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.

  • 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 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.

13Paul MumfordDodge Viper28-
28Bill AuberlenBMW M328-
31Randy PobstAudi RS 628-
411Hans StuckBMW M328-
59Boris SaidBMW M328-
64Mike FitzgeraldPorsche 911 Cup28-
76Michael McCannDodge Viper28-
810Justin MarksBMW M328-
97David FarmerChevrolet Corvette Z0628-
1013Tim WiensPorsche 911 Cup28-
112Michael GalatiAudi RS 628-
1215Kevin ChambersChevrolet Corvette Z0628-
1314Tom OatesChevrolet Corvette Z0628-
1416Mark AndersonPorsche 928 GTS28-
1512Victor ContrerasPorsche 911 Cup28-
165Bryce MillerBMW M328-
1721Bob TaylorChevrolet Corvette Z0628-
1818Jon GroomPorsche 911 Cup28-
1917Mike DavisSaleen SR128-
2022Mark KilbortPorsche 92827-
2123Tom HollfelderMorgan Aero 8GT26-
2224Manny MatzBMW M326-
2319Don CampbellChevrolet Corvette Z0622Mechanical
2420Tony GaplesChevrolet Corvette10Accident

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