SANTA CLARITA, CA. (Sept. 14, 2010) – Records fell by the handful September 11-12 at Virginia International Raceway as Acura and RealTime Racing’s Peter Cunningham clinched the SCCA World Challenge GTS category championships for both manufacturers and drivers.
The two GTS wins – by Cunningham on Sunday and teammate Nick Esayian on Saturday – were more than enough to solidify Acura’s position as Manufacturers’ Champion in the inaugural year for the GTS category.
Although new to GTS competition, the title is the ninth – and third consecutive – for Acura in the SCCA World Challenge. Acura also won titles in the former T2 class in 1998 and 1999; and in the Touring category in 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009.
Cunningham’s drivers’ title is his sixth, a World Challenge record, and his victory on Sunday was his 40th, also extending his series record.
“Based on how things shook out at the start, I was able to grab the lead and build it until the [late race] caution came out. The restart gave me a bit of a scare with all the [faster] GT [class] guys trying to get by on either side. But we were able to hang on and take the win,” Cunningham said. “Now we can just go have fun at the [season] finale. It’s a great day for Acura, RealTime Racing and Toyo Tires.”
Esayian’s victory on Saturday was his first in GTS competition, while North Carolina’s Kevin Helms combined a third [on Saturday] with a fourth-place finish in Sunday’s race in his DBA/Carbotech Acura RSX.
In the Touring Class, series rookie Brett Sandberg finished third in his Acura TSX on Saturday, while Branden Peterson was the top Honda finisher on the weekend, running fourth in Touring Car in his Civic Si on Sunday.
The 2010 SCCA World Challenge concludes October 1-3 at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City, Utah.