Davis, Cunningham, Gardner Lead Opening World Challenge Practice at Long Beach
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LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 16, 2010) - Defending series Champion Brandon Davis, of nearby Huntington Beach, Calif., was fastest overall and in GT in Friday's opening practice for Sunday's Toyo Tires World Challenge at Long Beach Presented by Bondurant, part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend. Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., and Dan Gardner, of Hermosa Beach, Calif., led the GTS and Touring Car classes, respectively.



Driving the No. 1 Applied Computer Solutions/Sun Micro Ford Mustang GT, Davis turned a fastest lap time of 1:26.861 (81.565 mph) around the 11-turn, 1.968-mile temporary street circuit. His lap was 0.01-second faster than that of Montreal's Kuno Wittmer and his No. 13 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Viper.



"With the different names in the field, it feels good to be first," Davis said. "But it's the first practice, they don't award points or pay money for practice. With all the traffic, it was a little bit rough to get a clear lap. I know that everyone will be there, and the order might not be as representative as it could be if we had a clear track. It's definitely a positive, and hopefully we can move forward tomorrow looking to qualifying and the race.



"You don't have time to be conservative this weekend, you have to take advantage of the time on the track and work from there. It's going to be a little scary, with us running after the IndyCar race. There were a couple of times I had to pass a Touring Car around the outside of the bend on the straightaway, and I know after the IndyCar race there's going to be tons of marbles out there and it's going to be hairy. I'm kind of nervous to see how it's going to be in the race on Sunday."



Round One winner Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., was third fastest in the No. 6 K-Pax Racing Volvo S60 after turning a time of 1:27.044 (81.393 mph). Boris Said's No. 3 Applied Computer Solutions Ford Mustang and Andy Pilgrim's No. 8 K-Pax Racing Volvo S60 completed the top five.



Cunningham, who had a perfect weekend at the season-opening St. Petersburg Round March 26-28, winning both races from the pole, was quickest in the GTS class. His fastest time in the 25-minute session was a 1:35.518 (74.172 mph) in the No. 43 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX.



"There are a lot of quick cars in the GTS class this weekend," Cunningham said. "In particular, Tyler [McQuarrie]'s Lotus was pretty scary in the beginning, but then he didn't go faster later. With my knowledge of the circuit, I was able to go out and the car was working great. It's the first practice, we're clean, and we learned about some changes we can make tomorrow morning."
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