Last season, the Grand-Am Cup division was renamed the KONI Challenge Series after KONI shock absorbers signed a three-year contract to act as the championship’s title sponsor. The 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.

Series cars are not that much different than 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 are 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 2,730 – 3,250-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 group in which engines typically produce between 170 and 240-horsepower. Vehicle’s weights vary from 2,200 – 2,925-pounds. The top speed for a car built to the Street Tuner regulations is approximately 135-mph. Popular makes found in this category are the Acura RSX, Acura TSX, Mazda RX-8, Mazda MX-5, Honda Accord, BMW 330i, Subaru Legacy, Chevrolet Cobalt and Mini Cooper S.

The 2008 Grand-Am KONI Challenge season consisted of eleven race weekends. Except for Daytona International Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Iowa Speedway and Miller Motorsports Park, all venues would have separate races for the Grand Sport and Street Tuner classes. This year’s schedule started in January at Daytona International Speedway. The next event on the calendar wasn’t until April at Virginia International Raceway. A month later, the series visited Lime Rock Park. In June, the teams traveled north of the border to compete at Mosport International Raceway. After Mosport, race weekends took place at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Street Tuner only), Watkins Glen International and Barber Motorsports Park (Grand Sport only). In early August, the series made a stop at Iowa Speedway. A week later, 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 2008 Grand Am KONI Challenge Series kicked off at Daytona International Speedway in late January. The event titled, the ‘Fresh from Florida 200’, was part of the 46th Rolex at Daytona weekend. Teams would compete on the twelve-turn 3.56-mile roval for three-hours.

The top qualifiers for round one of the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series at Daytona International Speedway. On the pole is the No. 46 Playboy / Palms Hotel sponsored BMW M3 of Tommy Constantine. Beside Constantine is No. 23 Wright Motorsports prepared Porsche 997, driven by Andy Hauck, III. Hauck was 0.649-seconds slower than the pole-sitter. A total of forty-two Grand Sport teams would start the Fresh from Florida 200.
A split-start was used for the Fresh from Florida 200. The first group to receive the green flag was the Grand Sport drivers. Leading the field into corner one at Daytona International Speedway is Fall-Line prepared BMW M3 of the pole-sitter, Tommy Constantine. Beside Constantine is the other front row starter, Andy Hauck, III in the No. 23 Porsche 977. Looking to make a move inside of the leader is Jon Miller driving a BMW M3.
Co-driving the No. 83 BGB Motorsports Porsche 997 were Tim Traver and Craig Stanton. Traver qualified the Porsche and was fourth fastest. He drove the first stint and was fourth place when he handed the car over to Stanton. With thirty-minutes remaining in the event, Stanton saw two of the leaders Doug Goad and Spencer Pumpelly encounter issues. He passed Tom Milner, before he encountered problems, for the victory.
The front of the Street Tuner starting grid belonged to the i-MOTO Racing team. On the pole was Kuno Wittmer driving the No. 32 Cobalt Friction sponsored Acura TSX. Sharing the front row with Wittmer was team owner, Glenn Bocchino, in the No. 31 Acura. Bocchino missed earning the top spot by a margin of 0.268-seconds. There were forty-nine Street Tuner entries for the three-hour event at Daytona International Speedway.
The second group of Street Tuner competitors receives the Starter’s green flag for the Fresh from Florida 200. At the head of the field is the pole-sitter, Kuno Wittmer, in the i-MOTO Racing Acura TSX. Beside Wittmer is the No. 32 Acura of his teammate, Glenn Bocchino. But it would be the fourth-fastest qualifier, Toby Grahovec, in the No. 86 Classic BMW sponsored BMW Z4 that would lead the first fifteen laps of the race.
Car owner Glenn Bocchino qualified the No. 31 Acura / Cobalt Friction sponsored Acura TSX forty-sixth overall and second in the Street Tuner category. Sharing the Acura with Bocchino was Canadian Nick Wittmer. When Wittmer left the pits after the driver change, he was in fourth place. A different race strategy, not only, put the pair into the lead, but it also gave them a one-lap advantage at the finish.
Finishing second in the Grand Sport class was last season’s runner-up in the championship, Joe Foster. Foster drove the No. 55 Hyper Sport Ford Mustang in qualifying and was twenty-fourth fastest. Also piloting the Mustang were Jeff Courtney and Scott Maxwell. The team put Maxwell in the car for the final stint. Benefitting from the issues suffered by Doug Goad, Spencer Pumpelly and Tom Milner, he finished in the runner-up spot.
Sharing the No. 3 Blackforest Motorsports prepared Ford Mustang were Scott Turner and 2004 Grand Sport class champion, Terry Borcheller. Turner performed the qualifying duties and would start eighth in the Grand Sport category. Borcheller drove the last half of the contest and caught the leaders. Late in the race, he passed the BMW of last year’s champion, Jeff Segal, for third place and held the position to the finish.
Competing in the No. 32 Acura / Cobalt Friction sponsored Acura TSX were two experienced SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car drivers, Kuno Wittmer and Peter Cunningham. Wittmer qualified the TSX and put it on the class pole – forty-fifth overall. He led laps-16 to 33 before handing the car over to Cunningham. The pit strategy worked to the advantage of the other i-MOTO entry and the duo finished second.
Last season Karl Thomson and his teammate, Billy Johnson, won the Fresh from Florida 200 and came very close to capturing the Street Tuner title. This year, Thomson was paired with fellow Canadian, Travis Walker. Walker was in the No. 76 Compass360 Racing Acura TSX for qualifying and posted a time fastest enough for sixth in class. The pair moved into contention during the race and were in third place at the checkered flag.
The Racer’s Group entered three Porsche 997 in the Grand Sport category. The No. 39 Porsche received backing from The DigiTrust Group and Adam’s Polishes. The car was driven by Spencer Pumpelly and Duncan Ende. Ende was gridded in tenth place for the start of the event. With Pumpelly behind the wheel, the car moved into the lead. Unfortunately, the Porsche started smoking late in the race and Pumpelly retired.
Tommy Constantine put the No. 46 BMW M3 on the overall and class pole for round one of the 2008 Grand-Am KONI Challenge series. Sharing the M3 with Constantine was sports car veteran, Mike Borkowski. Constantine lost the top spot before the end of the first lap to the BMW of Jon Miller. The pair remained on the lead lap during the three-hour contest but could not manage the pace of the leaders and finished tenth.

1GSTraver / StantonPorsche 997BGB Motorsports76
2GSFoster / Maxwell / CourtneyFord Mustang GTHyper Sport76
3GSTurner / BorchellerFord Mustang GTBlackforest Motorsport76
4GSThornton / SegalBMW M3Automatic Racing76
5GSMiller / RussellBMW M3Automatic Racing76
6GSCanney / PlumbFord Mustang GTRehagen Racing76
7GSEspenlaub / PutmanBMW M3Automatic Racing76
8GSSchroeder / LallyPorsche 997TRG76
9GSNastasi / EmpringhamFord Mustang GTBlackforest Motorsport76
10GSConstantine / BorkowskiBMW M3Playboy Racing76
11GSRoush / MartinFord Mustang GTRehagen Racing76
12GSCarroll / EversleyPorsche 997Marcus Motorsports76
13GSJenkins / BodenBMW M3Playboy Racing76
14GSRossi / AbelloPorsche 997Ranger Sports Racing76
15GSBarron / SelznickPorsche 997BGB Motorsports76
16GSClick / McGovernFord Mustang GTRehagen Racing76
17GSGullatta / SloneFord Mustang GTRehagen Racing76
18GSGoad / CollyerPontiac GTOSpirit of Daytona76
19GSSeafuse / GueFord Mustang GTJBS Motorsports76
20GSGrigsby / HeathPorsche 997Cardisport Racing76
21GSKent / KossmannFord Mustang GTEmerald Hill Motorsports75
22GSSafina / GabelPorsche 997BGB Motorsports75
23GSSoltero / BetancesBMW M3Kinetic Motorsports75
24GSFromberg / StretchPorsche 997Murillo Racing75
25STWittmer / BocchinoAcura TSXi-MOTO Racing75
26GSWeinberg / ObertoPontiac GTOSpirit of Daytona74
27STWittmer / CunninghamAcura TSXi-MOTO Racing74
28STThomson / WalkerAcura TSXCompass360 Racing74
29STLamb / ThileniusAcura RSX-SBill Fenton Motorsports74
30STHoltom / CurranChevrolet CobaltGeorgian Bay Motorsports63
31STYork / MillerAcura TSXCompass360 Racing74
32STSchmitt / LewisHonda AccordHART74
33STWorkman / SchultzBMW 330iV-Pack Motorsport74
34STBurrows / HopwoodAcura TSXCompass360 Racing74
35STLeroux / LerouxAcura TSXLRT Racing73
36GSBengoa / SantiagoFord Mustang GTBlackforest Motorsport73
37GSSkavnes / HemmingstonSubaru LegacyICY/Phoenix Racing73
38GSRosenblum / AquilanteSubaru LegacyICY/Phoenix Racing73
39STLamb / MaiaBMW Z4Classic BMW73
40STGrahovec / KleinubingBMW Z4Classic BMW73
41GSHennessey / Gimbert / VarshaFord MustangBlackforest Motorsport73
42STBell / MirzayanBMW 330iTurner Motorsport73
43STRivera / KnowlesMazda RX-8Brass Mitchell Racing73
44STMcCalmont / SpencerChevrolet CobaltGeorgian Bay Motorsports72
45STPritiko / BoyerChevrolet CobaltPredator Auto Sport72
46STMitchell / KnowlesBMW Z4Brass Mitchell Racing72
47STDavis / SmithBMW 330iKinetic Motorsports72
48GSWebster / BiscevicNissan 350ZNo Hot Wire Racing72
49STPobst / WhiteVolkswagen GTIAPR Motorsport72
50STSkeen / HuntChevrolet CobaltTeam Cobalt California72
51GSDavis / MilnerPorsche 997Motorsport Technology Group71
52GSJohnson / LawPorsche 997Motorsport Technology Group71
53STTucker / ZabinskiVolkswagen GTIAPR Motorsport71
54STHickman / HickmanMazda RX-8Hickman Motorsports71
55STDeBoer / SmurzynskiChevrolet CobaltProject Motorsports71
56STRoach / Bovenberg / PerezChevrolet CobaltTeam Cobalt California71
57STMatz / RowenBMW 330iFountain Motorsports71
58STSahlen / NonnamakerMazda RX-8Team Sahlen70
59STSchmidt / DanyliwChevrolet CobaltGS Motorsports70
60STStuard / BrumbaughMazda RX-8Roar Racing70
61STSmalley / TrinklerMini Cooper SRSR Motorsports70
62STLong / O'DoskiMazda MX-5Freedom Autosports70
63STCarbonell / DempseyMazda RX-8Roar Racing70
64GSJonsson / DucoteBMW M3Kinetic Motorsports70
65STWillard / WildenChevrolet CobaltGS Motorsports70
66STWhitis / DanielsMazda MX-5Freedom Autosports70
67STCongleton / JohnsonMini Cooper SRSR Motorsports69
68STLondon / GramisciBMW 330iFountain Motorsports69
69STBaglier / LuffyMazda 6Baglieracing69
70GSPumpelly / EndePorsche 997The Racer's Group67
71GSSalama / OrtizBMW M3Turner Motorsport66
72GSRiddle / WilsonPorsche 997BGB Motorsports66
73STLira / KennedyMazda RX-8Daytona Mazda63
74STMetzger / ReadeDodge SRT-4SDS Performance Racing59
75STBaas / von MoltkeVolkswagen GTIAPR Motorsport59
76GSMasessa / LohghiBMW M3Automatic Racing56
77STDarling / Mary KatharineVolkswagen GTIGSM Motorsports56
78GSSkelton / MiddlebrooksFord Mustang GTHyper Sport52
79STDiaz / PomboMazda RX-8Pipelayer Racing50
80GSHauck / ZachariasPorsche 997Wright Motorsports50
81STFlint / BoschDodge SRT-4SDS Performance Racing42
82STKuitwaard / RobinsonMazda RX-8Brass Mitchell Racing41
83GSNixon / ArnoldPorsche 996Bullett Racing41
84STSmith / SmithMazda RX-8Maxwell Paper Racing40
85GSBrian GrandonFord Mustang GTRehagen Racing30
86STIstook / CohenAudi TTGSM Motorsports28
87GSMark AckleyFord Mustang GTCMA Motorsports14
88GSWellon / EllisPorsche 997Ranger Sports Racing10
89GSAuberlen / AlhadeffBMW M3Turner Motorsport9
90STHaskell ArmengolMazda RX-8SpeedSource0
91STBeede / LieblAcura RSX-SBill Fenton Motorsports0

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.