1996 marked the seventh season for the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) World Challenge series. This season there were changes made to the classes. In 1995, there was the Sport, Touring and Super Production classes. Two categories were introduced in 1996 – Sports and Touring which were divided into four classes – Sport 1 & 2 and Touring 1 & 2. The 1996 Touring 1 class had a variety of domestic and import cars.

It was a very competitive season that produced six different winners - Lou Gigliotti (2), Willy Lewis (2), Kermit Upton III (1), Greg Theiss (2), Peter Cunningham (2) and Boris Said (1) in four different makes – Ford (3), Eagle (4), NSX (2) and BMW (1). The Mosport round was the third of ten race weekends for the Touring 1 cars.

The AASCO Performance Toyota Supra Turbo of Dennis Aase was set to start from the pole. Just before to the start, the crew noticed a pool of oil under the car. The problem was identified as a leaking oil seal that could not be easily repaired before the start. Aase was classified as a 'Did Not Start'.
Kermit Upton III in the Mountain Auto Sport Racing BMW M3 was the fastest qualifier in Touring 1 which meant he started fifth. By the fourth lap, he was in the lead and beat runner-up Boris Said by 6.173-seconds. This would be Upton’s only win of the season and he would finish third in the final standings.
Boris Said drove the No. 9 Bill Mitchell Special Vehicle Developments Ford Mustang – filling in for regular driver Mark Simo. Said qualified fourth but as Dennis Aase was unable to start the race Said had the front row to himself. He used this opportunity to take the early lead but would finish second. Here he is followed by Gigliotti, Upton, Fellows and Lewis.
The Archer Brothers entered two Eagle Talons. The No. 33 was driven by Willy Lewis the 1993 World Challenge B Class Champion. He started sixth and finished third. In 1996 Lewis had wins at St. Pete and Phoenix taking third in the Drivers standings. His efforts helped the Eagle Talon secure the Manufacturers Championship.
Lou Gigliotti would capture the Driver Championship but Mosport was not one his better races of the season. Starting fourth Gigliotti moved into the lead on lap-3 but a u-joint problem took him out of contention. The crew was able to make repairs and he finished sixteenth. Gigliotti won two races (Trois Rivieres and Watkins Glen) in 1996.
1996 was the debut for the RealTime Acura NSX driven by Peter Cunningham. At Mosport Cunningham waged a race long battle with Willy Lewis and eventually finished fourth. By season’s end, the car proved competitive winning the final two races - Reno and Sears Point. The following year Cunningham would win the Touring 1 Driver Championship in the NSX.
Local racer Rob Fellows qualified third in the AER Manufacturing Ford Mustang. Unfortunately, Fellows only completed 18 of the 32-lap race. He retired as the result of an engine failure and was classified with a seventeenth place finish.
Peter Cunningham in the No. 42 Acura NSX passes the No. 32 Eagle Talon of Greg Theiss in corner ten. Theiss who started ninth would finish fifth. He would finish fourth in the final Driver’s standings - collecting wins at Minneapolis and Road America. Like Willy Lewis, he also contributed to the Eagle Talon winning the Manufacturers Championship.

1Kermit Upton IIIBMW M3Wansteiner/MASR32-
2Boris Said IIIFord MustangSpecial Vehicle Developments32-
3Willy LewisEagle TalonTeam Mirage/Archer32-
4Peter CunninghamAcura NSXComptech/RealTime32-
5Gregg TheissEagle TalonArcher Motorsports32-
6Lance StewartFord MustangBeacon Auto Sales32-
7Simon GreggFord MustangLG Motorsports32-
8Cameron WorthMazda RX-7Pettit Racing32-
9Kirk SpencerChevrolet CamaroAFCO31-
10Bruno BusoEagle TalonMilano Biscuits31-
11C. David SeussFord MustangFight Against Smoking31-
12Tom BakerEagle TalonBaker Jeep28-
13Pierre BareilFord Mustang LXBareil Racing 28-
14Mark DixonPontiac FirebirdLM Race Engineering27-
15Don BootesMazda RX-7Mostly Mazdas25Turbocharger
16Lou GigliottiFord MustangLG Motorsports21-
17Rob FellowsFord MustangAER Manufacturing18Engine
18Walter SwickBMW M3Tridelta Industries13Mechanical
19Shane LewisChevrolet CamaroWorldsport Racing4Mechanical
20Grant CarterChevrolet CamaroKumho/Redline2Accident
21Richard HoldenerFord MustangExtrude Hone1Mechanical
22Dennis AaseToyota Supra TurboAASCO Performance0Did Not Start

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