Tri-Point Motorsports driver Jeff Altenburg was able to score the first victory for the new Mazda 6 in professional competition at the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car race held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this past weekend. The October 17th race marked the 10th and final round of the 2004 World Challenge season. The team's sister car, driven by Shauna Marinus, finished 13th after qualifying an impressive 2nd.
Altenburg, who led the last 5 of the race's 26 laps also set fast lap of the race with a time of 1:39.446 around the 2.2 mile twisting natural terrain road course.
"It was a good weekend to have at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca," said Altenburg of Ellicott City, Maryland. "It was good to be able to win at our home track. We have worked hard, as everyone has, but I think we faced more than our share of mechanical adversity. This is a good way to hold us over for next year."
Altenburg, who qualified 4th with a lap of 1:38.963 dropped back slightly at the start, but steadily worked his way through the field to take the checkered flag with a 1.287 second margin of victory.
After qualifying 2nd with a lap of 1:38.733, Shauna Marinus of Folsom, California endured an eventful race with her #71 Mazdaspeed Mazda 6, and eventually took the checkered flag in 13th place.
"We had a great race car," remarked Shauna following the race. "The start was a little tough because half the track was dry and half was a bit wet, and I got a little wheelspin. The handling was really good and really perdictable though, but unfortunately I got hit in the left rear quarter panel and left rear wheel. The wheel got bent in the contact, and the handling started to go away. I'm happy for my teammate and for Mazda though. We needed a win, and we got it."
"We rolled onto the track, and after the first test session we knew that the cars were going to be good," remarked team principal Craig Nagler. "The tough part of the race was starting in the wet and wondering whether or not it would rain or go dry. We thought if it stayed dry, we would go to the front. It was a great race to watch."
For more comprehensive results and scheduling information for next year check out www.world-challenge.com.
Tri-Point Motorsports would like to thank all of the sponsors that have been a part of their 2004 effort, including, Mazda, Mazdaspeed Motorpsorts Development, Racing Hart, Stop Tech, Recaro, Crocotile, Quarter Master, Ron Davis Racing, Hawk, Koni NA, and Pro Parts USA.
Keep up to date with all of the Mazda 6 race action at www.Tripointengineering.com.