Esayian's Acura Second at the Beach
Page: 1 Links
April 19, 2010 - Long Beach, California



Nick Esayian, on his first trip to the historic Long Beach street circuit, beat his RealTime Acura teammate Peter Cunningham into turn one from a dramatic standing start and held on to finish second in Round Three of the 2010 World Challenge Championship.

Esayian, who sits second in the World Challenge GTS point standings, got a great launch in his Acura TSX from third on the grid as the lights went out on the diverse 36-car World Challenge field. He slotted into second place going into turn one.

Peter Cunningham rebounded to finish sixth, despite a pit stop after the opening lap and maintains the GTS points standings lead leaving Long Beach.

Cunningham won Rounds One and Two of the 2010 season in St. Petersburg, but didn't have the same luck in Southern California. The 36th running of the Long Beach Grand Prix took place in front of a three-day announced crowd of 170,000, and a Sunday crowd of 65,000.

"It wasn't my best day in racing. You've heard about getting hit from behind, well I got hit from ahead," joked Cunningham, who paced the opening practice session at the start of the weekend.

"Nick (Esayian) beat me off the line fair and square. We made it through turn one and were heading to turn two. Charles Espenlaub was passing me on the left, I looked over, and when I looked back everyone was stopped ahead of me. I got on the Brakes way late and ended up ramming into my teammate," Cunningham continued.

"It wasn't a big deal and I was able to continue, but on the next straightaway the hood flew open at 120 miles an hour as the pins were stressed from the contact! Then I had to drive blind back to the pits where the RTR guys tuned me up enough to get back to the fray."

Esayian held station in second for the entire 27-lap street race, as Formula Drift star Tyler McQuarrie drove his supercharged Lotus Exige S to the checkered flag. After a previous best of third, the second place result in Long Beach means there's only one higher step for Esayian to reach on a World Challenge podium. Stay tuned.

In addition to the winning Lotus, the Acura Motorsports-sponsored team faced an exotic collection of machinery in the new GTS category. A second Lotus Exige S, two Corvettes and a Porsche 996 were among the entries doing battle around the 11-turn, 1.968-mile temporary circuit.

The World Challenge Long Beach race will air on Versus HD on Saturday, May 1 at 4:30 p.m. EDT. If you miss this or any other World Challenge race, you can find it on the net 24 hours after its first airing at world-challengetv.com.

The RealTime squad now enjoys almost a full month off to prepare for Rounds Four and Five of the 12-event 2010 championship. The World Challenge circus heads north of the border to the legendary Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario for a double header, May 21-23.

RealTime Racing is sponsored by Acura Motorsports, Acura Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, Red Line Oil, Eibach Springs, Sparco, Hawk Performance, Brembo, A-SPEC, BOSCH, Total Auto Body, and PACT.