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 two of the 2003 SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Grand Touring Championship was held at Mosport International Raceway. Twenty-two Grand Touring drivers would compete in a fifty-minute race around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.
|No surprise here. The two Champion Racing Audis qualified second and fourth, but their all-wheel-drive advantage allowed to take a comfortable lead heading into corner one. In first place is the Audi RS 6 of the second-fastest qualifier, Randy Pobst. Behind Pobst is his teammate and fourth-place starter, Michael Galati. Trailing the Audis are the BMW Team PTG BMW M3s of Bill Auberlen, Hans Stuck and Boris Said.|
|Phil McClure started from the pole in the opening round at Sebring and captured the victory. But it was far from easy as he did not lead flag-to-flag. McClure would also win the season’s second event at Mosport but that would be even more difficult. He started ninth in the No. 73 Chevrolet Corvette but gained three positions on the first lap. McClure grabbed the top spot on lap-19 and held off a hard-charging, John Young.|
|Another driver earning a well-deserved result was John Young. Young was the sixth-fastest in qualifying driving the Contract Metal Products sponsored Saleen SR. Unfortunately, engine issues prevented him from participating in the presentation lap and he was required to start from the pit line. By lap-7, Young had moved from twenty-second to tenth. The charge continued with him finishing second – 1.272-seconds behind the winner.|
|Randy Pobst qualified the No. 2 Audi RS 6 on the outside of the front row. Pobst and his teammate, Michael Galati, took advantage of the Audi’s Quattro system to jump out to an early lead. On lap-3, he gabbed first place from Galati. Pobst was able to hold the top spot until lap-19 when a mistake at corner three allowed Phil McClure to grab the lead. Four-laps from the end of the race, Pobst lost second place to John Young.|
|Bill Auberlen was leading the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car standings after first and second-place finishes in the first two rounds. In the Grand Touring category, he opened 2003 at Sebring International Raceway with a fifth-place finish. At Mosport, Auberlen put the No. 7 BMW M3 on the pole. Unfortunately, he jumped the start and was given a stop-and-go penalty. He rejoined the race in tenth and finished fourth.|
|Former, Formula 1 driver and sportscar legend, Hans Stuck was part of the talented three-car team assembled by the Prototype Technology Group (PTG). Stuck made his SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge series debut this year at Sebring International Raceway, where he finished fourth. At Mosport International Raceway, Stuck qualified eleventh but at the checkered flag, he was in the fifth position.|
|Michael Galati had six World Challenge titles – his most recent two were in the Grand Touring category. This would be Galati’s fourth year driving for the Champion Audi Racing team. Piloting the No. 1 Audi RS 6, he posted the fourth-fastest time in qualifying. At the start of the race, Galati jumped into the lead and maintained the position for three-laps. Unfortunately, a mechanical problem resulted in a sixteenth place finish.|
|Last year at Mosport International Raceway, David Farmer won his first SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Grand Touring race. There was very little reason to be optimistic this year as Farmer failed to record a time in qualifying and started at the rear of the twenty-two-car field. With the issues addressed, he moved up the race order and finished in ninth place. Farmer’s drive earned him the Sunoco Hard Charger Award.|
|Round two’s SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Grand Touring class podium. In the center is the winner for the second time this year and the points leader, Phil McClure. To McClure’s right is the runner-up and winner of the Remus Power Move of the Race award for his drive from the pit lane to second place, John Young. Completing the podium, from Team BMW PTG, Bill Auberlen.|
|1||9||Phil McClure||Chevrolet Corvette Z06||30||-|
|2||6||John Young||Saleen SR||30||-|
|3||2||Randy Pobst||Audi RS 6||30||-|
|4||1||Bill Auberlen||BMW M3||30||-|
|5||11||Hans Stuck||BMW M3||30||-|
|6||3||Boris Said||BMW M3||30||-|
|7||14||Michael Culver||Porsche 911 Cup||30||-|
|8||5||Justin Marks||BMW M3||30||-|
|9||23||David Farmer||Chevrolet Corvette Z06||30||-|
|10||8||Rob Fellows||Ford Mustang||30||-|
|11||16||Tim Wiens||Porsche 911 Cup||30||-|
|12||19||Victor Contreras||Porsche 911 Cup||30||-|
|13||12||Brad Flowers||Mazda RX-7||29||-|
|14||13||John Bourassa||Porsche 911 Turbo||29||-|
|15||15||Jim Rathmann||Chevrolet Corvette Z06||29||-|
|16||4||Michael Galati||Audi RS 6||29||-|
|17||18||Tony Gaples||Chevrolet Corvette||29||-|
|18||17||Tom Oates||Chevrolet Corvette Z06||28||-|
|19||20||Tom Hollfelder||Morgan Aero 8GT||28||-|
|20||22||Don Campbell||Chevrolet Corvette Z06||25||Mechanical|
|21||7||Mike Fitzgerald||Porsche 911 Cup||24||-|
|22||21||Carol Hollfelder||Ford Mustang||11||-|
|23||10||Jon Groom||Porsche 911 Cup||17||Did Not Start|
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