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"It is a normal day at Lime Rock!" - Bill Auberlen, defending WCTC driver's champion in the Turner/H&R Springs BMW 325.

Various news items

Jeff Altenburg reported that the Tri-Point Mazda Protégés never really got up to speed in the dry session on Friday due to the same power steering problems that hampered the cars at Sebring. Jeff was confident that they had finally isolated and resolved the problem.

The Tri-Point Mazda 6s aren't ready for primetime as Jim Thompson of Sunbelt is still getting the engines ready. Jim joked that there was no pressure. The new motors simply have to have more power and be more reliable than the existing Protégé motors. There are how many years of development on the existing motor? Good luck Jim.

Matt Plumb is listed as driving an Acura RSX but he is in a new TSX sister car to RealTime Racing mate Pierre Kleinubing. RealTime has done a lot of testing on the new TSX and Matt felt confident that the new car would be even better than the RSX.

I guess Matt's confidence was well founded as both Matt and Pierre were at the lead edge of the pack in both the wet and dry. Matt looked over at Pierre's #42 and said with a smile, "That's the car I want to beat!" You have to love a little inter-team rivalry!

Eric Curran was well down in the order on Friday in TC due to transmission problems. Eric hoped that the problem didn't hurt the motor in his VAC Motorsports/Chili Pepper Racing BMW.

Curran, who can motor around Lime Rock in his sleep, is one driver is hoping that Monday is rain free as he is rocket fast in the Westboro Dodge Viper and I would expect the Viper, or many of the other big muscle cars to be really good in the rain.

Bob Endicott and King Motorsports have their Mugen powered Acura RSX here at Lime Rock but Bob mentioned that how many races they can do in 2004 will depend on finding additional funding. Sadly this is an all too familiar message in motor sports.

Who was fastest in the dry in GT? Michael Culver in the First Racing Porsche 911 Cup car of course!

Hey Michael drives the course like he owns it! There is a Skip Barber driving school here at Lime Rock and Culver is a major part of that so Michael probably has done a lap or two here.

Randy Hale, driver of the Hale Propeller Ford Mustang in WCGT, will be supporting the Hole-in-the-wall Camp as his sponsors have given up sponsorship space for this race to support the camp that provides a place for kids with cancer to go and live in a camp and hopefully forget about their battles with disease. Randy indicated that he will have a family acting as his honorary crew chief this weekend. Great work Randy.

Cunningham is a name that is almost synonymous with Lime Rock and a Cunningham was fastest in TC yesterday. Not Briggs but Peter Cunningham as PD was the only TC driver to break the 1 minute mark in practice on Friday as he recorded a fast time of 59.842 in his NISMO/TeamRTR/Nissan Sentra SE-R.

Cunningham indicated that qualifying times might get into the 58's and since Saturday is sunny cool and free of moisture he will probably be right. There were still puddles in spots and there will be a lot more rubber on the track so I expect several more drivers to crack the 1 minute mark when they qualify for real.

Track position will be critical for both TC and GT competitors as traffic will be a big issue so look for the drivers and teams to pull out all the stops to get as far up the grid as possible.

Mike McCann in the McCann Plastics Viper was left stuck on pit out Friday afternoon when his transmission totally exploded. The team replaced the tranny and he is doing a hardship lap this morning to make sure everything is working.

Will Turner mentioned that this was Dino Crescentini's first trip to Lime Rock and based on Dino being 11th fastest on Friday he is a quick study.

Turner indicated that drafting wouldn't be any benefit as far as qualifying went here at Lime Rock so don't look for the yellow and blue Turner BMWs going out in formation in qualifying. In fact they might spread out to avoid getting in each other's way.

With all apologies to Tom Oates and Chris Trapp the best part of Tiger Racing Angela Woods was summoned to the track announcing booth to do some commentary with SCCA Pro Racings track announcer Tom Hnatiw. Angela was really nervous about it so I told her to picture everyone naked!

Angela smiled and shook her head saying that definitely wasn't going to work!

SPEED World Challenge Round 2 - Lime Rock Park - Rain sessions on Friday

"It was like dodging bullets out there. Cars were going everywhere!" - Michael Galati driver of the Champion Audi Certified Pre-Owned/Audi RS6 on what it was like driving in the rain at Lime Rock.

"They (his crew) threatened me with my life!" - Stu Hayner on how careful he was driving the GMAC Commercial Finance/Trenton Forging Pontiac GTO.

"If I was back in Minne I'd say 'put some studs on it' because is was way to slick out there." - Leighton Reese driver of the Banner Engineering Chevy Corvette.

"We accomplished everything we wanted and the car is still in one piece," countered Reese's crew chief Joe Kantarik.

"The track was like it always is in the rain," said Bill Auberlen. "It always seems to rain when I come here (Lime Rock). These cars (Turner BMWs) do pretty well in the rain."

Does Auberlen like driving in the rain?

"I don't like driving in the rain but I seem to do pretty well in the rain," Bill answered in what would appear to be a gross understatement.

TeamRTR boss and driver Peter Cunningham looked around at all of the mud and water and he indicated that he felt right at home as his hometown of West Bend and the surrounding Wisconsin area have been hammered with over 14 inches of rain in May. Ouch! And I thought May had been an off month in Connecticut.

Pierre Kleinubing commented that if the A-SPEC/RealTime Racing Acura TSX was as good in the wet as his RSX was he was hoping for a rain race saying, "I'll find out today if the Acura TSX is as good as the RSX."

Since both Pierre and Matt Plumb were at the front of the pack in the wet session I look for a Brazilian rain dance sometime on Monday morning.

But Pierre give us all a break with the rain thing! You and that RealTime Acura TSX were plenty fast in the dry too! Kleinubing is fast at Lime Rock! Now there is a shocker!

If you want to send a note about any of this I can be reached at [email protected]; but be forewarned, we may use your letter in an upcoming article.

http://www.theracesite.com/index.cfm?pagetype=2&form_article=6916
 

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Ray said:
Matt Plumb is listed as driving an Acura RSX but he is in a new TSX sister car to RealTime Racing mate Pierre Kleinubing. RealTime has done a lot of testing on the new TSX and Matt felt confident that the new car would be even better than the RSX.
Great post Ray! Thank you very much!
Seems more teams are switching from the RSX, to the TSX in favor of the 2.4 liter, and double wishbone suspension :thumbsup:
Spoon has also dropped their RSX program in favor of the TSX.
Joker - who is wondering if Bob Endicott (great guy) will be be next to make the jump?
 

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Hmmm...car handled great in wet and dry conditions... I wanna know what tires they're using so I can buy a set!! :D
 

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Awe man... Lets hope PK can bounce back next week.
 

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Yes, very disappointing. I had been looking forward a lot to this race. If I hadn't been away, I would have gone there -- it's about a 2-hour drive, probably only 1 hour in an A-Spec. :D

Thanks for the info, Ray and y'all!


Bill Auberlen won in a 325i, and Nic Jonsson finished second in a 325Ci. Kleinubing and his TSX finished about 20th, although he didn't finish the race. Another TSX, driven by Matt Plumb, finished 5th.


"Bill Auberlen, of Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., put on an impressive driving display from the pole position today to win Round Two of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED Touring Car Championship at Lime Rock Park, as part of the Mohegan Sun Grand Prix. Nic Jonsson, of Buford, Ga., and Peter Cunningham, of West Bend, Wis., completed the top three.....

Riding in fourth place for the first 21 laps of the race, Jonsson passed then third place driver Matt Plumb, of Newport, R.I., after the two made contact in turn three to take over third place. Jonsson then had his sights set on second place driver Pierre Kleinubing, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., but was having difficulty chasing him down. However on lap 32, Jonsson got a break when Kleinubing spun in turn one, handing second to the No. 27 Lectric Air/Techmark Corporation BMW 325Ci.....

Kleinubing, who was gunning for his record fourth-consecutive SPEED Touring Car win at Lime Rock, had fuel pick up problems end his day two laps shy of the finish.

......the 2003 SPEED Touring Car rookie of the Year Plumb finished fifth in his No. 43 RealTime/SANZ/Sun MicroSystems Acura TSX."



BTW gotta find out from DNB about this Sun Microsystems connection (I think he's a Sun dude).
 

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Don't know if any of you watched it, but did. New it wasn't going to be pretty when Kleinubing was leaking gas out of his fuel door the entire race. Then, by the very natural of the track being so tight to try to pass, there were spins, some off road excursions. It wasn't a very good race for the TSXs at all, but can't wait for Mid-Ohio in a few weeks.
 

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moda_way said:
Don't know if any of you watched it, but did. New it wasn't going to be pretty when Kleinubing was leaking gas out of his fuel door the entire race. Then, by the very natural of the track being so tight to try to pass, there were spins, some off road excursions. It wasn't a very good race for the TSXs at all, but can't wait for Mid-Ohio in a few weeks.
Great to see you back again, moda_way! Hope you saw the "welcome" after your first post.

Yeah, the conditions were bad....but Kleinubing is supposed to be real good in those conditions, and so he even said in advance he HOPED it would be a lousy track! And I think he was mostly serious.
I'm looking forward to Mid-Ohio too.

Leaking gas out of the fuel door.....is that common? I never heard of it before.
 
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