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 two of the 2002 SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT Championship was held at Mosport International Raceway. Eighteen Grand Touring drivers started the fifty-minute race on the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.

Taking advantage of the Audi’s all-wheel-drive system, the pole-sitter, Michael Galati rockets into the lead. Following in his wake is the No. 42 RealTime Racing Acura NSX SC of the second fastest qualifier, Peter Cunningham. Behind Cunningham are the third and fourth place starters, David Farmer in the Metric Chemical sponsored Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Jeff McMillin in the McMillin Motorsports prepared BMW M3.
David Farmer, driver of the No. 35 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 gave notice that he would be a contender at Mosport after topping the timesheets in the practice sessions. In qualifying, he was outgunned by the two series veterans, Michael Galati and Peter Cunningham. During the race, Farmer moved into the second position and when the leader, Cunningham was slowed by a lapped car, Farmer slipped by for first place and captured the victory.
Despite contact in corner one on the first lap of the race; Peter Cunningham was able to finish second at Sebring. In qualifying at Mosport, Cunningham lost the pole-position to Michael Galati by 0.216-seconds. After numerous attempts during the race, he passed Galati for the lead but lost the position to David Farmer while lapping a slower car. The runner-up result left Cunningham tied with Galati in the title chase.
The No. 81 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup driven by Johannes van Overbeek suffered a mechanical issue at Sebring. Van Overbeek qualified third but was one of the contest’s first retirees. Seeking redemption at Mosport, he started sixth in the eighteenth car field. During the race, van Overbeek battled with Jeff McMillin for fourth place. When Galati went off course, he was able to inherit third and grab the final spot on the podium.
The 2000 Speed World Challenge GT Champion, Jeff McMillin opened the season at Sebring International Raceway with a third-place finish. Still on form, McMillin qualified his McMillin Motorsports prepared BMW M3 fourth fastest. In the race, he was another beneficiary of Michael Galati’s error on lap-22. McMillin chased the Porsche of Johannes van Overbeek but could not find a way past and finish fourth.
Michael Galati was rewarded for his flag-to-flag victory in the opening round a Sebring. His Audi S4 Competition gained some weight and lost some turbo boost. Qualifying at Mosport was conducted in cooler temperatures which aided Galati’s turbocharger and allowed him to capture the pole. He led the first nine laps of the race before being passed by Peter Cunningham. An error on lap-22 took Galati out of contention, he finished fifth.
The driver of the No. 44 Saleen SR, John Young was quickest in the practice sessions at Sebring and despite a starting line incident at the beginning of the race, he finished fifth. At Mosport International Raceway, Young started last after encountering problems during qualifying. With the issues resolved for the race, he charged through the field and was sixth at the checkered flag and left Mosport sixth in the championship chase.
The SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT podium at Mosport International Raceway. In the center is the winner, David Farmer. This was Farmer’s first series victory and his best result since 1994 when he finished fifth at Mid-Ohio. To Farmer’s left is the runner-up, Peter Cunningham. This result moved Cunningham into a tie with the point’s leader, Michael Galati. Completing the rostrum is Johannes van Overbeek.

13David FarmerChevrolet Corvette ZO629-
22Peter CunninghamAcura NSX29-
36Johannes van OverbeekPorsche 911 Cup29-
44Jeff McMillinBMW M329-
51Michael GalatiAudi S4 Competition29-
618John YoungSaleen SR29-
78Derek BellAudi S4 Competition29-
87Justin MarksPorsche 911 Cup29-
910Michael CulverPorsche 911 Cup29-
1011Mark AndersonPorsche 928 GTS29-
1112Bob MillerPorsche 911 Cup29-
1213Greg MerrilPorsche 911 Cup28-
1314Tim WiensPorsche 911 Cup28-
1415Craig GelstonChevrolet Corvette28-
1516Brad FlowersPorsche 993 SC28-
1617Jeff WadePorsche 911 Cup26-
175Phil McClureChevrolet Corvette ZO66Mechanical
189Boris SaidRoush Mustang2Mechanical

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