2009 was a milestone year for the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Pro Racing Speed World Challenge series.
The championship was now in its 20th consecutive season. The SCCA had developed a successful format that attracted competitors and fans.
But the recession of 2008 was impacting car counts.
To add some excitement to qualifying, the series organizers introduced the Fast Five Coin Toss. A World Challenge official flipped a coin and the fastest qualifier would have to call, heads or tails. If they guessed correctly, the top five would line-up as they qualified. If not, the starting order would be inverted for the five quickest drivers.
Most race weekends included two standing start races with a time limit of 50-minutes. One event for the Grand Touring (GT) class and another for the Touring Cars (TC).
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 added or removed ballast from a car based on the finishing position of a driver. The maximum amount of weight that could be removed from a vehicle was 100-pounds. And, no more than 200-pounds could be added to a GT class car and 150-pounds to a Touring Car.
During the 2009 season, there were ten-races for each category. The Touring cars did not compete at Long Beach. However, they raced twice at Mosport Park. As in 2008, the opening round was in March at Sebring, Florida and the championship ended in October at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, California.
Round four of the 2009 SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Championship for Grand Touring competitors was held at Mosport International Raceway during the Canadian long weekend in May. Thirteen drivers would race around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.
|The start of round four for the 2009 SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Championship and thirteen competitors funnel into Mosport International Raceway’s corner one. The second fastest qualifier, Jason Daskalos, in the No. 5 Daskalos Developments Dodge Viper edges ahead of the K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 driven by the pole-sitter, Randy Pobst. Trailing the leaders is the second K-PAX entry of Andy Pilgrim.|
|After twenty-two World Challenge starts, Jason Daskalos won his first series race. Daskalos often qualified and finished the top-ten, his best result to date was a fourth place at New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2008. On the first lap of the race, he moved from his second qualifying position into the lead. Daskalos was challenged during the thirty-lap contest by Brandon Davis but held on for the victory.|
|The points leader, Brandon Davis, was the fastest qualifier, but he lost the Fast Five Coin Toss and the start was inverted. Davis had a great start and moved the No. 10 Applied Computer Solutions / Sun Microsystems Ford Mustang Cobra into second place before the end of the first lap. Unable to pass the eventual winner, Jason Daskalos, he finished second by a margin of 0.682-seconds and extended his championship lead.|
|The round one winner at Sebring International Raceway, Tony Rivera, had difficulty in qualifying and recorded the seventh fastest time. He was able to move to fourth place early in the race and ran with the lead pack. On lap-25, Rivera inherited third when Randy Pobst’s K-PAX Volvo S60 developed a mechanical problem. He would maintain the position and earn the Sunoco Hard Charger award for passing the most cars.|
|In 2009, K-PAX Racing replaced their Porsches and started a new development program with the Volvo S60. They were challenged in the opening round at Sebring International Raceway, but at race three in New Jersey, Andy Pilgrim qualified on the pole and scored the team’s first victory. At Mosport, Randy Pobst started first in the No. 1 Volvo, but a turbocharger wastegate problem relegated him to an eighth-place finish.|
|The second K-PAX entry was driven by the 2005 World Challenge GT champion, Andy Pilgrim. After a difficult start to the season, Pilgrim led flag-to-flag at New Jersey and gave the team their first victory with the new car. At Mosport, he qualified third in the No. 8 Volvo S60 but lost positions at the start. On the way to a fourth-place finish, he won his third consecutive Debaufre award for setting the fastest race lap.|
|The round four podium for the 2009 SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge Grand Touring class at Mosport International Raceway. In the center is Jason Daskalos, who scored his first series victory. In 2009, Daskalos was the fourth different winner in as many races. Standing on the left side of the rostrum is the runner-up, Brandon Davis, who extended his lead in the title chase. Completing the podium is Tony Rivera.|
|1||2||Jason Daskalos||Dodge Viper||30||-|
|2||5||Brandon Davis||Ford Mustang GT||30||-|
|3||7||Tony Rivera||Porsche 911 GT3||30||-|
|4||3||Andy Pilgrim||Volvo S60||30||-|
|5||4||Eric Curran||Chevrolet Corvette||30||-|
|6||6||Dino Crescentini||Porsche 911 GT3||30||-|
|7||8||Sonny Whelen||Chevrolet Corvette||30||-|
|8||1||Randy Pobst||Volvo S60||30||-|
|9||9||James Sofronas||Porsche 911 GT3||30||-|
|10||12||Gunter Schaldach||Dodge Viper||28||-|
|11||10||Jeff Courtney||Dodge Viper||16||Tire|
|12||11||Tony Gaples||Chevrolet Corvette||6||Tire|
|13||13||William Ziegler||Porsche 911 GT3||1||Mechanical|
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