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.
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.
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course hosted round seven of the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car championship. Competitors would race for fifty-minutes around the thirteen-turn 2.258-mile road course in an event presented by Trenton Forging.
|Twenty-three SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car competitors are gridded on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course’s main straight for the start of round seven. On the pole is the Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development Mazda 6 of Jeff Altenburg. Starting beside Altenburg is Chip Herr in the STaSIS Engineering Audi A4. The second row is occupied by the Bimmerworld BMWs of Seth Thomas and Joey Hand.|
|At Mid-Ohio, Bimmerworld team owner, James Clay, stepped aside and entered former factory BMW driver, Joey Hand in the No. 37 BMW 325i. Hand qualified fourth fastest, but without series experience, he dropped to fifth place on the first lap. By the twenty-second circuit, Hand was in second and chasing the leader, Chip Herr. On the final lap, Herr made a mistake at the ‘Keyhole’ which allowed Hand to pass for the victory.|
|STaSIS Engineering driver, Chip Herr, was victorious in round three at Lime Rock Park. Herr was on track to score his second win of the season until the final lap at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He started on the outside of the front row in the No. 17 Audi A4 and left the field behind when the lights went out. On the final lap, Herr went wide at the ‘Keyhole,’ allowing Joey Hand to make the pass. He finished 1.064-seconds behind Hand.|
|The battle for the Touring Car points lead was contested between Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development driver’s, Jeff Altenburg and Randy Pobst. Pobst entered round seven leading the title chase by seventeen markers. Altenburg qualified on the pole but could not maintain the pace set by the leaders and finished third. Pobst, on the other hand, failed to score any points and fell to second in the standings.|
|It was a good event for Tindol Motorsport’s, Charlie Putman. Driving the No. 96 Mazda 6, Putman was eighteenth fastest in the qualifying session. During the race, he made some remarkable passes that earned him two awards. On the opening lap, Putman passed three cars to win the B&M Holeshot prize. At the conclusion of the contest, he had advanced six-positions and received the Sunoco Hard Charger award.|
|Capturing the Piloti Rookie of the Race award for the second time this year was Roberto Santos. At the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Santos qualified thirteenth fastest in the No. 74 Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development Mazda 6. He delivered a steady performance during the contest and was in thirteenth place at the checkered flag.|
|Entering the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course event, Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development driver, Randy Pobst, led the driver’s standing by seventeen markers. Pobst qualified in the ninth position and, during the race, found himself battling with Adam Pecorari. On the twelfth lap, there was contact between the two and Pobst was forced to retire. He failed to score any points and was now seventeen markers behind Jeff Altenburg.|
|World Challenge veteran, James Sofronas was entered in the No. 29 Global Motorsports Group BMW 325Ci. During the qualifying session, he was the fifth fastest. An excellent start on the opening lap allowed him to move into third place. However, Sofronas was in fourth place at the finish. His result earned him his sixth consecutive Toyo Tires Cup. Sofronas left the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course third in the title chase.|
|The SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car podium for round seven at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Standing in the center is the winner and former factory BMW driver, Joey Hand. On the left side of the rostrum is STaSIS Engineering’s, Chip Herr, who finished in the runner-up position. The new points leader, Jeff Altenburg, occupies the final spot on the podium.|
|1||4||Joey Hand||BMW 325i||27||-|
|2||2||Chip Herr||Audi A4||27||-|
|3||1||Jeff Altenburg||Mazda 6||27||-|
|4||5||James Sofronas||BMW 325Ci||27||-|
|5||10||Pierre Kleinubing||Acura TSX||27||-|
|6||8||Peter Cunningham||Acura TSX||27||-|
|7||23||Ian Baas||Audi A4||27||-|
|8||11||Charles Espenlaub||Mazda 6||27||-|
|9||7||Adam Pecorari||Audi A4||27||-|
|10||12||Kuno Wittmer||Acura RSX||27||-|
|11||15||Brandon Davis||Acura TSX||27||-|
|12||18||Charlie Putman||Mazda 6||27||-|
|13||13||Roberto Santos||Mazda 6||27||-|
|14||6||Jason Martinelli||BMW 325Ci||27||-|
|15||17||Michael Galati||Mazda 6||27||-|
|16||19||Stan Wilson||Dodge SRT-4||27||-|
|17||16||Nick Esayian||Acura TSX||27||-|
|18||21||Jim Osborn||Volkswagen Jetta TDI||26||-|
|19||22||Branden Peterson||Acura TSX||25||-|
|20||14||Andrew Wojteczko||Lexus IS300||24||-|
|21||9||Randy Pobst||Mazda 6||12||Mechanical|
|22||20||Justin Pritchard||Toyota Celica GTS||4||Mechanical|
|23||3||Seth Thomas||BMW 325i||0||Mechanical|
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