Pobst Sweeps the Glen
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It was a near perfect weekend of racing for Tri-Point hot shoe Randy Pobst of Gainesville, Georgia as he dominated the racing action at this past weekend's double header SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car race that was held as part of the Sahlen's Six Hour Grand American endurance racing weekend. Pobst qualified on pole for both of the Touring Car races of the weekend and then went on to win the first race in flag to flag fashion and took the win in the second race after an intense dice at the sharp end of the field. The two wins vaulted Pobst to the top of the driver's championship points race and also padded Mazda's points tally in the manufacturer's title battle. Tri-Point drivers Jeff Altenburg of Ellicott City, Maryland and Roberto Santos of Monterrey, Mexico also had strong weekends, making the Watkins event a successful outing for Tri-Point Motorsports and Mazda.

With only one official practice session and two qualifying sessions scheduled for the double header Touring Car weekend, teams and drivers were under pressure to settle on a proper set up for their machines. Pobst started the weekend the way he would end it, by setting fastest time with a 2:06.604 / 96.670 mph lap of the 3.4-mile long course version of Watkins Glen International Raceway. Altenburg, who this season has had phenomenal practice, qualifying and race results was an uncharacteristic fourteenth place in practice at a 2:08.368. Roberto Santos, who continues to show speed at every track and every event turned in a 2:09.322 to finish the session nineteenth.

Qualifying Session #1

Qualifying for race number one was held shortly following the first and only practice session, and it took Pobst only four minutes to turn in his pole position qualifying lap. Pobst and his blue and white #73 Tri-Point Motorsports MAZDA6 stopped the clocks at a 2:05.459 earning the top qualifying spot for the first time this season. Altenburg improved considerably and moved forward in qualifying although he still was not in familiar 2007 qualifying territory as he placed the #72 Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development Tri-Point entry ninth with a 2:06.984. Santos also gained time in qualifying as he shed over two seconds from his practice time to turn in a 2:07.316 to earn eleventh on the grid. Santos' rookie status continues to belie his obvious ability in hustling the #74 MAZDA6.

Qualifying Session #2

Qualifying for race number two was held early Saturday morning and Pobst again was the yardstick for the field as he turned in another pole-position-winning lap of 2:02.730. Altenburg bouncing back to his accustomed 2007 form, joined Pobst on the front row with a 2:04.122 and Santos secured eighth on the grid with a time of 2:04.456. Just over three Tenths of a second separated second from eighth on the grid for race two, and the race promised to be action packed.

Race #1

Despite pressure over the first lap from several competitors, Pobst was largely uncontested in race one as he lead all twenty laps, taking a commanding flag to flag victory. Altenburg, who had several similar performances in the 06 SPEED Touring Car season, raced better than he had qualified, and was able to move up to fifth by the checkered flag. Although not where he is used to finishing in 07, it was a solid improvement for the #72 MAZDA6 pilot and gained him valuable championship points. Santos also raced strongly, moving his way up to seventh before a green flag restart on lap fifteen following a lap fourteen full course yellow. A bunched up field and the fact that only five laps remained in the race made for some hard racing on the restart, and the #74 MAZDA6 of Santos was unceremoniously bumped into a spin. Santos hung tough however and clawed his way back to finish sixteenth on the day.

Race #2

On the face of it, the fact that Pobst won race two suggested an easy time of the weekend, but there was considerably more action for the Tri-Point driver on Sunday
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