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.

There were twenty-three World Challenge Touring Car entered for the 2007 season’s finale at Laguna Seca. On the pole was the Mazda 6 of Randy Pobst. Next to Pobst on the front row was Peter Cunningham in the No. 42 RealTime Racing Acura TSX. On the grid, behind Cunningham are his teammates – Pierre Kleinubing in a TSX followed by Kuno Wittmer driving an RSX.
A great start by third fastest qualifier Ian Baas dropped Peter Cunningham in the No. 42 Acura to third place. Cunningham got by Baas and ran second until passed by his teammate Kleinubing. On lap-22, Kleinubing tangled with race leader Randy Pobst which moved him to first. The RealTime cars were now first and second but Kleinubing was penalized for his actions and Cunningham captured his second win of the season.
Jeff Altenburg’s has an ‘off’ at turn-eleven during practice. Altenburg entered the final event with a chance of winning the championship – a fourth or better would clinch the title. He started eighth but a pit-stop for a flat tire on the first lap dropped him to eighteenth. By lap-14, Altenburg was sixth and an incident on the twenty-first lap moved him to fourth where he remained for the duration of the race. This result gave him the 2007 Touring Car title.
Kuno Wittmer started sixth in the No. 44 RealTime Racing Acura RSX. His race was not as eventful as some his counterparts but when the checkered flag flew he was second. Wittmer had nine top-ten finishes during the ten-race season. His consistent performances were rewarded with a third in the Drivers’ Championship.
Chip Herr goes wide a corner-six during Touring Car practice. The driver of the STaSIS Audi A4 qualified seven but was classified twenty-first after an opening lap accident. During the season, Herr had three podium finishes one of which was a victory at Lime Rock. He was sixth in the final standings.
Driving the No. 43 RealTime Race Acura TSX, Brandon Davis equaled his best qualifying effort – he started fifth at Laguna Seca and Lime Rock. Davis also scored his best finish of the 2007 season when he earned the final spot on the podium.
Randy Pobst entered the season with an opportunity to win the Touring Car title. If Pobst won the race and his teammate, Jeff Altenburg, finished lower than fourth the championship would be his. It was looking good for Pobst – he qualified on the pole and Altenburg had problems on the first lap which required a pit-stop. Pobst led the race until lap-24 when he was hit by the Acura of Pierre Kleinubing. The incident dropped him to a sixth place finish and second in the Drivers’ Championship.
Starting fourth in the RealTime Acura TSX was defending Touring Car Champion Pierre Kleinubing. By mid-race Kleinubing had worked his way to second and was challenging race leader, Randy Pobst. In an attempt to pass Pobst, Kleinubing’s left front hit Pobst’s right rear causing the Mazda to spin and drop to sixth place. Kleinubing was in the lead but was black flagged which he ignored. He was penalized 30-seconds and finished thirteenth.
First lap into corner-two and the Audi STaSIS A4 of fourth place qualifier, Ian Baas, leads the field of twenty-three cars. Baas’ first place would be short lived – by corner three the Mazda of Randy Pobst and Peter Cunningham in the Acura were by him. Baas dropped down the running order and was eleventh at the checkered flag.

12Peter CunninghamAcura TSX25-
26Kuno WittmerAcura RSX25-
35Brandon DavisAcura TSX25-
48Jeff AltenburgMazda 625-
512Dino CrescentiniMazda 625-
61Randy PobstMazda 625-
713Adam PecorariAudi A425-
89Nick EsayianAcura TSX25-
916Andrie HartantoHonda Civic25-
1022Matt RichmondBMW325i25-
113Ian BaasAudi A425-
1218Patrick LindseyMazda 625-
134Pierre KleinubingAcura TSX25-
1415Charles EspenlaubMazda 625-
1523Carl HoberAcura TSX25-
1611Michael GalatiMazda 624-
1720Stan WilsonDodge SRT-424-
1821Glenn BocchinoMazda 624-
1919Christian MillerVolkswagen Jetta24-
2017Charlie PutmanMazda 624-
217Chip HerrAudi A40Mechanical
2214James ClayBMW 325i0Crash
2310Seth ThomasBMW 325i0Crash

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