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.

Watkins Glen International hosted rounds four and five of the 2007 SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car series. The opportunity to compete in two races during a single weekend attracted twenty-five drivers. The contests would be fifty-minutes long around the eleven-turn 3.337-mile road course.

This was the third time in five rounds that the Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development Mazda 6s occupied the front row. However, at Sebring International Raceway and Miller Motorsports Park, it was Jeff Altenburg that started on the pole. This time Randy Pobst in the No. 73 entry started in the top spot. Pobst was also the fastest qualifier for race four at Watkins Glen International.
The start of round five at Watkins Glen International for the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car division. Leading the field into the ‘Esses’ is the pole-sitter, Randy Posbst driving the Tri-Point Motorsport prepared Mazda 6. Trailing Pobst is the other front row starter and his teammate, Jeff Altenburg. Behind them is the defending series champion, Pierre Kleinubing, in a RealTime Racing Acura TSX.
At Watkins Glen International, Randy Pobst added a new entry to the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge record books. Pobst succeeded in sweeping the weekend, scoring victories in Saturday and Sunday’s Touring Car events and capturing a win the Grand Touring category. He started both the Touring Car contests from the pole but was gridded fourth for round five of the Grand Touring race.
The defending SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car champion, Pierre Kleinubing, entered the Watkins Glen weekend with two podium finishes. In Saturday’s race, Kleinubing started third but grabbed the runner-up spot on the first lap when the second-fastest qualifier, James Sofronas, went wide. The following day, Kleinubing qualified fourth but tangled with Jeff Altenburg and finished twenty-first.
It was a good point scoring weekend for the World Challenge veteran, James Sofronas. Sofronas qualified on the outside of the front row for the race one. A mistake at the ‘Inner Loop’ resulted in a sixth-place finish. On Sunday, the driver of the Global Motorsports Group BMW 325Ci started third and captured the runner-up spot. Sofronas also earned his fourth consecutive Toyo Tires Cup and was now third in the standings.
Tindol Motorsports’ driver, Charles Espenlaub earned his first podium of the 2007 season at Watkins Glen International; his last was at Mosport in 2006. For round four, Espenlaub was sixth fastest in the No. 97 Mazdaspeed Mazda 6. Able to capitalize on an error by James Sofronas, he moved up the race order and finish third. The following day, Espenlaub started sixth and was in fifth place at the checkered flag.
Jeff Altenburg entered round four at Watkins Glen International with a twenty-six-point lead over his teammate, Randy Pobst. To date, Altenburg’s season included three podium finishes – two of which were victories. In round four, he qualified ninth and finished fifth. On Sunday, Altenburg was gridded second, but contact with Pierre Kleinubing dashed any hopes of a win. He did well to finish third, but his lead over Pobst was just one-marker.
The B&M Holeshot award is given to the driver that advances the most positions on the opening lap. The recipient of the honour at Watkins Glen International was Payton Wilson – he won this prize for his skills on Saturday and Sunday. In round four, the driver of the No. 6 King Rat Motorsports Dodge SRT-4 passed four competitors on lap one. The next day, Wilson passed eight cars to earn the distinction.
Rookie, Roberto Santos made his series debut with Tri-Point Motorsports in round two at Miller Motorsports Park and won the Piloti Rookie of the Race award with a twelfth-place finish. Santos earned his second in Sunday’s contest at Watkins Glen International when he started eighth and finished sixth. The day before, Santos qualified eleventh in the No. 74 Mazdaspeed Motorsports Mazda 6 and finished sixteenth.
It was another productive weekend for the Piloti Speed Touring Car Rookie of the Year points leader, Stan Wilson. On Saturday, Wilson qualified ninth in the No. 92 Sorted Performance Dodge SRT-4 and finished in eighth place. His performance earned him his second Piloti Rookie of the Race award of 2007. Wilson also advanced eleven-positions during the contest and also received the Sunoco Hard Charger prize.
The winner of the Sunoco Hard Charger award on Sunday was Charlie Putman. In the weekend’s first event, Putman was gridded twenty-first in the Tindol Motorsports prepared Mazda 6 and finished fourteenth. In round five, he was started twenty-fourth for the fifty-minute event. Before the conclusion of the contest, Putman had improved by eleven positions and finished thirteenth.
The SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car podium for round five at Watkins Glen International. Standing in the center is Randy Pobst, who made series history when he won three series races in a single weekend. On the left side of the rostrum is James Sofronas, who scored his second runner-up finish of the year. The points leader, Jeff Altenburg, occupies the final position on the podium.

11Randy PobstMazda 620-
23Pierre KleinubingAcura TSX20-
36Charles EspenlaubMazda 620-
48Michael GalatiMazda 620-
59Jeff AltenburgMazda 620-
62James SofronasBMW 325Ci20-
74Peter CunninghamAcura TSX20-
819Stan WilsonDodge SRT-420-
918Rob HollandDodge SRT-420-
1016Chip HerrAudi A420-
1112Brandon DavisAcura TSX20-
1214Ian BaasAudi A420-
1320Nick EsayianAcura TSX20-
1421Charlie PutmanMazda 620-
1523Fred PignataroBMW 325i20-
1611Roberto SantosMazda 620-
1724Phil ParlatoBMW 325i20-
1810James ClayBMW 325i20-
1917Jason MartinelliBMW 325Ci20-
205Kuno WittmerAcura RSX11Accident
2115Peyton WilsonDodge SRT-411Accident
227Seth ThomasBMW 325i9Suspension
2313Adam PecorariAudi A47Mechanical
2422Andrew WojteczkoLexus IS3001Mechanical
2525Jameson RileyVolvo S400Did Not Start

11Randy PobstMazda 620-
23James SofronasBMW 325Ci20-
32Jeff AltenburgMazda 620-
49Kuno WittmerAcura RSX20-
56Charles EspenlaubMazda 620-
68Roberto SantosMazda 620-
714Adam PecorariAudi A420-
811Michael GalatiMazda 620-
97Chip HerrAudi A420-
1018Peyton WilsonDodge SRT-420-
1112Brandon DavisAcura TSX20-
1218Rob HollandDodge SRT-420-
1321Charlie PutmanMazda 620-
1419Stan WilsonDodge SRT-420-
154Peter CunninghamAcura TSX20-
1622Andrew WojteczkoLexus IS30020-
1723Fred PignataroBMW 325i20-
187Seth ThomasBMW 325i20-
1920Nick EsayianAcura TSX20-
2024Phil ParlatoBMW 325i19-
214Pierre KleinubingAcura TSX19-
2225Jameson RileyVolvo S4010-
2313Ian BaasAudi A410-
2421Jason MartinelliBMW 325Ci6-
2515James ClayBMW 325i0Did Not Finish

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.