2009 was the final year of the Grand-Am Road Racing’s contract with KONI.
The three-year agreement between Grand-Am and KONI saw the company offer the richest purse in the series history - $100,000 per event.
The winning Grand Sport team earned $5,000 with the price fund doubling to $10,000 if the car was equipped with KONI shock absorbers.
Street Tuner competitors competed for a similar payout - $3,750 to the winner and $7,500 if the vehicle is fitted with KONIs.
The cars in the series are relatively unchanged from their road-going counterparts – modifications are mandated mainly for safety – roll cages, window nets, etc. They also used spec DOT-approved tires produced by Hoosier. Based on performance potential, the cars were divided into one of two groups:
The 2009 season consisted of eleven race weekends and started in January at Daytona International Speedway, which was followed by a second event in Florida at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In May, the series would visit Thunderbolt Raceway in New Jersey then move on to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Lime Rock Park. The teams traveled Watkins Glen International in June and after this event, race weekends took place at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. In August, teams made the trip to Canada, where the action would take place on the streets of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. The penultimate round was held at Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park, with the finale being held at Virginia International Raceway. The Grand Sport and Street Tuner classes competed separately – the exceptions being Daytona, New Jersey, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen International and Miller Motorsports Park, where they race together.
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was the scene of round seven for the 2009 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series. Twenty-nine Street Tuner teams competed on the thirteen-turn 2.258-mile road course for eighty-four-laps.
|The first lap of round seven at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Leading the twenty-nine Street Tuner competitors into the ‘Carousel’ turn is the pole-sitter, Josh Hurley, in the No. 171 APR Tuning Volkswagen GTI. Behind Hurley is the other front row starter and his teammate, Mike Sweeney, in the No. 181 Volkswagen. The next car in line is the Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si of the points leader, Christian Miller.|
|On lap-78, Ian Baas was behind the wheel of the class-leading APR Tuning Volkswagen GTI when it slowed with an electrical issue. Running second at the time was Baas’ teammate, Dion von Moltke. Von Moltke seized the opportunity and grabbed the lead. He controlled the remaining six-laps of the contest, giving him and his co-driver, Mike Sweeney, their second victory of the year.|
|On the merit of two wins and a runner-up finish in the most recent event at Watkins Glen International, Christian Miller was the Street Tuner championship points leader. Miller shared the No. 74 Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si with Touring Car veteran, Randy Pobst. Pobst drove the final stint but was no match for the leader, Dion von Moltke, and finished second by a margin of 4.114-seconds.|
|Co-driving the No. 111 Subaru Road Racing Team Subaru Legacy were Kristian Skavnes and Andrew Aquilante. The pair opened the season with a runner-up finish at Daytona International Speedway. Since then, they had been unable to find the podium and scored a season-low thirteenth place at their home track, Lime Rock Park. At Mid-Ohio, Skavnes and Aquilante finished third and moved to second in the title chase.|
|Josh Hurley captured the Street Tuner pole-position for round seven. This was Hurley’s second pole of the season in the No. 171 Volkswagen GTI. For APR Tuning, this was their second consecutive front row start. The latest results were attributed to the crew’s recent focus on the car’s suspension. Unfortunately, Hurley’s teammate, Ian Baas, finished eleventh when the Volkswagen developed an electrical problem.|
|At the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Paul Dalla Lana and team principal, Will Turner, shared the No. 95 Turner Motorsport prepared BMW 328i. Their best race of the 2009 season was round four at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where the car finished in first place. A steady performance at Mid-Ohio was rewarded with a fourth-place at the checkered flag.|
|FINISH||CLASS||DRIVER||TEAM / CAR||LAPS|
|1||ST||von Moltke / Sweeney||APR Motorsport / Volkswagen GTI||84|
|2||ST||Miller / Pobst||Compass360 Racing / Honda Civic Si||84|
|3||ST||Aquilante / Skavnes||Subaru Road Racing Team / Subaru Legacy||84|
|4||ST||Dalla Lana / Turner||Turner Motorsport / BMW 328i||84|
|5||ST||O'Doski / Carbonell||Freedom Autosport / Mazda MX-5||84|
|6||ST||Anthony, Jr. / Slone||Compass360 Racing / Honda Civic Si||84|
|7||ST||Lepper / Rashleigh||GS Motorsports / Chevrolet Cobalt SS||84|
|8||ST||Gilsinger / Johnson||HART / Honda Civic Si||84|
|9||ST||Beede / Cullen||Bill Fenton Motorsports / Honda Civic Si||84|
|10||ST||Hamelin / Hebert||89 Racing Team / Honda Civic Si||84|
|11||ST||Baas / Hurley||APR Motorsport / Volkswagen GTI||84|
|12||ST||Spaude / Thilenius||Bill Fenton Motorsports / Honda Civic Si||84|
|13||ST||Davis / Putman||Kinetic Motorsports / BMW 330i||84|
|14||ST||Dayton / Battle||RRT Racing / BMW 328i||84|
|15||ST||Kuitwaard / Walker||Compass360 Racing / Honda Civic Si||83|
|16||ST||Giovanis / Halpin||Next Generation Motorsports / BMW 330i||83|
|17||ST||Cattaneo / White||Freedom Autosport / Mazda MX-5||83|
|18||ST||Buford / Mirzayan||RSR Motorsports / Mini Cooper S||83|
|19||ST||Smalley / Trinkler||RSR Motorsports / Mini Cooper S||83|
|20||ST||Orr / Bosch||Next Generation Motorsports / BMW 330i||82|
|21||ST||Heumann / Zacharias||V-Pack Motorsport / BMW Z4||82|
|22||ST||Nonnamaker / Sahlen||Team Sahlen / Mazda RX-8||82|
|23||ST||Bovenberg / Rashleigh||GS Motorsports / Chevrolet Cobalt SS||82|
|24||ST||Harding / Milarcik||Pirate Motorsports / Mazda RX-8||80|
|25||ST||Cosmo / Ortiz||Next Generation Motorsports / BMW 330i||71|
|26||ST||Smith / Tallman||CA Sport / Honda Civic Si||71|
|27||ST||Burrows / Hopwood||RSR Motorsports / Mini Cooper S||63|
|28||ST||Long / Whitis||Freedom Autosport / Mazda MX-5||21|
|29||ST||Arnold / Schultz||V-Pack Motorsport / BMW Z4||9|
|0||ST||Lewis / Schmitt||HART / Honda Civic Si||-|
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