In 2005, the World Challenge series entered its sixteenth season. The championship’s successful relationship with Speed Channel was now in its seventh year.

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 Toyo Proxes.

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 2005 season – the longest in series history. The opening round was in March at Sebring International Raceway, followed by a second event in Florida at Saint Petersburg. The series then moves north to Georgia for a race weekend at Road Atlanta. Rounds four, five and six are conducted in the Northeast with races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport and Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. In July, the championship takes a trip to the West Coast for an event Infineon Raceway. Competitors stay in the West for races at Portland International Raceway. Next, the series makes a stop at Denver, Colorado. The penultimate round is held at Mosport International Raceway and the series finale takes place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Round ten of the 2005 SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge series for the Grand Touring teams was held at Mosport International Raceway. Drivers would race around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.

A field of twenty-three SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Grand Touring competitors line up on Mosport International Raceway’s front straight. Round ten for the series was part of the Labour Day Weekend Grand Prix of Mosport. On the pole, for the second time, this season is Leighton Reese in the Banner Engineering Chevrolet Corvette C6. Beside Reese is the LG Pro Long Tube Headers Corvette C6 of Lou Gigliotti.
The third-fastest qualifier, Max Papis, had a terrific start in the No. 16 Cadillac CTS-V and led the field into corner one. Unfortunately, Papis spun in the middle of the turn, causing chaos. Some drivers were able to take evasive action. Still, eleven others were involved in the incident – five competitors (Tim Wiens, Tony Gaples, Lenny Diller, Mike Rochenfeller and Mike McCann) did not complete the first lap.
Local favourite and Corvette factory driver, Ron Fellows, was recruited to help Cadillac score valuable Manufacturer’s points. Fellows qualified the No. 12 Cadillac CTS-V fifth quickest. At the start of the race, he went wide and was able to avoid the carnage. On the restart, Fellows was in second place but he passed the leader, Lou Gigliotti, in turn ten and held the position for the remainder of the event.
Sports Car Club of America veteran, Lou Gigliotti started on the outside of the front row in the LG Pro Long Tube Headers Chevrolet Corvette C6. He had two poles to his credit in 2005 and just missed scoring his third at Mosport International Raceway. Gigliotti was one of the leaders that made it through corner one unscathed and grabbed first place. On lap-10, he was passed by Ron Fellows in the final turn and finished second.
Patrick Long made his World Challenge series debut a Mosport International Raceway. In qualifying, Long was sixteenth fastest driving the Farnbacher Loles prepared Porsche 911 Cup. He was probably the biggest beneficiary of the first lap action in corner one. Long was able to avoid any contact and finished in third place. For advancing thirteen positions during the race, he received the Sunoco Hard Charger Award.
After the first lap incident, the race leader, Max Papis was able to make it to the pit lane where the Pratt & Miller Engineering crew was able to perform repairs on the No. 16 Cadillac CTS-V. Papis returned to the track but was seven-laps behind the race leaders. At the checkered flag, he was in the sixteenth position. Despite all that occurred during this event, this was not Papis’ worst result of the season – he finished twenty-second at Denver.
The Grand Touring point’s leader, Andy Pilgrim, was able to ‘dodge a bullet’ this weekend. He started tenth in the No. 8 Mobil 1 / Motorola sponsored Cadillac CTS-V. During the contest, Pilgrim made a pass on Chip Herr for fourth place which, earned him the B&M Oil Coolers Coolest Move of the Race. More important than the award were the points. He extended his lead in the title chase to eight-markers over Tommy Archer.
Sonny Whelen, the company principal for Whelen Engineering (manufacturers of audio and visual warning equipment.), competed in the series as a Rookie. Whelen’s best results to date were eleventh place finishes in the season opener at Sebring and Lime Rock, his home track. At Mosport, he was gridded twenty-second and finished ninth which allowed him to wrap-up the GT Rookie of the Year honours.
The round ten podium for the World Challenge Grand Touring class. In the center is the local favourite and winner, Ron Fellows, who was enlisted by Cadillac to collect Manufacturer points. Mission accomplished – Cadillac trailed Porsche by just three-markers with one event remaining. Standing to Fellows’ right is the runner-up, Lou Gigliotti. Completing the rostrum and making his series debut is Patrick Long.

15Ron FellowsCadillac CTS-V26-
22Lou GigliottiChevrolet Corvette C626-
316Patrick LongPorsche 911 Cup26-
410Andy PilgrimCadillac CTS-V26-
515Stu HaynerPontiac GTO26-
69Tommy ArcherDodge Viper26-
712Chip HerrChevrolet Corvette Z0626-
81Leighton ReeseChevrolet Corvette C626-
922Sonny WhelenChevrolet Corvette Z0626-
1021Adel ElsayedDodge Viper25-
118Robin LiddellPorsche 911 Cup23-
126Wolf HenzlerPorsche 911 Cup22-
1323Mark LoPilatoPorsche 911 T22-
147James SofronasPorsche 911 Cup22-
1520Warren DillerDodge Viper21-
163Max PapisCadillac CTS-V19-
1719John BourassaPorsche 911 T10Mechanical
1817Jim OsbornPontiac GTO1Suspension
1913Tim WiensDodge Viper0Accident
2014Tony GaplesChevrolet Corvette C60Accident
2118Lenny DillerDodge Viper0Accident
224Mike RockenfellerPorsche 911 Cup0Accident
2311Mike McCannDodge Viper0Accident

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