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.

Round one of the 2009 Koni Sports Car Challenge was held at Daytona International Speedway during the Rolex 24 weekend. Competitors would race around the twelve-turn 3.56-mile roval for three-hours in the Fresh From Florida 200.

The start of round one of the 2009 Koni Sports Car Challenge series for the Grand Sport class at Daytona International Speedway. On the pole is Dean Martin driving the No. 59 Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang GT. Sharing the front row with Martin is the Horsepower Ranch Ford Mustang shared by Jack Roush, Jr. and Hugh Plumb. There were a total of thirty-one Grand Sport entries for the season opener.
Matt Bell handled the qualifying duties for the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3. Sharing the BMW with Bell would be sports car veteran, Bill Auberlen. During the opening stint of the race, Bell kept the BMW in contention. Auberlen drove the second half of the contest and moved the car into the top spot on lap-50. From there, he fought with Hugh Plumb and Ken Wilden for the lead but was in first place when the final caution ended the race.
Jack Roush, Jr. and Hugh Plumb were gridded fourth for the start of the three-hour contest. The duo drove the Horsepower Ranch Ford Mustang. They both took turns leading the event with Roush, Jr. in the top spot for eight circuits and Plumb out front for two laps. Some late-race bumping dropped Plumb from first to third place. He charged back to second but the final caution prevented him from challenging Auberlen for the win.
Joe Masessa driving the No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Carrera qualified thirty-third in a field of thirty-four Grand Sport entries. Sharing the BGB Porsche with Masessa was Nick Longhi. In the caution-filled event, the team took their first opportunity to put Longhi in the driver’s seat. Longhi carved his way through the field and was in the lead on lap-45. By the end of the event, he had gained twenty-one positions to finish twelfth.
In the opening round at Daytona International Speedway, the first wave of Grand Sport cars was followed by the slower Street Tuner category. Leading the field of thirty-two Street Tuner competitors to the Starter is the pole-sitter, Andrew Aquilante driving the Subaru Road Racing Team Subaru. Next to Aquilante, on the front row is the Bill Fenton Motorsports Honda Civic Si with David Thilenius behind the wheel.
In the center are the overall and Grand Sport winners from Turner Motorsport, Matt Bill and Bill Auberlen. This was Bell’s first professional victory and the twelfth Koni win for Auberlen. On the right side of the podium are the runner-ups and drivers of the Horsepower Ranch prepared Ford Mustang, Hugh Plumb and Jack Roush, Jr. Completing the rostrum are the pole-winning team of Dean Martin and Kenny Wilden.
Georgian Bay Motorsports entered two very quick Chevrolet Cobalt SS. Racing the No. 00 entry was Lawson Aschenbach and Pat Iannucci. In qualifying, Iannucci was the twenty-second fastest Street Tuner driver and started fifty-sixth. In the first round of pit-stops, Aschenbach jumped behind the steering wheel and by lap-49, he was in the class lead. From there, Aschenbach battled with Travis Walker and Kristian Skavnes before taking the victory.
Claiming the Street Tuner class pole was Andrew Aquilante in the Subaru Road Racing Team Subaru Legacy. This was the only Subaru in the field but the car proved fast last year by scoring a second place at Mosport and taking a victory at Mid-Ohio. Also driving the Subaru at Daytona was Kristian Skavnes. Aquilante and Skavnes led a total of thirty-one-laps. Skavnes was leading but could not hold off Lawson Aschenbach and finished second.
In qualifying for the Fresh From Florida 200, Dean Martin driving the No. 59 Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang GT won the pole position by 0.614-seconds and was the only driver to eclipse the two-minute mark. Sharing the Mustang with Martin for the three-hour event was Kenny Wilden. Wilden drove the final stint and was in a three-way battle with Bill Auberlen and Hugh Plumb. He was in third place when the race ended under caution.
Compass 360 Racing entered three very quick Honda Civic Si. Sharing the No. 76 Honda was Matt Pritiko and Travis Walker. In qualifying, Pritiko was fortieth fastest and sixth in Street Tuner. During the event, the pair moved into contention with Walker taking the top spot on lap-50. He would trade the position back and forth with Lawson Aschenbach until the end of the contest. The Compass 360 drivers would finish third in class.
The 2009 Street Tuner podium at Daytona International Speedway. In the center are the class winning drivers, Lawson Aschenbach and Pat Iannucci. The pair improved the most places in the Street Tuner category during the race, they gained thirty-nine positions. Taking the runner-up spot, on the right side of the podium, are Kristian Skavnes and Andrew Aquilante. The final place on the rostrum belonged to Tyler Walker and Matt Pritiko.

1GSAuberlen / BellTurner Motorsport / BMW M374
2GSPlumb / RoushHorsepower Ranch / Ford Mustang GT74
3GSMartin / WildenRehagen Racing / Ford Mustang GT74
4GSBuffomante / JohnsonMotorsport Technology Group / Porsche 99774
5GSGue / SeafuseJBS Motorsports / Ford Mustang GT74
6GSGeorge Jr / Stanton / TecceBGB Motorsports / Porsche Carrera74
7GSGleason / HandTurner Motorsport / BMW M374
8GSEnde / PumpellyTRG / Porsche 99774
9GSCollyer / MasonRehagen Racing / Ford Mustang GT74
10GSCaddell / ClickHyper Sport/Jim Click Racing / Ford Mustang GT74
11GSHerr / WillseyKinetic Motorsports / BMW M374
12GSLonghi / MasessaBGB Motorsports / Porsche Carrera74
13GSSegal / ThorntonAutomatic Racing / BMW M374
14GSHickham Jr / Hickham SrHickham Motorsports / Ford Mustang GT74
15GSDavis / SmithKinetic Motorsports / BMW M374
16GSIgdalsky / MattioliJBS Motorsports / Ford Mustang GT74
17STAschenbach / IannucciGeorgian Bay Motorsports / Chevrolet Cobalt SS74
18STAquilante / SkavnesSubaru Road Racing Team / Subaru Legacy74
19STPritiko / WalkerCompass360 Racing / Honda Civic Si74
20STMcCalmont / SpencerGeorgian Bay Motorsports / Chevrolet Cobalt SS 74
21STSpaude / ThileniusBill Fenton Motorsports / Honda Civic Si74
22STBaas / HurleyAPR Motorsport / Volkswagen GTI74
23STBeede / CullenBill Fenton Motorsports / Honda Civic Si74
24STSalama / TurnerTurner Motorsport / BMW 328i74
25STBarrett / SweeneyAPR Motorsport / Volkswagen GTI74
26STRoach / SchwartzottCompass360 Racing / Honda Civic Si74
27STNonnamaker / SahlenTeam Sahlen / Mazda RX-874
28GSKozarov / RossbergCA Sport / Ford Mustang GT74
29STMiller / PobstCompass360 Racing / Honda Civic Si74
30STDanyliw / SchmidtGS Motorsports / Chevrolet Cobalt SS73
31STKennedy / LondonNext Generation Motorsports / BMW 33073
32STMeyer / WilsonMeyer Motorsports / Mazda RX-872
33STCarbonell / WhiteFreedom Autosport / Mazda MX-572
34GSGrigsby Jr / HeathCardiosport Racing / Porsche 99772
35STArnold / SchultzV-Pack Motorsport / BMW Z471
36GSPanzer / SnyderCMA Motorsports / Ford Mustang GT71
37GSBoden / JenkinsFall-Line Motorsports / BMW M370
38GSTaylor / WebbNext Generation Motorsports / BMW 33070
39STHarding / MilarcikPirate Motorsports / Mazda RX-869
40GSEspenlaub / PutmanAutomatic Racing / BMW M368
41GSEllis / WellonRanger Sports Racing / Porsche 99763
42STSmalley / ToussaintRSR Motorsports / Mini Cooper S61
43STLong / WhitisFreedom Autosport / Mazda MX-561
44STDavis / SmithMaxwell Paper Racing / Mazda RX-859
45GSDiLeo / SellersMaxwell Paper Racing / Porsche 99758
46STBovenberg / Lepper / PerezTeam Cobalt California / Chevrolet Cobalt SS56
47GSHillestad / WaddellAutomatic Racing / BMW M355
48STFlint / MarquardtMeyer Motorsports / Mazda RX-854
49STBurrows / HopwoodRSR Motorsports / Mini Cooper S52
50GSBengoa / OrtizRehagen Racing / Ford Mustang GT52
51GSJames / NastasiBlackforest Motorsports / Dodge Challenger48
52STBurdette / FriedmanV-Pack Motorsport / BMW 33043
53STLeroux / LerouxLRT Racing / Acura TSX42
54STFoster / SkeltonHyper Sport / Mazda RX-838
55GSLally / PotterTRG / Porsche 99737
56GSBocchino / LambKinetic Motorsports / BMW M336
57GSCanney / PlumbHorsepower Ranch / Ford Mustang GT33
58STGilsinger / SchmittHART / Honda Civic Si20
59GSAckley / TurnerCMA Motorsports / Ford Mustang GT13
60STLeverone / McHaffieFlatout Motorsports / Mazda MX-510
61GSGullatta / ReenRehagen Racing / Ford Mustang GT5
62STBuford / TrinklerRSR Motorsports / Mini Cooper S5
63STCharbonneau / Van SteenburgRunwhatyabrung Racing / Dodge SRT42
64STO'Doski / SaidFreedom Autosport / Mazda MX-5Did Not Start
65STCohen / IstookIstook's Motorsports / Audi TTDid Not Start
66GSEllis / WellonRanger Sports Racing / Porsche 997Did Not Start
67GSBarretto / KahangiFall-Line Motorsports / BMW M3Did Not Start
68GSJeannette / JonssonKinetic Motorsports / BMW M3Did Not Start
69GSSlone / WoodmanHyper Sport / Ford Mustang GTDid Not Start

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