In 2007, the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) popular World Challenge series for Touring and Grand Touring cars entered its 18th-season. With continued sponsorship from SPEED TV, the championship attracted a loyal following of race fans and attracted competitors.

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

  • Grand Touring (GT) – The Grand Touring class rules accommodate a broad range of vehicles from different manufacturers. Engine displacements range from the 2.5-liter turbocharged Volvo S60-R 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. Many of the competitors race the Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup or Dodge Viper.

  • Touring Car (TC) – The Touring Cars are 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 and BMW 328. 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 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. The maximum amount of weight that can be removed from a car 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 2007 season – ten-races for each class. The Touring cars did not compete at Long Beach or a new venue at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Touring Cars raced twice at Watkins Glen, which was a new addition to the 2007 schedule. Also, the Touring Cars were the only World Challenge class competing at Lime Rock. As in 2006, the opening round was in March at Sebring, Florida and ended in late October at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, California.

Twenty-six drivers prepare for the start of the penultimate round at Road Atlanta. On the pole is the No. 22 K-PAX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 of Randy Pobst. Gridded next to Pobst is Andy Pilgrim in one of the three Cadillac CTS-Vs entered by Cadillac Racing. Behind the front row is Pobst’s teammate, Michael Galati in the second PAX Porsche. Barely out of view and sharing the second row with Galati is the Cadillac of Lawson Aschenbach.
Several drivers made contact during the standing start. The incident caused race officials to throw a full course yellow. A number of cars pitted but three competitors were forced to retire. The Pontiac GTO of Dane Moxlow, Lou Gigliotti in LG Pro Long Tube Headers Chevrolet Corvette and Brian Kubinski in the Blackdog Racing Chevrolet Corvette required the help of track personnel and were unable to restart the contest.
Defending series champion, Lawson Aschenbach turned the fourth quickest time in qualifying. During the race, Aschenbach survived a sudden downpour and after a red flag period was able to overtake the points leader, Randy Pobst. Aschenbach was in second place on the last lap but his teammate, Ron Fellows, allowed him to pass for the win. The victory moved him into second in the title chase – just four points behind Pobst.
Factory Corvette driver, Ron Fellows, was entered at Road Atlanta to support the Cadillac Racing effort. Fellows qualified sixth and remained in that position until the race was stopped. On the restart, he passed four cars and moved into to second. On lap-21, Fellows went inside race leader, Randy Pobst in turn one but on the final lap, he surrendered first place, under team orders, to Lawson Aschenbach. At the finish he was second.
Local resident, Randy Pobst put the K-PAX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 on the pole. Pobst had the race under control until heavy rains forced officials to red flag the event and allow teams to change tires. He led the field when the race resumed but before the end of the contest, Pobst was passed by the Cadillacs of Ron Fellows and Lawson Aschenbach. He grabbed the final spot on the podium and maintained the points lead.
Light rain during the caution period quickly changed to a downpour and caught several drivers off-guard – particularly in corners three, four and five. Officials brought out the yellow flag but it was soon followed by the red and all drivers returned to the pit-lane. Competitors were allowed to have their crews change tires during this stoppage in the race. When the cars returned to the track on lap-17, there was 10-minutes left in the contest.
The point’s leader’s teammate, Michael Galati, driving the No. 23 K-PAX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 qualified third and was able to maintain the position when officials stopped the event on lap-12. On the restart, the Cadillacs of Ron Fellows and Lawson Aschenbach proved to be too strong for Galati. He slipped to fourth place where he would remain until the conclusion of the contest.
Entering the Road Atlanta weekend, Andy Pilgrim was second in the drivers’ standings. Pilgrim put his Cadillac CTS-V on the outside of the front which provided him with a excellent opportunity to close the points gap on championship leader, Randy Pobst. Unfortunately for Pilgrim, he was unable to match the pace of the race leaders and finished in seventh place. His results dropped him to third in the title chase.
Rookie, Jason Daskalos qualified sixteenth driving the Daskalos Development and Investment Dodge Viper. During the event, Daskalos survived two potential disasters to finish nine - the start line incident and sudden downpour mid-race. This was his best result of the season and his efforts earned him the Piloti Rookie of the Race Award.
Jeffrey Robbins won the Sunoco Hard Charger award for advancing eleven positions during the contest. Robbins started from the twenty-fourth grid position in the RSIG Security Dodge Viper. At the checkered flag, he was down one lap down to leaders - in eleventh place.
It was a difficult weekend for Michael McCann. In practice, McCann had an accident in the McCann Plastics/K&N Filters Dodge Viper. But the car was repaired for qualifying and he recorded the fifth fastest time. Unfortunately, McCann had an accident in the race and retired on lap-11. He was classified in fourteenth place.
The World Challenge Grand Touring podium for round nine at Road Atlanta. In the center is Cadillac Racing’s Lawson Aschenbach who earned his second victory of the 2007 season. To Aschenbach’s left is his Cadillac teammate for the weekend and runner-up, Ron Fellows. Completing the podium is the points leader and driver of the No. 22 K-PAX Porsche, Randy Pobst.

14Lawson AschenbachCadillac CTS-V22-
26Ron FellowsCadillac CTS-V22-
31Randy PobstPorsche 911 GT322-
43Michael GalatiPorsche 911 GT322-
515Jeff AltenburgDodge Viper22-
67Jeff CourtneyDodge Viper22-
72Andy PilgrimCadillac CTS-V22-
818Gerardo BonillaPontiac GTO22-
916Jason DaskalosDodge Viper22-
109James SofronasPorsche 911 GT321-
1124Jeffrey RobbinsDodge Viper21-
1213Rob FosterChevrolet Corvette21-
1310Cindy LuxDodge Viper21-
145Michael McCannDodge Viper11Accident
1519Tony GaplesChevrolet Corvette10Accident
1614Sonny WhelenChevrolet Corvette10Accident
1711Scotty B. WhiteDodge Viper10Accident
1825Eric CurranChevrolet Corvette10Accident
1922Brett PearsonDodge Viper10Accident
209Tim McKenziePorsche 911 GT39Accident
2117Aaron BaumbachChevrolet Corvette9Accident
2223John BourassaPorsche 911 Turbo6Mechanical
2321Jason FosterDodge Viper2Accident
2412Brian KubinskiChevrolet Corvette0Accident
2520Dane MoxlowPontiac GTO0Accident
2626Lou GigliottiChevrolet Corvette0Accident

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