Chip Herr, of Lititz, Pa., battled damp conditions, a slew of Acuras and a Mazda to wheel his Audi A4 to a second-consecutive SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car win today at Mosport International Raceway, part of the Mobil 1 Presents Labour Day Grand Prix Weekend. Brandon Davis, of Denver, Colo., and Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla., completed the podium.
Herr started from the pole on the damp track, but relinquished the lead twice over the course of the 25-lap, 61.475-mile event that was limited to 50 minutes in duration. In the end, he took his third-career win by 6.491 seconds, averaging 72.074 mph.
Driving the No. 17 Agincourt Autohaus/STaSIS Audi A4, Herr relinquished the lead to the No. 73 Tri-Point Motorsports/Mazdaspeed Mazda 6 of Randy Pobst at the start, done single-file, similar to a re-start, after a delay to retrieve a broken down car on the formation lap aborted the traditional standing start. Herr re-took the point from Pobst on the third lap, only to come under attack by a slew of Acuras.
On a lap-13 restart, Davis got the jump on the field from fourth to take the lead in his No. 20 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Racing Acura TSX. From there, he held off a furious attack from teammate Kleinubing, in the No. 42 entry, until Kleinubing succumbed to pressure from Herr on lap 19. Two laps later, Herr was past Davis for the lead, and clicked off a succession of fastest race laps to speed away to the win.
“On the restart my car just completely shut down,” Herr said of the restart when Davis and Kleinubing passed for the lead. “I was on the throttle. It would have been a nice drag race for us, but my car just cut out and I saw a lot of cars come to the inside of me. I knew it was a long race so I had to just hang back there and hope that the problem would fix itself.”
After watching Michael Galati use all-wheel-drive in rainy conditions to lap all but second place in the SPEED GT race, Herr was confident of his chances in Sunday’s damp conditions.
“The weather was definitely a factor for the STaSIS Audi,” said Herr, who also won at Mid-Ohio in May and at Road America two weeks ago. “The car handles really well in the dry, but when it comes to wet weather…I really thought we had a huge advantage over the Acuras. But today, I’m really impressed how well these guys drove and how well their cars handled, because the only advantage I saw was coming out of Turn Five, which is a really slow turn, so it’s just about traction. Everywhere else it was pretty heads-up with them.
“It was a good run for us today. Agincourt Autohaus was a big help coming on board this week in Canada. We didn’t expect two wins in-a-row, nobody expects wins in SPEED World Challenge, but we’ll take ’em when we can get ’em.”
Today’s race will be broadcast on SPEED Channel Sunday, Sept. 10 at 3 p.m. (EDT).