Cunningham Takes Sunday GTS at Mid-Ohio, Acura Clinches Title

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., took his second World Challenge GTS win in as many days at the Optima Batteries Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Presented by GameStreamer Sunday.

Cunningham en route to career win #38. (Weber Image)

After taking the Saturday win flag-to-flag in his No. 43 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX, Cunningham found himself in a relatively unfamiliar position after the standing start Sunday—in second. Second-starting Ernie Jakubowski, of Oakville, Ontario got the holeshot in his No. 91 Fuchs/CDOC/Forgeline Porsche Cayman S and led the opening 13 laps in the GTS class race.

On lap 14, Cunningham, who had been caught by teammate Nick Esayian’s No. 34 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX and was in danger of losing second place, made a bold move past Jakubowski entering Thunder Valley.

“Off the start, the rear drive of the Porsche Cayman got the better of me today,” Cunningham said. “Plus, on Saturday, the left lane was blocked with a stalled car but this time it was the right lane. I started to move over to go by but I didn’t want to keep moving over and get hit. That allowed the Porsche to get ahead of me. I had a couple of opportunities on the first lap to get by, but I wanted to be patient and not rush into it. But after that he started to figure it out and I couldn’t get by. I knew that my car would stay under me and I wanted to just be patient. In turn nine, he got a little bit sideways and I just shoved it in there and made a clean pass.”

The pass not only placed Cunningham into the lead for good, but earned him the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race. He also set the race’s fastest lap for GTS cars, with a 1:34.712 (85.826 mph) en route to his sixth win of the season and record-extending 38th overall.

Jakubowski and Esayian continued the battle for second until the lap-24 restart, when Jakubowski slid wide exiting the Carousel giving the runner-up spot to Esayian.

Ben Corsland, of Salt Lake City, Utah, finished fourth in his No. 25 RPMotorsports Ford Mustang FR500S, the first of a string of four Ford Racing Mustang Challenge cars, including Devin Cates, George Winkler and Richard Colinello.

Cunningham’s win extended his point lead over Esayian to 164 (1091 to 927). Acura also clinched its ninth World Challenge Manufacturers’ Championship, currently leading Porsche 82 to 19 with three Rounds remaining.

Today’s race will be broadcast Saturday, Aug. 28 at 4:30 p.m. (Eastern) on Versus.

The World Challenge Championships next travel to VIRginia International Raceway for Rounds 10 and 11, part of the SCCA Pro Racing Sports Car Wars weekend, September 10-12.

Follow World Challenge on Twitter @WCRacing.

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