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.

Round seven of the 2008 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series was conducted at the Grand Prix du Trois-Rivieres. Thirty-four Street Tuner teams would compete on the very tight ten-turn 1.521-mile street course.

Thirty-four Street Tuner drivers head for Trois-Rivieres’ corner one for the beginning of the KONI Challenge Series’ race. Leading the charge is the pole-sitter, Jamie Holtom, in the No. 01 Georgian Bay Motorsports Chevrolet Cobalt SS. Beside Holtom is the Compass360 Racing Acura TSX of the second-fastest qualifier, Trevor Hopwood. Trailing in the second row are Quebec resident, Nick Wittmer and Bob Beede.
To change things up, the Compass360 Racing switched starting drivers in the No. 76 Acura TSX. This meant that Trevor Hopwood qualified the car and Adam Burrows would drive the final stint. Hopwood qualified on the outside of the front row. After the team’s last pit-stop, Burrow’s grabbed first place and led the final thirty-four-laps. This was the duo’s second victory of the season, their first was at Watkins Glen International.
Pierre Kleinubing and Toby Grahovec scored their best result of the season at Trois-Rivieres. Grahovec performed the qualifying duties and was seventh fastest during the session in the No. 86 Classic BMW – Plano BMW Z4. He was in fourth place when he handed the car over to Kleinubing. Kleinubing moved into the second position and pressured the leader, Adam Burrows. At the finish, he was 2.755-seconds behind the winner.
This weekend, Jamie Holtom, wasn’t driving with his usual partner, Eric Curran. At the Grand Prix du Trois-Rivieres, Holtom was paired with Andy Lally. In qualifying, the No. 01 Georgian Bay Motorsports Chevrolet Cobalt SS was driven by Lally, who captured the pole. In the race, he pitted while in the lead. Holtom chased down the leaders and would finish in third place. The result allowed him to take first in the title chase.
In 2008, Quebec brothers, Kuno and Nick Wittmer drove for the i-MOTO Racing team. The i-MOTO effort consisted of two Acura TSX, also piloted by Peter Cunningham and team owner, Glenn Bocchino. For the second time this season, the brothers would share the No. 32 TSX, they also raced together at Mosport. For the start of the seventy-four-lap contest, Nick was gridded third and at the checkered flag, Kuno was in fifth place.
The Street Tuner podium at the Grand Prix du Trois-Rivieres for round seven of the KONI Challenge Series. Standing of the top step for the second time this year are Trevor Hopwood and Adam Burrows from Compass360 Racing. On the right side of the rostrum, delivering their best performance of the season, are the runner-ups, Pierre Kleinubing and Toby Grahovec. The final spot belongs to Andy Lally and Jamie Holtom.

1STBurrows / HopwoodAcura TSXCompass360 Racing75
2STGrahovec / KleinubingBMW Z4Classic BMW75
3STHoltom / LallyChevrolet CobaltGeorgian Bay Motorsports75
4STRivera / OttMazda RX-8Brass Mitchell Racing75
5STWittmer / WittmerAcura TSXi-MOTO Racing75
6STMiller / TheetgeHonda Civic SiCompass360 Racing75
7STPobst / WhiteVolkswagen GTIAPR Motorsport75
8STHemmingson / SkavnesSubaru LegacyICY/Phoenix Racing75
9STBeede / EndicottHonda Civic SiBill Fenton Motorsports75
10STRivera / RobinsonMazda RX-8Brass Mitchell Racing75
11STPritiko / BoyerChevrolet CobaltPredator Auto Sport74
12STSchmitt / LewisHonda Civic SiHART74
13STArnold / SchultzBMW 330iV-Pack Motorsport74
14STBocchino / CunninghamAcura TSXi-MOTO Racing74
15STCosmo / RoyBMW 330iFountain Motorsports74
16STRosenblum / KnowlesSubaru LegacyICY/Phoenix Racing74
17STLong / O'DoskiMazda MX-5Freedom Autosports74
18STHebert / HamelinHonda Civic Si89 Racing Team74
19STMcCalmont / SpencerChevrolet CobaltGeorgian Bay Motorsports74
20STPutman / EspenlaubMazda MX-5Freedom Autosports73
21STBell / MirzayanBMW 330iTurner Motorsport73
22STSaini / BarnesMazda RX-8Team MER73
23STWhitis / DanielsMazda MX-5Freedom Autosports73
24STDavis / SmithBMW 330iKinetic Motorsports72
25STSchmidt / DanyliwChevrolet CobaltGS Motorsports72
26STLamb / MaiaBMW Z4Classic BMW72
27STCamirand / CosmoBMW 330iFountain Motorsports68
28STThomson / YorkAcura RSX-SCompass360 Racing58
29STSmalley / Trinkler / ZachariasMini Cooper SRSR Motorsports53
30STWilden / WillardAcura TSXCompass360 Racing48
31STSmalley / Hansen / JohnsonMini Cooper SRSR Motorsports45
32STBaas / von MoltkeVolkswagen GTIAPR Motorsport14
33STCongleton / Trinkler / ZachariasMini Cooper SRSR Motorsports7
34STFenton / ThileniusHonda Civic SiBill 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.