division of American Honda, Red Line Oil, Eibach Springs, BOSCH, Vortech Superchargers, Sparco, Brembo, Gemini Technologies, Goodridge, Hawk Performance, Hella, and Acura of Brookfield.