Circuit: Sonoma Raceway (2.385-mile road course) Sonoma, CA
Weather: Mostly sunny, mild, 75 degrees F
Start-Line Collision Ends Acura TLX GT Effort at Sonoma
- Stall at race start results in contact from behind
- Damage to chassis and suspension forces withdrawal
- Will return to competition after repairs, improvements
A collision, just moments after the start, ended the race weekend for the Acura TLX GT in the Pirelli World Challenge event Saturday at Sonoma Raceway in California. The resulting damage to the RealTime Racing Acura was too severe to repair trackside, and the team was forced to withdraw from Sunday’s second race of the scheduled weekend doubleheader.
Driver Peter Cunningham qualified the TLX 21st in the large, 44-car starting field. But, after completing the pace lap and lining up for the standing start utilized in the Pirelli World Challenge, Cunningham stalled as he released the clutch, and the Acura was almost immediately struck from behind by the Aston Martin GT4 driven by Santiago Creel. Neither driver was injured in the resulting heavy contact, but both cars were out of the race.
Developed from the production Acura TLX by HPD and RealTime Racing, the Acura TLX GT features HPD chassis and aerodynamic performance parts approved for Pirelli World Challenge competition. It is powered by a direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 engine, developed by HPD from the production TLX, and will utilize all-wheel drive, as found in Acura’s SH-AWD system.
Video News Releases from this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge and IndyCar Series action at Sonoma Raceway are being posted on a specially created “Honda Racing/HPD Trackside” YouTube channel produced by the Carolinas Production Group. CPG will be providing video highlights packages following Honda Racing/HPD events during 2014. The video packages can be found at: youtube.com/hondaracingtrackside.
The 2014 Pirelli World Challenge concludes September 12-13 with a final doubleheader race weekend at the Raceway at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.
Peter Cunningham (owner/driver, RealTime Racing Acura TLX GT): “It was my fault. For whatever reason, the car stalled when I released the clutch. I probably released it too quickly. I’ve never stalled at the [start] line before, and we’ve never had clutch issues with the Acura TLX, so we’ll have to go back and review our starting procedure, and make sure it never happens again. I feel bad for everyone at RealTime Racing and HPD. To have our race end like this is disappointing for all involved.”