In 2003, the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) World Challenge series was in its fourteenth season.
For the fifth year Speed Channel was the primary sponsor.
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.
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 ten-race weekends during the 2003 season. The opening round was in March at Sebring, Florida followed by back to back race weekends in May at Mosport Park and Lime Rock. Two races would be held for the Grand Touring category at Lime Rock. Lime Rock was followed by the first of two events held at Road Atlanta (June and October). Both classes competed at Infineon Raceway but the next event at Mid-Ohio was only for Touring Cars. The series moved to Road America, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and then the penultimate round at Road Atlanta. The series finale was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Round eight of the 2003 SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Grand Touring Championship was held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The race was scheduled to be fifty-minutes in length around the eleven-turn 2.238-mile road course.
|The start of round eight for the 2003 SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Grand Touring Championship. Leading the field of twenty-four competitors into corner two is the pole-sitter, Randy Pobst driving the Champion Audi Racing Audi RS 6. Trailing, Pobst is his teammate and the second-fastest qualifier, Michael Galati. Behind the Audi drivers is the rookie, Paul Mumford driving a Dodge Viper.|
|Paul Mumford made his series debut in the previous round at Road America. The rookie qualified twenty-second and drove through the field to finish third and earn the Sunoco Hard Charger Award. At Mazda Raceway, Mumford qualified third but by the third lap he had, passed the leading Audis. He held the top spot and gave Dodge it’s first victory since 2000. Sadly, Mumford would die in a plane crash less than a month later.|
|The Grand Touring points leader, Bill Auberlen qualified eighth driving the No. 7 BMW Team PTG prepared BMW M3. Auberlen advanced during the race but was a distant third place on lap-13 when a full course yellow was required to move Tony Gaples’ Corvette from turn six. On the restart, he trailed the leaders, Paul Mumford and Randy Pobst. Pobst slid off the track giving Auberlen the position and a runner-up finish.|
|Randy Pobst was the fastest in qualifying and started from the pole in the No. 2 Audi RS 6 for only the second time this season. In the race, Pobst was able to hold onto first place until being passed by Paul Mumford. There was an opportunity for him to grab the top spot on the lap-16 restart. Pobst went side by side with Mumford into turn two and slid off the track. He fought his way back from eleventh to a third-place finish.|
|Austrian Hans Stuck was part of the five driver Prototype Technology Group line-up entered at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Stuck qualified eleventh fastest equalling his worst performance of the season – he also started eleventh at Mosport. During the race, Stuck wasted little time moving through the field and at the conclusion of the event he was in fourth place. His efforts earned him the Hard Charger and Move of the Race awards.|
|Another member of the Prototype Technology Group team was Boris Said, who drove the No. 6 BMW M3. To date, Said’s best results were runner-up finishes at the second Lime Rock Park event and Infineon Raceway. Failing to start the first Lime Rock contest eliminated him from the title chase. During the race at Laguna Seca, Said moved from ninth place to fourth but lost the position to Hans Stuck and finished fifth.|
|The highest placed Porsche at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was driven by Mike Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald, driving the No. 22 1st Interstate Inns sponsored Porsche 911 Cup had victories at the first Road Atlanta race and Road America. He qualified fourth fastest at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Fitzgerald finished sixth after he was unable to hold off challenges from the BMWs of Bill Auberlen, Hans Stuck and Boris Said.|
|Michael Galati was the defending SCCA Speed World Challenge Grand Touring Champion and captured the 2001 title as well. This year was proving to be challenging. Galati had some respectable qualifying efforts but quite often, he unable to convert them into decent race results. He had victories in the last seven seasons but none in 2003. Galati was gridded second at Laguna Seca but fell out of contention and finished eleventh.|
|The round eight podium for the 2003 SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Grand Touring Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. In the center is the rookie, Paul Mumford, who scored his first World Challenge victory in only his second attempt. To Mumford’s right is the runner-up and current points leader, Bill Auberlen. Completing the rostrum is the pole-sitter from Champion Audi Racing, Randy Pobst.|
|1||3||Paul Mumford||Dodge Viper||28||-|
|2||8||Bill Auberlen||BMW M3||28||-|
|3||1||Randy Pobst||Audi RS 6||28||-|
|4||11||Hans Stuck||BMW M3||28||-|
|5||9||Boris Said||BMW M3||28||-|
|6||4||Mike Fitzgerald||Porsche 911 Cup||28||-|
|7||6||Michael McCann||Dodge Viper||28||-|
|8||10||Justin Marks||BMW M3||28||-|
|9||7||David Farmer||Chevrolet Corvette Z06||28||-|
|10||13||Tim Wiens||Porsche 911 Cup||28||-|
|11||2||Michael Galati||Audi RS 6||28||-|
|12||15||Kevin Chambers||Chevrolet Corvette Z06||28||-|
|13||14||Tom Oates||Chevrolet Corvette Z06||28||-|
|14||16||Mark Anderson||Porsche 928 GTS||28||-|
|15||12||Victor Contreras||Porsche 911 Cup||28||-|
|16||5||Bryce Miller||BMW M3||28||-|
|17||21||Bob Taylor||Chevrolet Corvette Z06||28||-|
|18||18||Jon Groom||Porsche 911 Cup||28||-|
|19||17||Mike Davis||Saleen SR1||28||-|
|20||22||Mark Kilbort||Porsche 928||27||-|
|21||23||Tom Hollfelder||Morgan Aero 8GT||26||-|
|22||24||Manny Matz||BMW M3||26||-|
|23||19||Don Campbell||Chevrolet Corvette Z06||22||Mechanical|
|24||20||Tony Gaples||Chevrolet Corvette||10||Accident|
|All content (photographs and text) appearing on this website are the exclusive property of © www.zoompics.com and are protected under International copyright laws. The subject matter on this website may not be reproduced, copied, stored or manipulated.|