Kleinubing and Mazzotta to Lead RealTime's RSX Campaign
Date: February 13, 2003 10:32
RTR Press Release
February 12, 2003 -- Saukville, Wisconsin
Three-time SPEED Touring Car champion Pierre Kleinubing and 2003 rookie-contender Zac Mazzotta have been named to spearhead RealTime Racing's assault on the 2003 SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship, driving a pair of matching Acura RSXs.
Kleinubing, a 28 year-old Brazilian who lives in Miami, Fla., has never finished lower than second in season Driver?s points, and is the 1997-2000-2001 SPEED Touring Car champion. In just six years of SCCA Pro Racing-sanctioned World Challenge racing, his 16 race wins have moved him to third place on the series' list of all-time winners. He has finished on the podium in an amazing 38 of his 59 career starts.
Mazzotta, of Santa Barbara, Calif., made his RealTime Racing Touring Car debut last year at Laguna Seca, running as high as 15th, before being shuffled back to a 20th place finish. He began racing Historic race cars in 1998, won an SCCA Club Racing Formula Continental championship in 2000, and made his first professional start that year in the Toyota Formula Atlantic series with a 13th place in the Long Beach Grand Prix. Mazzotta, 24, joins the RealTime team full-time in 2003 as a leading candidate for Rookie-of-the-Year.
RealTime Racing drivers, since 1993, have won 46 World Challenge race victories on their way to eight Driver's Championships, and eight Manufacturer's Championships for the Acura and Honda brands. Five of those victories occurred in 2002, when RealTime placed first and second in Touring Car Driver's points and secured Acura's fourth Manufacturer's title.
Crew chief Jerome Zimmermann has been with RealTime from the start and oversees the team of mechanics that is responsible for making its drivers look so good.
"Finding Pierre in 1997 was one of the best things to ever happen to RealTime," Zimmermann said. "He is consistently fast, doesn't abuse his car, and can communicate to the crew what the car is doing and what he needs to make it faster. Had it not been for a pair of mechanical DNFs at the two street races last year, he surely would have won his fourth championship."
The sleek, new Acura RSX is a clean-sheet-of-paper coupe that replaces the Integra line, which RealTime has raced since 1997. The team introduced the RSX at the last two events of 2002, finishing 11th at Road Atlanta, and 10th at the season finale at VIRginia International Raceway.
"For the sake of winning the Driver's and Manufacturer's Championships last year, it made sense to keep me in the Integra," said Kleinubing. "Development of a new car, especially the RSX -- which is so different from the Integra -- is a long process. When we started racing the Integra in 1997, it took half the season to get it to victory lane. This year's Touring Car Championship looks to be more competitive than ever, but with the number of test and race laps we now have completed with the new car, I'm confident the RSX will be a championship contender in 2003."
Round 1 of the 2003 SPEED Touring Car season kicks off as a part of the traditional 12-Hour endurance classic at Sebring International Raceway in Florida on March 14th.
Last edited by Tuan on
February 13, 2003 13:36