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 fore 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.

The finale for the 2005 SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car 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.

Thirty-six drivers line-up on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s front straight for the final round of the 2005 SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car Championship. It seems appropriate that the front row is occupied by the two title contenders, Peter Cunningham and Randy Pobst. Cunningham, the point’s leader, captured the pole in the No. 42 Acura TSX. Pobst was driving the No. 73 Tri-Point Mazda 6.
John Angelone won his first Touring Car race in the finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Based on his record, there was no reason to believe that he would be victorious. Angelone had a single start at Lime Rock where he started and finished twenty-sixth. In round eleven, Angelone qualified fifth driving the No. 19 Audi T4. He made good progress early in the race and on lap-8, Angelone passed Bob Stretch for the lead and win.
The No. 98 Wheels America sponsored BMW 325Ci was driven by Bob Stretch. Stretch was third fastest during the qualifying session. A great launch at the start of the race vaulted him into the lead. Stretch was able to maintain the top spot until lap-8 when he was passed by the Audi 4T of John Angelone. For the remainder of the contest, Stretch was in second place and finished 5.214-seconds behind Angelone.
The Touring Car points leader, Peter Cunningham, qualified on the pole – his only pole position of the year. At the start of the race, he was passed by Bob Stretch and John Angelone. Cunningham battled with the other title contender, Randy Pobst. Late in the contest, Cunningham was challenged by Jeff Altenburg but when he retired, Cunningham was able to secure a third-place finish and the Driver’s championship.
Randy Pobst entered the series finale second in the Driver standings and trailed Peter Cunningham by twelve points. It would be difficult for Pobst to overcome this deficit. He started on the outside of the front row in the No. 73 Mazda 6. Early in the race, he fought with Cunningham for the third spot. Pobst surrendered fourth place to his teammate, Jeff Altenburg but when Altenburg had a flat tire, he regained the position and finished fourth.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca would mark the third race of the season for Manny Matz. Matz was entered in the No. 87 BMW 325i with backing from ARD. In the qualifying session, he was thirty-fourth fastest in a field thirty-six starters. On the opening lap, Matz advanced nine positions. As a result of his great start, he received the B&M Hole Shot Award. Matz would finish the race in the twenty-first position.
Orthopedic Surgeon, James Osborn, was in his fourth season of World Challenge competition. He earned his best series finish, a ninth-place, this season at Saint Petersburg. Osborn started the race from the last position on the grid. During the race, he maneuvered his way through the field and after twenty-six-laps, Osborn had passed twenty-one other competitors. As a result, he received the Sunoco Hard Charger Award.
The 2000 and 2001 Touring Car champion, Pierre Kleinubing, had a terrible start to the season. He qualified fifth at Sebring but issues during the race resulted in a twenty-fifth-place finish. After this event, he recorded four podium finishes – three of which were victories. At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Kleinubing started and finished sixth driving the No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura TSX. He ended the year, third in the final standings.
The winner of the World Challenge Touring Car class at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, John Angelone and the 2005 series champion, Peter Cunningham, field questions from the Media. Angelone sitting on the left drove a well-executed race in the Freddy Baker Audi Audi A4T for his first World Challenge victory. For the veteran, Cunningham, this was his second Touring Car title.

15John AngeloneAudi A4T26-
23Bob StretchBMW 325Ci26-
31Peter CunninghamAcura TSX26-
42Randy PobstMazda 626-
54Brandon DavisAcura TSX26-
66Pierre KleinubingAcura TSX26-
713Freddy BakerAudi A4T26-
811Jon PrallBMW 325Ci26-
915Nick EsayianAcura RSX26-
1018Seth ThomasBMW 325i26-
1116Charles EspenlaubMazda 626-
1225Kevin McKeeBMW 325i26-
1320Michael GalatiMercedes C23026-
1424David MacDonaldMazda Protege26-
1526Johnny KanavasMazda Protege26-
1627Rick SnyderDodge SRT-426-
1738Jim OsbornBMW 325Ci26-
1830Andrie HartantoHonda Civic Si26-
198Jeff AltenburgMazda 626-
2019Ken DobsonMazda 626-
2134Manny MatzBMW 325i25-
2223Ross ThompsonMazda Protege ES25-
2331Dan AweidaDodge SRT-425-
2421Peter LockhartMercedes C23025-
2536Kenny KimHonda Civic25-
2635Randy HaleMazda Protege25-
2729Seth NeimanBMW 325Ci24-
289Dino CrescentiniMazda 623Off Course
2922Hugh StewartDodge SRT-422Mechanical
3037Scott BradleyMazda 622Mechanical
317Nic JonssonBMW 325Ci16Engine
3228Christian MillerVW Jetta16Fuel
3314Matt RichmondBMW 325i8Suspension
3410Eric CurranAcura RSX8Electrical
3512Memo GidleyAudi A4T4Overheating
3633Branden PetersonHonda Civic3Transmission
3717James ClayBMW 325i0DNS
3832Chip HerrFord Focus0DNS

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