Chip Herr in the STaSIS/Clear Capital Audi A4 collected his first win of the SPEED World Challenge TC season on Memorial Day at Lime Rock Raceway. And with a third place finish, Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development driver Jeff Altenburg continued his early season assault on the TC series competition adding to his lead in the driver’s and manufacturers’ team points standings.
The story of qualifying on Saturday May 26th was that of Pierre Kleinubing who just prior to the session commencing had finished competing in the Koni Challenge ST race. Kleinubing literally jumped out of one Acura TSX and into the next and used that peaked level of adrenaline to best the field quickly into the seventh minute of qualifying after only a total of four laps, the fastest lap coming on his second lap of qualifying.
Here’s how the top 10 qualifiers lined up for Monday’s standing start:
1. Pierre Kleinubing Acura TSX Cert. Pre-Owned Acura/RealTime
2. Chip Herr Audi A4 STaSIS/Clear Cap
3. Jeff Altenburg Mazda 6 Mazdaspeed Mtspts Development
4. James Sofronas BMW 325Ci Global Motorsports Group
5. Brandon Davis Acura TSX Cert. Pre-Owned Acura/RealTime
6. Seth Thomas BMW 325i Bimmerworld
7. Charles Espenlaub Mazda 6 Mazdaspeed/Tindol/Oakley/Sparc
8. Peter Cunningham Acura TSX Cert. Pre-Owned Acura/RealTime
9. Adam Pecorari Audi A4 STaSIS/CentrecParts/Cutrubus
10. Jason Martinelli BMW 325Ci Techmark Autosport Ltd.
From the standing start commencing Monday’s race, Herr, using his all-wheel drive advantage off the launch, bested Kleinubing into Turn 1, with Sofronas, and Altenburg in pursuit. On Lap 4, Kleinubing passed Herr for the lead before a collision between two back-of-the-pack racers brought out a full course yellow.
From the Lap 10 restart, Kleinubing, Herr, Sofronas and Altenburg maintained their positions. But on Lap 26, Herr passed Kleinubing in dramatic fashion, drag racing side-by-side on the front straight before pulling ahead into Turn 1. Kleinubing appeared to have mechanical trouble after the battle with Herr and dropped all the way to fifth later in lap 26 before going into the pits. Herr, Sofronas and Altenburg smoothly maintained their positions throughout the remaining laps of the race with Herr taking the checkered flag on the 45th and final lap of the race.
Here’s how the top 10 finished:
1. Chip Herr Audi A4
2. James Sofronas BMW 325Ci
3. Jeff Altenburg Mazda 6
4. Adam Pecorari Audi A4
5. Peter Cunningham Acura TSX
6. Charles Espenlaub Mazda 6
7. Kuno Wittmer Acura RSX
8. Ian Baas Audi A4
9. Michael Galati Mazda 6
10. Jason Martinelli BMW 325Ci
Driver’s Championship Points following Lime Rock
Jeff Altenburg 115
Randy Pobst 89
Pierre Kleinubing 75
Chip Herr 75
Kuno Wittmer 68
Manufacturers’ Points following Lime Rock
Catch the race on SPEED Saturday, June 2 at 3pm. Teams now head off for race number 4 of the season at Watkins Glen, June 9-10 and Modified Mag will be there to give you full race coverage.