Starting from the GTS pole, Cunningham was held up by a stalled GT car gridded directly ahead of him. The obstacle enabled Jack Baldwin in a Porsche Cayman to sneak by for the lead. Fast all weekend, Cunningham’s No. 42 RealTime/Acura/HPD Acura TSX made quick work of the Porsche moments later.
“We were all over Jack Baldwin at the beginning,” Cunningham said. “Coming out of turn six on lap two, I had a huge run on him. We went side-by-side going up the hill and touched a bit before I took the lead. From there, we had a pretty good pace and were able to click off the laps.”
Cunningham set the fastest lap of the race, a 1:34.137 (85.585 mph), en route to the GTS win.
“After heartbreak and tears over the last couple races, we have a representative finish here in Monterey,” Cunningham smiled. “We’re very pleased to max out on the points this weekend with the pole, most laps led and the win.”
Esayian nearly joined Cunningham on the podium, but lost third place on the final lap.
“I got passed by [Aaron Povoledo] with four wheels off going into turn five,” Esayian said. “I could have turned in, but physics would have superseded judgment at that point, because he couldn’t have stopped if he wanted to. I left the door open, got in the marbles and he got by. I tried to get up alongside him, but I couldn’t make it happen.”
Cunningham now leads the GTS drivers’ championship with 602 points. Acura has taken control of the GTS manufacturers’ championship by one point over Ford (32 to 31).