The SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge series debuted in 1990. Sponsored by Escort Radar Detectors,
the championship featured two classes – World Challenge for high-performance sports car and Super Production for smaller displacement vehicles.
The classes and race formats have evolved over the years as Series Organizers attempt to attract competitors and fans.
In 2005, the World Challenge series entered its sixteenth season. The championship’s successful relationship with Speed Channel was now in its seventh year.
Race weekends included two standing start fifty-minute races – one for the Grand Touring class and another for the Touring Cars.
To prevent any driver/car combination from dominating the class and ensuring tight competition, the R.E.W.A.R.D.S. System was implemented. Introduced in 1995, R.E.W.A.R.D.S. is the acronym for ‘Rewarding of Equalizing Weight Assigned to Reduce Driver Sensitivity.' This weight equalization rule adds or removes ballast from a car based on the finishing position of a driver.
There were eleven-race weekends during the 2005 season – the longest in series history. The opening round was in March at Sebring International Raceway, followed by a second event in Florida at Saint Petersburg. The series then moves north to Georgia for a race weekend at Road Atlanta. Rounds four, five and six are conducted in the Northeast with races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport and Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. In July, the championship takes a trip to the West Coast for an event Infineon Raceway. Competitors stay in the West for races at Portland International Raceway. Next, the series makes a stop at Denver, Colorado. The penultimate round is held at Mosport International Raceway and the series finale takes place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The penultimate round of the 2005 SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge series for the Touring Car division was held at Mosport International Raceway. Drivers would compete on the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.
|The SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car grid lines up for the penultimate round at Mosport International Raceway. Starting on the pole is rookie, Brandon Davis driving the No. 44 RealTime Racing Acura TSX. Davis’ performance in qualifying earned him the Air Force Reserve Polesitter award. Sharing the front row with Davis is the Tindol Motorsports Mazda 6 of Charles Espenlaub.|
|Charles Espenlaub captured his first World Challenge victory at Mosport International Raceway. Last year, Espenlaub finished second in the same event but this season he found the top step of the podium. Espenlaub qualified second but passed the race leader, Brandon Davis, in Moss corner on lap-5. Despite a full-course yellow that bunched up the field, he was able to maintain first place and win by a margin of 1.550-seconds.|
|Peter Cunningham had not raced an Acura in the Touring Car division since 2002 when he won the title. This season, Cunningham was ‘on track’ to secure another championship as he led the points with one race remaining. Cunningham qualified fourth quickest, but errors by his teammates, Eric Curran and Brandon Davis, allowed him to move into second place. Unable to catch the leader, Charles Espenlaub, he maintained his position.|
|Earlier in the season, Pierre Kleinubing won three consecutive races and led the standings. In the second half of the year, poor results dropped him to third in the title chase. His string of bad luck continued at Mosport. After qualifying fourth fastest, the team decided to replace the engine in his Acura TSX which meant, Kleinubing would start from the rear of the field – twentieth. Despite this setback, he finished third.|
|Rookie, Brandon Davis won his first pole-position at Mosport International Raceway and earned the Air Force Reserve Polesitter award. Driving the No. 44 RealTime Racing Acura TSX, he was leading before an error in Moss corner, allowed Charles Espenlaub to grab the top spot. Davis was in second place on lap-17 when the engine in Phil Parlato’ BMW dropped oil. Davis spun into the tire barrier and would finish fourteenth.|
|Leo Capaldi had competed in the World Challenge series on a part-time basis since 1999 and always in Ford Motor product. In 2004, he replaced his Mercury Cougar with a Ford Focus. This season, Capaldi had three starts prior to Mosport, with his best result being a twenty-third place at Mid-Ohio. Capaldi started twenty-second in round ten and advanced thirteen positions during the race to earn the Sunoco Hard Charger Award.|
|Realtime Racing entered five Acuras at Mosport International Raceway. Two of the cars were the RSX model driven by Nick Esayian and Eric Curran. Curran drove the No. 45 RSX and was fresh off a victory in the previous round at Denver. He qualified third fastest at Mosport. During the race, Curran moved into first place but hit the inside of the corner one wall on lap-3 and retired. He was classified as the last-place finisher.|
|Bimmerworld was another multicar team with BMW 325i for Matt Richmond, Seth Thomas and team principal, James Clay. Seth Thomas drove the No. 38 BMW and was thirteenth fastest in the qualifying session. On the opening lap of the race, Thomas passed six competitors. For this performance, he received the B&M Hole Shot Award. At the checkered flag, Thomas was in the sixth position.|
|The round ten podium for the World Challenge Touring Car class. In the center from Tindol Motorsports is the winner, Charles Espenlaub. After competing in the series for six-years, this was Espenlaub’s first victory. On the left side of the rostrum is the point’s leader and second-place finisher, Peter Cunningham. Completing the podium is the 2000 and 2001 Touring Car class champion, Pierre Kleinubing.|
|1||2||Charles Espenlaub||Mazda 6||28||-|
|2||4||Peter Cunningham||Acura TSX||28||-|
|3||20||Pierre Kleinubing||Acura TSX||28||-|
|4||9||James Clay||BMW 325i||28||-|
|5||5||Randy Pobst||Mazda 6||28||-|
|6||13||Seth Thomas||BMW 325i||28||-|
|7||19||Matt Richmond||BMW 325i||28||-|
|8||14||Nick Esayian||Acura RSX||28||-|
|9||22||Leo Capaldi||Ford Focus||28||-|
|10||10||Michael Galati||Mercedes C230||28||-|
|11||17||Rick Snyder||Dodge SRT-4||28||-|
|12||8||Chip Herr||Ford Focus||27||-|
|13||11||Dino Crescentini||Mazda 6||24||Suspension|
|14||1||Brandon Davis||Acura TSX||24||-|
|15||6||Jeff Altenburg||Mazda 6||23||Transmission|
|16||7||Freddy Baker||Audi A4T||22||-|
|17||15||John Angelone||Audi A4||21||-|
|18||16||Phil Parlato||BMW 325i||15||Engine|
|19||21||Peter Lockhart||Mercedes C230||11||Mechanical|
|20||18||Hugh Stewart||Dodge SRT-4||6||Mechanical|
|21||12||Seth Neiman||BMW 325Ci||4||Mechanical|
|22||3||Eric Curran||Acura RSX||3||Wheel|
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