2009 was the final year of the Grand-Am Road Racing’s contract with KONI. The three-year agreement between Grand-Am and KONI saw the company offer the richest purse in the series history - $100,000 per event. The winning Grand Sport team earned $5,000 with the price fund doubling to $10,000 if the car was equipped with KONI shock absorbers. Street Tuner competitors competed for a similar payout - $3,750 to the winner and $7,500 if the vehicle is fitted with KONIs.

The cars in the series are relatively unchanged from their road-going counterparts – modifications are mandated mainly for safety – roll cages, window nets, etc. They also used spec DOT-approved tires produced by Hoosier. Based on performance potential, the cars were 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 2,900 – 3,300-pounds, which is dependent on the motor configuration and displacement. This class includes cars such as the BMW M3, Ford Mustang, Porsche 997 and Porsche Carrera.

  • Street Tuner (ST): The smaller displacement cars compete in this class in which engines typically produce between 170 and 240-horsepower. Popular vehicles found in this group are the Volkswagen GTI, Acura TSX, Mazda RX-8, Mazda MX-5, Honda Civic Si, BMW 330i, Subaru Legacy, Chevrolet Cobalt SS, Subaru Legacy and Mini Cooper S.

The 2009 season consisted of eleven race weekends and started in January at Daytona International Speedway, which was followed by a second event in Florida at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In May, the series would visit Thunderbolt Raceway in New Jersey then move on to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Lime Rock Park. The teams traveled Watkins Glen International in June and after this event, race weekends took place at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. In August, teams made the trip 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 held at Virginia International Raceway. The Grand Sport and Street Tuner classes competed separately – the exceptions being Daytona, New Jersey, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen International and Miller Motorsports Park, where they race together.

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was the scene of round seven for the 2009 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series. Twenty-nine Street Tuner teams competed on the thirteen-turn 2.258-mile road course for eighty-four-laps.

The first lap of round seven at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Leading the twenty-nine Street Tuner competitors into the ‘Carousel’ turn is the pole-sitter, Josh Hurley, in the No. 171 APR Tuning Volkswagen GTI. Behind Hurley is the other front row starter and his teammate, Mike Sweeney, in the No. 181 Volkswagen. The next car in line is the Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si of the points leader, Christian Miller.
On lap-78, Ian Baas was behind the wheel of the class-leading APR Tuning Volkswagen GTI when it slowed with an electrical issue. Running second at the time was Baas’ teammate, Dion von Moltke. Von Moltke seized the opportunity and grabbed the lead. He controlled the remaining six-laps of the contest, giving him and his co-driver, Mike Sweeney, their second victory of the year.
On the merit of two wins and a runner-up finish in the most recent event at Watkins Glen International, Christian Miller was the Street Tuner championship points leader. Miller shared the No. 74 Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si with Touring Car veteran, Randy Pobst. Pobst drove the final stint but was no match for the leader, Dion von Moltke, and finished second by a margin of 4.114-seconds.
Co-driving the No. 111 Subaru Road Racing Team Subaru Legacy were Kristian Skavnes and Andrew Aquilante. The pair opened the season with a runner-up finish at Daytona International Speedway. Since then, they had been unable to find the podium and scored a season-low thirteenth place at their home track, Lime Rock Park. At Mid-Ohio, Skavnes and Aquilante finished third and moved to second in the title chase.
Josh Hurley captured the Street Tuner pole-position for round seven. This was Hurley’s second pole of the season in the No. 171 Volkswagen GTI. For APR Tuning, this was their second consecutive front row start. The latest results were attributed to the crew’s recent focus on the car’s suspension. Unfortunately, Hurley’s teammate, Ian Baas, finished eleventh when the Volkswagen developed an electrical problem.
At the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Paul Dalla Lana and team principal, Will Turner, shared the No. 95 Turner Motorsport prepared BMW 328i. Their best race of the 2009 season was round four at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where the car finished in first place. A steady performance at Mid-Ohio was rewarded with a fourth-place at the checkered flag.

1STvon Moltke / SweeneyAPR Motorsport / Volkswagen GTI84
2STMiller / PobstCompass360 Racing / Honda Civic Si84
3STAquilante / SkavnesSubaru Road Racing Team / Subaru Legacy84
4STDalla Lana / TurnerTurner Motorsport / BMW 328i84
5STO'Doski / CarbonellFreedom Autosport / Mazda MX-584
6STAnthony, Jr. / SloneCompass360 Racing / Honda Civic Si84
7STLepper / RashleighGS Motorsports / Chevrolet Cobalt SS84
8STGilsinger / JohnsonHART / Honda Civic Si84
9STBeede / CullenBill Fenton Motorsports / Honda Civic Si84
10STHamelin / Hebert89 Racing Team / Honda Civic Si84
11STBaas / HurleyAPR Motorsport / Volkswagen GTI84
12STSpaude / ThileniusBill Fenton Motorsports / Honda Civic Si84
13STDavis / PutmanKinetic Motorsports / BMW 330i84
14STDayton / BattleRRT Racing / BMW 328i84
15STKuitwaard / WalkerCompass360 Racing / Honda Civic Si83
16STGiovanis / HalpinNext Generation Motorsports / BMW 330i83
17STCattaneo / WhiteFreedom Autosport / Mazda MX-583
18STBuford / MirzayanRSR Motorsports / Mini Cooper S83
19STSmalley / TrinklerRSR Motorsports / Mini Cooper S83
20STOrr / BoschNext Generation Motorsports / BMW 330i82
21STHeumann / ZachariasV-Pack Motorsport / BMW Z482
22STNonnamaker / SahlenTeam Sahlen / Mazda RX-882
23STBovenberg / RashleighGS Motorsports / Chevrolet Cobalt SS82
24STHarding / MilarcikPirate Motorsports / Mazda RX-880
25STCosmo / OrtizNext Generation Motorsports / BMW 330i71
26STSmith / TallmanCA Sport / Honda Civic Si71
27STBurrows / HopwoodRSR Motorsports / Mini Cooper S63
28STLong / WhitisFreedom Autosport / Mazda MX-521
29STArnold / SchultzV-Pack Motorsport / BMW Z49
0STLewis / SchmittHART / Honda Civic Si-

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