LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 16, 2012) - RealTime Racing weathered the highs and lows of race week at the Pirelli World Challenge Long Beach Grand Prix presented by StopTech. Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., kicked things off with the pole position, but a brake line issue resulted in a seventh-place finish. Meanwhile, Nick Esayian, of San Diego, Calif., stormed from eighth on the grid to fourth.
RealTime's trip to the beach started with a rainy practice session, but Cunningham and Esayian made their own sunshine by putting the No. 42 RealTime/Acura/HPD Acura TSX and No. 34 RealTime/Acura/HPD Acura TSX one-two on the time sheets.
A dry 1.968-mile course greeted the team early Sunday morning for qualifying. Cunningham took full advantage of the conditions and laid down the fastest GTS lap, a 1:29.269 (79.364 mph), and earned his World Challenge record-extending 46th career pole position. Esayian qualified his TSX in eighth.
Both the GT and GTS classes were featured in the World Challenge race at Long Beach. The 17 GTS entries were gridded behind 18 GT cars. When the lights went out on the standing start, polesitter Cunningham found himself stuck behind a stalled GT car, enabling the No. 68 Porsche Caymen S of Jack Baldwin to take the lead. Cunningham fell to third briefly, but was back in second before turn three.
It wasn't long before Cunningham noticed an issue with his Acura's brake pressure.
"Street courses are notoriously hard on Brakes," Cunningham said. "But, when the brake pedal went to the floor on lap two, I knew we had a serious problem and I was in for a long race."
Cunningham did everything he could to hold his ground and admirably kept his car on track for all 50 minutes of the race, but as time ticked away without a full-course yellow, the World Challenge veteran fell to seventh.
"After the race we were able to get a better look at the problem and determine it was a brake line fitting failure. I lost all the fluid in the front Brakes which on a front-wheel drive car, is a huge hurtle to overcome.
"It's disappointing for sure, especially after our strong performance in practice and qualifying," Cunningham said. "But we still scored enough points to hang on to second in the Drivers' and Manufacturers' points."
Esayian's experience at Long Beach was the opposite of his teammates'.