In 2004, the World Challenge series entered its fifteenth season. For the sixth consecutive year, Speed Channel was the primary sponsor. As evidenced by the growth of the series, the Sports Car Club of America 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 cars 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 nine-race weekends during the 2004 season with a double-header events for each class. Touring Cars would race Saturday and Sunday at Infineon Raceway and the Grand Touring competitors would have a similar format at Mosport International Raceway. The opening round was in March at Sebring International Raceway, Florida, followed by a two-month break before teams travelled to Lime Rock Park. The third race weekend of the year was at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. In July, the teams trekked west for races at Infineon. Competitors stayed on the west coast for races at Portland International Raceway. Next, the championship made its only Canadian stop at Mosport. Returning south of the border, the first stop was Road America. The penultimate round was held at Road Atlanta and the series finale took place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Round six and seven of the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge series for the Grand Touring drivers was held at Mosport International Raceway. Drivers would compete in two fifty-minute sprint races (Saturday and Sunday) around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.

The pole-sitter, Ron Fellows, driving the No. 12 Cadillac CTS-V leads the field into corner one for the start of round seven. Fighting for second place is the third-fastest qualifier, Leighton Reece, in the Banner Engineering Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and the Porsche 911 GT3 of the other front row starter, Michael Culver. The Audis, which finished first and second on Saturday, use their all-wheel-drive advantage to pass the field on the outside.
In round six, the No. 2 Audi RS 6, driven by Michael Galati, started second. Taking advantage of Audi’s all-wheel-drive system, he was in first place before corner one. From there, Galati led flag-to-flag for his second victory of the season. His race wasn’t without excitement as race officials were concerned about the rear door, which opened on slow turns – it wasn’t deemed a hazard and he continued. The following day, Galati finished seventh.
At Mosport, local favourite, Ron Fellows made his first guest appearance in the Mobil 1 / Bose / Motorola Cadillac CTS-V. Fellows was third fastest in qualifying for round six but he failed to join the other cars for the presentation lap and started from the pit lane. He moved through the field and finished ninth. The following day, he started on the pole and led flag-to-flag for his first World Challenge series victory.
The point’s leader entering Mosport was Tommy Archer, driver of the No. 22 Dodge Viper Competition Coupe. His success could be attributed to consistency. Archer had one victory and his worst finish was a fourth. In the first race of the weekend, Archer qualified tenth but moved up the order and grabbed the final spot on the podium. The following day, he finished sixth, but still maintained first in the title chase.
It was mixed results for the reigning series champion, Randy Pobst. In Saturday’s contest, Pobst was gridded fourth but used the Audi’s traction advantage to jump into second place. He trailed his teammate, Michael Galati, for a runner-up finish. The following day, Pobst qualified eight but during a pass in turn two, he slid wide on the marbles and hit the wall. Pobst nursed the Audi back to the pits and retired.
Three-time series champion, Lou Gigliotti qualified eighth for the weekend’s first contest. The driver of the LG Pro Long Tube Headers Chevrolet Corvette Z06 charged through the field and was in second place by lap-13. But, an incident with Michael Culver dropped Gigliotti to a tenth place finish. In round seven, he fared much better. Gigliotti qualified fifth and finished third – this was his first podium of the season.
Leighton Reece was in his first full season of the World Challenge series. Reece was gridded seventh for race one and finished sixth. In round seven, the driver of the Banner Engineering Chevrolet Corvette Z06 qualified third. During the race, Reece found additional speed and closed to within 1.9-seconds of the leader, Ron Fellows, on the penultimate lap. Unfortunately, he was slowed by lapped traffic and finished second.
It was an exciting weekend for the World Challenge series regular, Tony Gaples. Gaples was twenty-third fastest in the qualifying session for round seven. Driving the Blackdog Racing Chevrolet Corvette Z06, he advanced nine positions and won the Sunoco Hard Charger Award. On Sunday, Gaples earned another award. This time he captured the Remus Power Move of the Race for his pass on Michael Culver in turn eight.
The podium for round seven of the Speed World Challenge series looked more like the top-three finishers of a Trans Am race. In the center, scoring his first series victory is the hometown hero, Ron Fellows. On the left side and finishing on his first World Challenge rostrum is the runner-up, Leighton Reece. Also scoring his best result of the season was Lou Gigliotti, who is no stranger to the series podium.

12Michael GalatiAudi RS 6 Competition30-
24Randy PobstAudi RS 630-
310Tommy ArcherViper Competition Coupe30-
41Max AngelelliCadillac CTS-V30-
58Andy PilgrimCadillac CTS-V30-
67Leighton ReeseChevrolet Corvette Z0630-
75Michael CulverPorsche 911 Cup30-
89Phil McClureChevrolet Corvette Z0630-
93Ron FellowsCadillac CTS-V30-
106Lou GigliottiChevrolet Corvette Z0630-
1111Jeff McMillinBMW M330-
1212Mike McCannViper Competition Coupe30-
1314Tim WiensViper Competition Coupe30-
1423Tony GaplesChevrolet Corvette Z0630-
1516Stu HaynerPontiac GTO30-
1613Jim McCannViper Competition Coupe30-
1718Lenny DillerViper Competition Coupe29-
1817Bob WoodhouseViper Competition Coupe29-
1919Mike HartleyDodge Viper GTS29-
2015Thomas OatesChevrolet Corvette Z0629-
2122John BourassaPorsche 911 T28-
2221Adel ElsayedViper Competition Coupe28-
2320Adam MalmquistChevrolet Corvette Z0622-
2424Warren DillerViper Competition Coupe0Did Not Start

11Ron FellowsCadillac CTS-V30-
23Leighton ReeseChevrolet Corvette Z0630-
35Lou GigliottiChevrolet Corvette Z0630-
44Andy PilgrimCadillac CTS-V30-
56Max AngelelliCadillac CTS-V30-
611Tommy ArcherViper Competition Coupe30-
79Michael GalatiAudi RS 6 Competition30-
87Mike McCannViper Competition Coupe30-
910Jim McCannViper Competition Coupe30-
1013Tim WiensViper Competition Coupe30-
1114Bob WoodhouseViper Competition Coupe30-
1215Chip HerrChevrolet Corvette Z0630-
1312Tony GaplesChevrolet Corvette Z0630-
1416Lenny DillerViper Competition Coupe30-
1518Adel ElsayedViper Competition Coupe30-
1619Adam MalmquistChevrolet Corvette Z0630-
172Michael CulverPorsche 911 Cup30-
1820John BourassaPorsche 911 T30-
1921Phil McClureChevrolet Corvette Z0615Engine
2017Mike HartleyDodge Viper GTS9Accident
218Randy PobstAudi RS 60Accident
2222Jim OsbornPontiac GTO0Did Not Start

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