Jonsson, Liddell Lead Opening SPEED World Challenge Practices at Atlanta
April 15, 2005 - Braselton, Ga. - Nic Jonsson and Robin Liddell led the opening practice sessions for this weekend’s SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car and GT races at the Road Atlanta sportsbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta, respectively.
Nic Jonsson returned to lead practice. (Greg Aleck Image, click for larger)
Driving the No. 27 Tasker Products/Tecmark Autosport BMW 325Ci, Jonsson, who resides in nearby Buford, turned a fastest lap of 1:34.371 (96.892 mph) in the opening SPEED Touring Car session. Following the 2004 Championship Runner-Up was the No. 98 Wheels America/Okell’s Fireplace BMW 325Ci of Bob Stretch with a fastest time of 1:34.496 (96.766 mph).
Two-time defending racewinner Pierre Kleinubing was third fastest in his No. 43 A-SPEC/RealTime Racing Acura TSX with a time of 1:34.681, followed by Memo Gidley’s Air Force Reserve Ford Focus (1:34.806) and point leader Peter Cunningham’s A-SPEC/RealTime Racing Acura TSX (1:34.878).
In all, the top eight cars were faster than Cunningham’s qualifying mark of 1:35.272 (95.977 mph), set in October 2004.
Driving the No. 66 AXA Financial Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Liddell turned a fastest time of 1:28.807 (102.964 mph), edging out Wolf Henzler’s Applied Materials/Jongbloed Wheels Porsche by 0.064-second.
Point leader Tommy Archer was third in his No. 1 c3controls/3R-Racing Dodge Viper after turning a lap of 1:28.968. Defending race winner Max Angelelli’s No. 12 XM/Mobil1/Motorola/Bose/On Star Cadillac CTS-V and Leighton Reece’s No. 6 Banner Engineering Chevrolet Corvette C6 tied for fourth, each posting a fast time of 1:29.003.
No SPEED GT car came within a second of Angelelli’s 2004 qualifying mark of 1:27.734 (104.224 mph).
Second round practice is set to begin at 4:25 p.m. (EDT) for SPEED Touring Car, followed immediately by SPEED GT. For live timing and scoring of the sessions, and all other event information, please visit www.world-challenge.com.