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.

In 2006, Miller Motorsports Park staged its first professional sport car racing event. The track located just west of Tooele, Utah hosted the third round of the season’s World Challenge series. The 4.5-mile twenty-five turn facility is the longest road course in North America.
The No. 28 Corvette of Lou Gigliotti led all fourteen laps to score his second victory of the season. It was not an easy win as Gigliotti was initially under pressure from second fastest qualifier Ricardo Imery and when Imery faltered Leighton Reese was there to challenge for the lead. Gigliotti’s battle with Reese took a toll on his Corvette but he was able to hold off a second encounter from Imery.
Defending series champion, Andy Pilgrim, drove the No. 1 Cadillac CTS-V. He captured the last position on the podium after a fifth place start. Pilgrim finished third in the 2006 Drivers’ Championship – this could be attributed to four podiums and a win at Denver.
After Ricardo Imery went off the track the No. 6 Chevrolet Corvette of third place starter Leighton Reese chased down the leader Lou Gigliotti. On lap-ten of fourteen Reese made his move on leader – the pair ran side-by-side down the front straight but Gigliotti held his position through corner-one. Reese’s race lasted only six more turns as the result of a driveshaft failure – he finished twenty-ninth.
Michael McCann won the 2006 season opener at Sebring. McCann had several top ten results during the year but would only finish on the podium one more time – third at Long Beach. He started eleventh at Miller Motorsports Park and took the checkered flag in fifth place – the best result for a Dodge Viper.
This ended Ritch Marziale’s race. Marziale was one of the quicker Dodge Viper drivers but a crash after eight-laps forced the sixteenth place qualifier to retire.
To support their efforts in capturing the Manufacturer’s Championship Cadillac entered Ron Fellows in a second CTS-V. This was Fellows second appearance in the 2006 season. In his first outing, at Long Beach, he won. Fellows made a total of five starts – starting on the pole at Mosport and finished third there and at Denver. At Miller Motorsports Park, he finished fourth behind his teammate Andy Pilgrim.
The No. 14 Porsche 911 GT3 was entered by the Global Motorsports Group for James Sofronas. Sofronas started from the ninth position and took the checkered flag in seventh. He had six top ten finishes during the season and was eighth in the Drivers’ Championship.
Another quick Dodge Viper competitor was Bob Woodhouse. Woodhouse was a former new car dealer from Nebraska who sold his dealerships and started Woodhouse Performance specializing in Vipers. He finished sixth at Miller Motorsports Park after an eighth place start.
Rob Foster started fifteenth which was in the back half of the field. However, Foster made good progress during the race and took the checkered flag in eighth place. He entered all the 2006 events and his consistency was rewarded with a ninth in the Drivers’ Championship.

11Lou GigliottiChevrolet Corvette C614-
22Ricardo ImeryPorsche 911 GT314-
35Andy PilgrimCadillac CTS-V14-
46Ron FellowsCadillac CTS-V14-
511Mike McCannDodge Viper14-
68Bob WoodhouseDodge Viper14-
79James SofronasPorsche 911 GT314-
815Rob FosterDodge Viper14-
94Lawson AschenbachPorsche 911 GT314-
1018Brett PearsonDodge Viper14-
1117Kyle FosterDodge Viper14-
1210Doug PetersonChevrolet Corvette C614-
1312Sonny WhelenChevrolet Corvette C614-
1414Kevin ChambersChevrolet Corvette C514-
1519Skip SaulsDodge Viper14-
1622Bob MillerPorsche 911 Cup14-
1720Claudio BurtinChevrolet Corvette C614-
1821Eric OlberzPorsche 911 GT314-
1924John BourassaPorsche 911 Turbo13-
207Tommy ArcherDodge SRT Viper12-
2113Keith VidettoChevrolet Corvette C511-
2223Mark LoPilatoPorsche 911 Turbo10Overheating
233Leighton ReeseChevrolet Corvette C69Mechanical
2416Ritch MarzialeDodge Viper Comp Coupe8Crash
2525Michael GalatiVolvo S60R0Mechanical
2626Andy LallyPorsche 911 GT30DNS

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