2006 marked the seventeenth season for the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) very successful SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge series. With SPEED TV back on board as the primary sponsor, SCCA had developed a successful format that continued to attract competitors and fans.

Race weekends included two standing start fifty-minute races – one for the Grand Touring (GT) class and another for Touring Cars (TC).

  • Grand Touring (GT) – The GT class rules accommodate a variety of vehicles from different manufacturers. Engine displacements range from the 2.5-liter turbocharged Volvo S60R to the Dodge Viper with an 8.3-liter V10 motor. While most of the cars are rear-wheel drive, the series also permits all-wheel-drive vehicles such as the Nissan Skyline GT-R, Porsche 911 AWD TT, Subaru WRX STI and Volvo S60R. A majority of the competitors race the Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup or Dodge Viper.
  • Touring Car (TC) – The Touring Cars were limited to an engine displacement of 2.8-liters. Vehicles originally equipped with turbocharged or supercharged motors are also homologated for the series. The class is split predominantly between front-wheel-drive cars from Acura, Honda, and Mazda and the rear wheel drives such as the BMW 325. Also proving very competitive is the all-wheel-drive Audi A4.

To prevent any driver/car combination from dominating the class and ensuring tight competition, the R.E.W.A.R.D.S. System is 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. The maximum amount of weight that can be removed from a vehicle is 100-pounds. And, no more than 200-pounds can be added to a GT class car and 150-pounds to a Touring Car.

There were eleven-race weekends during the 2006 season – ten-races for the two classes. The Touring cars did not compete at Long Beach and the GT class was not invited to the Denver event. The opening round is in March at Sebring International Raceway, followed by a second event in Florida at Saint Petersburg. The GT category has a race at Long Beach in April and rejoins the Touring Car division for a race weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. In July, the championship takes a trip to the West Coast for an event Infineon Raceway. Competitors stay in the West for races at the new Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. Teams return to the East for events at Road America and Mosport International Raceway. Next, the Touring Cars make a stop at Denver, Colorado. The penultimate round is held at Road Atlanta and the series finale takes place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The final round took place at the eleven-turn Laguna Seca road course. The GT class was well represented with thirty-four entries – the best subscribed event of the 2006 season.

The No. 23 Porsche 911 Cup, driven by Randy Pobst qualified second. At the start, Pobst followed pole-sitter Leighton Reese for the first sixteen-laps until the two went off track. The incident dropped Pobst to third but he was able to pass Reese and chase race leader Ricardo Imery. On the last lap, in the last corner he got a better exit speed than Imery and Pobst edged him for the win by 0.031-seconds.
Taking advantage of race leader’s mistake allowed, third place, Ricardo Imery to move out front for laps-sixteen to twenty-six. The Porsche 911 Cup driver had a win mid-season at Infineon Raceway and looked set for his second. However, he got a little sideways in the last corner on the final lap and lost his momentum which allowed Randy Pobst to pass and score the victory.
Max Anglelli has an off track between corners five and six during practice. Anglelli was entered in a third Cadillac CTS-V to support team drivers – Andy Pilgrim and Johnny O’Connell. He had an eventful race which included two pit-stops to repair damage after contact with Michael McCann’s Dodge Viper. Despite this setback he moved through the field and finished third – setting the fastest race lap in the process.
Leighton Reese was the fastest qualifier in the Banner Engineering Chevrolet Corvette C6. Reese led the first sixteen-laps but make a mistake at corner-six allowed Ricardo Imery to take the lead. The incident damaged Reese’s front suspension and he surrendered second to Pobst. He was in fourth when the checkered flag fell.
The Dodge SRT Viper of Tommy Archer qualified eighth. During the race he passed sixth place starter Johnny O’Connell and he gained another position as the result of an incident between seventh fastest qualifier Michael McCann and Max Angelelli. He would receive the checkered flag in sixth place.
Series veteran, James Sofronas, started fourth at Laguna Seca. Sofronas raced the No. 14 Global Motorsports Group Porsche 911 Cup and finished fifth. He had a season high fourth twice – the first was at opening round in Sebring and another at Mosport. Six top-ten finishes allowed him to score an eighth in the Drivers’ Championship.
Lou Gigliotti drove the No. 28 LG ProLong Tube Headers Chevrolet Corvette C6. Gigliotti qualified fourteenth at Laguna Seca and moved up the order to finish seventh. During the 2006 season, he scored victories at Mid-Ohio and Miller Motorsport Park. Gigliotti was second in the 2006 Drivers’ Championship - just six-points behind Lawson Aschenbach.
The No. 69 Nissan Skyline GT-R was driven by Igor Sushko. The Skyline is an all-wheel drive car powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.6-liter inline-six cylinder engine. This Nissan model scored many victories in Japan and Australia. Sushko started thirty-fourth at Laguna and finished thirty-first. He did not have much success with the car – his best finish was a seventeenth at Long Beach.
1996 and 1997 British Porsche Cup Champion, Johnny Mowlem joined Autosport Design Racing driving an Aston Martin DB9. Here he goes off-track at Laguna Seca’s corner-eleven during practice. Mowlem qualified thirteenth in the final round but finished two-laps behind the leader in twenty-fourth. His best result of the 2006 season was a fifth at Road America.
The Volvo S60R made its first appearance with Michael Galati behind the wheel at Mid-Ohio. The Volvo was powered by an inline-five cylinder engine. The 2.5-liter motor was turbocharged and the car also featured all-wheel drive. In wet conditions, at Mosport, Galati put the all-wheel drive to good use by winning and lapped all but second place. At Laguna, he started thirty-second and did not complete a race lap.

12Randy PobstPorsche 911 Cup27-
25Ricardo ImeryPorsche 911 GT327-
33Max AngelelliCadillac CTS-V27-
41Leighton ReeseChevrolet Corvette C627-
54James SofronasPorsche 911 GT327-
68Tommy ArcherDodge Viper27-
714Lou GigliottiChevrolet Corvette C627-
89Andy PilgrimCadillac CTS-V27-
910Lawson AschenbachPorsche 911 GT327-
1022Tony GaplesChevrolet Corvette C627-
1115Rob FosterDodge Viper27-
126Johny O'ConnellCadillac CTS-V27-
1316Jim McCannDodge Viper27-
147Mike McCannDodge Viper27-
1528Brett PearsonDodge Viper27-
1624Brandon DavisFord Mustang Cobra27-
1723Claudio BurtinChevrolet Corvette C627-
1833Kevin ChambersChevrolet Corvette C526-
1927John BoosChevrolet Corvette26-
2031Stu FrederickDodge Viper26-
2125Brian KubinskiChevrolet Corvette C626-
2221Mike DavisFord Mustang Corba26-
2330Al BeceraDodge Viper26-
2413Johnny MowlenAston Martin DB925-
2512Tomy DrissiChevrolet Corvette C625-
2629Joel FeinbergDodge Viper25-
2726Greg WeirickChevrolet Corvette C624-
2818Sonny WhelenChevrolet Corvette C624-
2919Keith VidettoChevrolet Corvette C522Off Course
3011Bob WoodhouseDodge Viper14Off Course
3134Igor SushkoNissan Skyline GT-r5Off Course
3217Ritch MarzialeDodge Viper4Off Course
3320Tom PapadopoulosAston Martin DB93Off Course
3432Michael GalatiVolvo S60R0DNS

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