In 2002, the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) World Challenge Championship was in its thirteenth season. For the fourth year Speed Channel was the primary sponsor – (in the off-season the Speedvision channel was renamed Speed). SCCA had developed a successful format that attracted competitors and fans.

Race weekends included two standing start fifty-minute races – one for the Grand Touring class and another for the Touring Cars.

  • Grand Touring (GT) – The GT class rules accommodate an extensive range of vehicles from different manufacturers. There is no limit to the engine displacement in this category and vehicles may use a forced induction system. To stop the cars, alternative materials may be utilized for the brake pads and shoes. Rules also allow the use of four-piston calipers but rotors are limited to 14-inches in diameter. The maximum diameter of the wheels is 18-inches and any changes to the bodywork must be approved. The series uses a spec tire and competitors race on Toyo Proxes RA-1s.
  • Touring Car (TC) – The Touring Cars are limited to an engine displacement of 2.8-liters. The motors must be naturally aspirated (turbochargers or superchargers are not permitted). The Touring Cars are also allowed four-piston calipers and alternative materials for the brake pads and shoes but the maximum rotor diameter is 12-inches. Wheels in this group are limited to 17-inches. Cars can be fitted with a spec rear wing and approved aftermarket bodywork. This category also uses a spec tire from Toyo – the Proxes T1-S.

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 2002 season. The opening round was in March at Sebring International Raceway followed by back to back race weekends in May at Mosport Park and Lime Rock. The teams would take a break until the end of June when they would travel to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The series then moves to Road America followed by the inaugural National Grand Prix at Washington, D.C. After these weekends the championship returns to Canada with a stop at Trois-Rivieres and a second visit to Mosport – just for the Touring Car category. The teams will head west in September and compete at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The penultimate rounds will take place at Road Atlanta and the series finale will be held at a new venue, Virginia International Raceway.

Round seven of the 2002 SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge series was conducted on Quebec’s Le Circuit Trois-Rivieres. Only fourteen drivers competed on the eleven-turn 1.53-mile temporary street circuit.

The pace lap for round seven at Le Circuit Trois-Rivieres and fourteen competitors prepare to line-up for the start. On the pole is the 3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup driven by Randy Pobst. Sharing the front row with Pobst is the point’s leader, Michael Galati in an Audi S4 Competition. In the second row is another Porsche piloted by Johannes van Overbeek and RealTime Racing’s team principal, Peter Cunningham in an Acura NSX SC.
Randy Pobst started on the pole but there was the threat of Michael Galati, also on the front row, using his Audi’s all-wheel-drive system to beat him to the first corner. The series officials staggered the grid which may have worked to Pobst’s advantage. When the starting lights went out, Pobst led the field into turn one. He was able to retain the top spot and went flag-to-flag for the victory – his third of the season.
The point’s leader Michael Galati was gridded on the outside of the front row but was not able to capitalize on his Audi’s all-wheel-drive feature. When the starting lights when out, Galati followed the pole-sitter, Randy Pobst into corner one. He challenged Pobst on several occasions but was never in a position to pass. At the finish, Galati was 1.159-seconds behind Pobst but padded his championship lead over Johannes van Overbeek.
Entering round seven at Trois-Rivieres, Johannes van Overbeek driving the No. 81 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup was trailing the point’s leader, Michael Galati in the title chase. Van Overbeek was yet to win a series event in 2002 but he had five podium finishes. He was third quickest during qualifying and fell to fifth at the start of the contest. Van Overbeek was able to move into third place before the checkered flag – but was 27-points behind Galati.
Gridded sixth for the start of round seven was John Young in the Contract Metal Products sponsored Saleen SR. Six top-ten finishes (his best to date was a fifth at Sebring International Raceway and RFK Memorial Street Circuit) in six races put Young within striking distance of the points leaders. Benefitting from issues experienced by Derek Bell and Peter Cunningham, he was able to capture a fourth-place finish.
Justin Marks rejoined the series at Trois-Rivieres after failing to start the Road America race and not entering the Washington, DC weekend. In qualifying, Marks was tenth quickest competing in the No. 80 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. During the contest, he passed Bob Miller and David Farmer. Marks gained more positions when Peter Cunningham, Derek Bell and Phil McClure encountered problems. He had his best result of the year, fifth.
This weekend’s Rogaine ‘Hair Raising Pass of the Race’ was awarded to Tim Wiens. Wiens was driving the No. 33 3R Racing prepared Porsche 911 GT3 Cup qualified eleventh and was as high a sixth place during the middle portion of the race but fell down the order after making a mistake. On lap-14, he passed Mosport winner, David Farmer to regain sixth and held the position until the checkered flag. This was Wiens' top finish to date.
Jeff McMillin’s run of consecutive top-five finishes came to an end at Trois-Rivieres. This impressive streak included three podiums (third-place finishes at Sebring International Raceway, Lime Rock Park and the RFK Memorial Street Circuit). In round seven, the driver of the McMillin Motorsports BMW M3 was gridded last for the start of the contest and a mechanical issue on lap-14 of 33 caused him to be the event’s first retiree.

11Randy PobstPorsche 911 Cup33-
22Michael GalatiAudi S4 Competition33-
33Johannes van OverbeekPorsche 911 Cup33-
46John YoungSaleen SR33-
510Justin MarksPorsche 911 Cup33-
611Tim WiensPorsche 911 Cup33-
78Bob MillerPorsche 911 Cup32-
89David FarmerChevrolet Corvette ZO632-
94Peter CunninghamAcura NSX32-
1012Greg MerrilPorsche 911 Cup32-
1113Brad FlowersPorsche 993 SC32-
125Derek BellAudi S4 Competition24-
137Phil McClureChevrolet Corvette ZO624Mechanical
1414Jeff McMillinBMW M314Mechanical

Copyright Notice:
All content (photographs and text) appearing on this website are the exclusive property of © and are protected under International copyright laws. The subject matter on this website may not be reproduced, copied, stored or manipulated.

© Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019

Return to home page.