LONG BEACH, Calif. - Robert Stout, of Brownsburg, Ind., won the Touring Car class race at the Toyo Tires World Challenge at Long Beach Presented by Long Beach. Eric Meyer, of Indianapolis, finished second.
Stout scored a big win for Scion in front of a "home" crowd. Mark Weber Image
Stout’s Touring Car win made him, at 18 years old, one month and 16 days, the youngest winner in World Challenge. The youngster started second in class in the No. 18 DG-Spec/Scion/TRD/Lucas Oil/Scion tC, but had grabbed the lead from polesitter Nick Wittmer by the first time past the line.
By lap seven, Stout’s lead was stretched to over 10 seconds and he raced to a 19.666-second margin of victory.
“I felt like I got off to a decent start,” Stout said. “I worked my way around Nick [Wittmer] a lap or so after the start. I heard he had some problems over the radio. I knew I had a pretty good gap over second place at that point and I tried to take it as easy as I could.”
Even with the big lead, the end of the race had a couple of nervous moments for Stout.
“With about 10 laps to go, I started to have some problems with the left rear,” he said. “I didn’t even know if I was going to make it, so I really tried to take it easy through the right handers. But the car came through and we made it through with a first place finish.
“There are so many Toyota representatives here at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the support for Team Scion has been amazing. This is one of the biggest races in the world. I couldn’t ask for anything more than to win at Long Beach.”
Stout was followed across the stripe by Eric Meyer, of Indianapolis, Ind., in the No. 32 XOWii/Samaritan’s Feet/Delvira Mazda RX-8. Meyer battled with Stout’s teammate, Dan Gardner, in the No. 36 DG Spec/Scion/TRD/Lepper&Associates Scioon tC for the first half of the race, but inherited the second position for good on lap 15 when Gardner’s day ended after a brush of the wall.
Montreal’s Nick Wittmer, the younger brother of GT race-winner Kuno, recovered from an early flat tire after contact with another car to finish third.
Stout’s win allows him to inherit the Touring Car Drivers’ Championship lead with 350 points. Meyer (281), Todd Buras (264), and Gardner (263) trail Stout after three of 12 races.
The race from Long Beach will be broadcast May 1 at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) on Versus.
The World Challenge Championships return to action with a doubleheader at Mosport International Raceway, May 21-23.
For more information, please visit www.world-challenge.com
Follow World Challenge on Twitter @WCRacing.
Source : World Challenge.com
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