Monday, March 23, 2009

World Challenge : Wittmer sidelined with mechanical failure

Sebring, Florida.— Starting from the second line in the maiden round of the 2009 Touring class SCCA World Challenge, Kuno Wittmer was on his way to a podium finish in his #44 Realtime Acura just like last year but a drive line problem forced him to pull over by the track side after the completion of 9 of the scheduled 18 laps around the famed 3.7-mile Sebring facility. The 25-year old driver from Montreal had a strong weekend topping the charts in second or third place in every outing before the race. Nevertheless, Wittmer remains positive even if the end result is 13th place in the race and 10th in the standings.

“It’s such a shame! I had such a strong car all weekend and was looking for a better finish,” he said. “I always get a good car from RealTime and we could not prevent that failure. At the start, Seth (Thomas) came out of the blocks like a rocket while Pierre (Kleinubing) slipped a wheel. I was in pursuit in third place and confident I could overtake at least for second. We drove away from the rest of the grid but I felt a little vibration by lap 5. I decided then to ease the pace and settle for a podium. But the vibration grew and I wasn’t able to nurse the car beyond lap nine when I had to forfeit.” 

“I feel the competition will be tough all season, he added. That’s the fun of this series. All cars are quick and the tracks sometimes make the difference. The next round in New-Jersey should favor our Acuras because it is very twisty and we are indeed pretty quick around the corners. It will be the first World Challenge outing there but some of us were there last year in the Grand-Am round.”

New Jersey in May: Kuno Wittmer will be back in action at Thunderbolt Raceway, a 2.25-mile race track with 14 turns, on May 1st to the 3rdfor the second round of the SCCA World Challenge. Kunick Autosport will announce in a few weeks the rest of the schedule for both Wittmer brothers, Kuno and Nick. The younger Wittmer is set to race in a Canadian touring series but both are considering other projects being at this point of the year.

From Michel Poirier-Defoy

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