Beginning in 2007, the Grand-Am Cup series was sponsored by KONI shock absorbers and renamed the KONI Challenge Series. The three-year agreement between Grand-Am and KONI called for the company to offer the richest purse in the series history - $100,000 per event. The winning Grand Sport team would earn $5,000 but the prize fund doubled to $10,000 if the car was equipped with KONI shock absorbers. Street Tuner competitors were competing for a similar payout - $3,750 to the winner and $7,500 if the vehicle is fitted with KONIs.

The 2007 season consisted of twelve race weekends and started in January at Daytona International Speedway, which was followed by a second event in Florida at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In April, the series would make their first visit to Iowa Speedway then move on to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Lime Rock Park. In June, the teams traveled north of the border to compete at Mosport International Raceway after this event, race weekends took place Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Watkins Glen International and Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. In August, teams made their second visit to Canada, where the action would take place on the streets of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. The penultimate round was held at Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park, with the finale being conducted at Virginia International Raceway. The Grand Sport and Street Tuner classes had separate races – the exceptions being Daytona, Watkins Glen and Miller Motorsports Park, where they competed in a single event.

The cars are relatively unchanged from their road-going counterparts – modifications are mandated mainly for safety – roll cages, window nets, etc. They also use spec DOT-approved tires produced by Hoosier. Based on performance potential, the cars were divided into one of two groups:

  • Grand Sport (GS): The quicker of the two classes - the group features the larger displacement engines as well as smaller four-cylinder motors with forced induction systems. The power-plants produce between 350 and 405-horsepower. Minimum weights range between 2,900 – 3,300-pounds, which is dependent on the motor configuration and displacement. This class includes cars such as the BMW M3, Pontiac GTO, Ford Mustang and Porsche 997.
  • Street Tuner (ST): The smaller displacement cars compete in this class in which engines typically produce between 170 and 240-horsepower. Popular vehicles found in this group are the Acura RSX, Acura TSX, Mazda RX-8, Mazda MX-5, Honda Accord, BMW 330i, Subaru Legacy, Chevrolet Cobalt SS and Mini Cooper S.

Less than a week after round six at Mosport International Raceway, the KONI Challenge teams traveled to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Mid-Ohio Road 200. Thirty-three teams would race on the thirteen-turn 2.258-mile road course for 81-laps.

The Lime Rock Park winners, Chuck Hemmingson and Kristian Skavnes skipped round six and rejoined the series at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Hemmingson qualified the No. 111 ICY / Phoenix Racing Subaru Legacy and was fourth fastest. Skavnes drove the final stint and moved from fourth place to first in three-laps. While the other teams pitted, he stayed on the track and gambled with a one-stop strategy that paid off with a victory.
Sharing the No. 69 Mazda RX-8 was Jose Amengol and SpeedSource team manager, David Haskell. Amengol was gridded eighteenth for the two-and-a-half-hour event. When he pitted for the driver change, the team was in tenth place. Haskell caught the leaders and eventually moved into second place. He chased Skavnes but could not catch him. Haskell captured the runner-up position by a margin of 1.191-seconds.
i-Moto Racing entered two Acura TSX. The No. 31 TSX was raced by Glenn Bocchino and Canadian, Nick Wittmer. Bocchino handled the qualifying duties and the car would start from the tenth position. During his time behind the wheel, Bocchino maintained the pace of the leaders. Wittmer drove the final stint and caught David Haskell and Kristian Skavnes but was not close enough to execute a pass and finished third.
The No. 01 Georgian Bay Motorsports Chevrolet Cobalt SS started on the Street Tuner pole in two of the last three races. At the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Jamie Holtom qualified the car third fastest. Holtom was partnered with Eric Curran. They were unable to maintain the pace of the front runners. At the checkered flag, the duo was on the lead lap and finished in sixth place.
The Street Tuner points leaders, Trevor Hopwood and Adam Burrows, had a difficult race. Hopwood qualified the Turner Motorsport BMW 330i fifth fastest. Unfortunately, there was contact on lap-2 of the race in the ‘Keyhole’ with the other title contender, Karl Thomson. The impact sent the BMW into the gravel trap. The pair finished in twenty-second place but increased their points lead over Thomson and Billy Johnson by eight-markers.
The Kensai Racing duo of Karl Thomson and Billy Johnson entered round seven just one-point behind the Turner Motorsport entry of Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood. Thomson qualified the No. 76 Acura TSX in the sixth position. On lap-2 of the race, contact between Hopwood and Thomson damaged the Acura’s steering. An extended pit-stop was required and dropped them out of contention, they finished in twenty-ninth place.
First-year KONI Challenge Street Tuner competitor, Tyler Givogue captured the pole position for round seven at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The former Canadian Honda Michelin series driver recorded the fastest lap in the No. 53 Predator Auto Sport prepared Chevrolet Cobalt SS. Sharing the Cobalt with Givogue was fellow Canadian, Kuno Wittmer. Unfortunately, they retired after fifty-four laps and were classified in the twenty-seventh place.

14Chuck Hemmingson / Kristian SkavnesSubaru Legacy81
218Jose Armengol / David HaskellMazda RX-881
310Nick Wittmer / Glenn BocchinoAcura TSX81
423Guy Cosmo / VJ MirzayanBMW 330i81
513Juan Leroux / Jorge LerouxAcura TSX81
63Jamie Holtom / Eric CurranChevrolet Cobalt81
717Jocelyn Hebert / Cyril HamelinHonda Civic Si81
821Sam Schultz / Seth ThomasBMW 330i81
915Bob Beede / Chad GilsingerAcura RSX-S81
1028Todd Buras / Charles PutmanMazda MX-581
1132Steve Kent / Gunter Schmidt / Andrew DanyliwChevrolet Cobalt81
1225David Rosenblum / Davy JonesSubaru Legacy81
1324Randy Smalley / BJ Zacharias / Mark CongletonMini Cooper S81
1429Al Mitchell / Al LambBMW Z481
1514Andrew Lewis / Christian MillerAcura TSX80
169Chip Van Vurst / Charles Espenlaub / Rob Whitener IIIMazda RX-880
1720David Roush / Brian TillHonda Accord80
1827Justin Hall / Magnus KarlssonMazda MX-580
1912Joe Scarbrough / Andy BrumbaughMazda RX-880
2031Carlos Lira / Squeak KennedyMazda RX-879
2119Dave Royce / Eric PowellChevrolet Cobalt77
225Trevor Hopwood / Adam BurrowsBMW 330i77
238John Schmitt / Shane LewisHonda Accord75
2467Toby Grahovec / Pierre KleinubingBMW Z485
2516Todd Lamb / David ThileniusAcura RSX-S65
2616Will Nonnamaker / Joe SahlenDodge SRT-464
271Tyler Givogue / Kuno WittmerChevrolet Cobalt54
282Aaron Povoledo / Beau BuissonAcura TSX54
296Karl Thomson / Billy JohnsonAcura TSX38
3030Dave Royce / Jeff Lepper / Brian FlintChevrolet Cobalt37
3122Matt Pritiko / Dave CiekiewiczAcura RSX-S33
3211Zach Schiff / David TuatyBMW 330i22
3326Randy Smalley / Pattee / Mark CongletonMini Cooper S11

Copyright Notice:
All content (photographs and text) appearing on this website are the exclusive property of © and are protected under International copyright laws. The subject matter on this website may not be reproduced, copied, stored or manipulated.

© Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020

Return to home page.