TOV Petit Lemans Weekend: Speed World Challenge Touring Qualifying
Date: October 04, 2007 14:38
Road Atlanta - 4 Oct. 2007
The ninth round of the Speed World Challenge rolled into town as part of the big Petit Lemans weekend with the ALMS racing series. Along with this arrival came a weather change here in North Georgia - gone are the sunny, crisp, fall-like days; replaced with a big dose of humid air and mostly cloudy skies.
To avoid any lingering morning traffic, my plan was to arrive at the track around noon, which was an hour ahead of the scheduled qualifying session for the Touring class, but I still got tangled up in some accident-related traffic and arrived here about 15 minutes before the start of the 20 minute qualifying session. This was just enough time to park the Temple of VTEC Project Civic Si, twist the long lens on my SLR, and head to the pits.
In yesterday's practice session, Realtime racing clocked 4 of the top 5 laptimes, so we were hoping to see at least two of the dayglo orange and white cars in the top 3 of qualifying. Peter took 4 or 5 laps and decided he was happy with his time and parked his car early to conserve his tires for tomorrow's race. Upon pitting, his laptime was second fastest, but it only took Seth Thomas two laps to nip Peter's time by less than 14/100ths of a second. Pierre Kleinubing's best effort earned him a 5th place qualifying position. The top 5 were Michael Galati, Seth Thomas, Peter Cunningham, James Clay, and Pierre Kleinubing. RealTime's Kuno Wittmer, the fastest guy in practice, slotted into 6th, with RealTime Teammates Brandon Davis and Nick Esayian taking the 8th and 9th slots, respectively.
I didn't have a lot of time to speak with the Realtime guys but I asked Nick Esayian and Peter Cunningham about what they thought of Road Atlanta's all-new racing surface, and the general response was that it was very nice, but since the new surface is so much smoother, it also serves as a bit of an equalizer for both the cars and the drivers. Previously, the irregularities in the track's surface rewarded more skillful drivers and cars with better suspension setups - an advantage that RealTime could normally count on.
The Speed World Challenge Touring race starts tomorrow at 10:45AM, and ALMS LM P1/P2 qualifying starts at 3:25PM.
Be sure to check back for continuing coverage of the 2007 Petit Lemans Weekend from myself or TOV Motorsports Editor Gerald Irish.
Last edited by JeffX on
October 04, 2007 16:42