There were many changes to the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge Championship in 2010. The first was the series title. The relationship with Speed TV had come to an end. The series new television partner was VERSUS, which aired ninety-minute spots of all twelve races on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

The decline in entries over the last two seasons resulted in the introduction of a third category and a reclassification of some cars. The newest division was called Grand Touring Sport and fit in between Grand Touring and Touring Car.

  • Grand Touring (GT) – This group included the series quickest cars: Porsche 911 GT3, Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper, Nissan GT-R and Volvo S60. The preparation rules remained unchanged from the previous year for these vehicles.
  • Grand Touring Sport (GTS) – These were many of the cars that competed in last year’s Touring Car class (Acura TSX, Honda Civic, BMW 325i and Mazda 6). Competitors from the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge were also able to participate using the Ford Mustang FR500S.
  • Touring Car (TC) – Touring Cars were not allowed many of the modifications permitted by the 2009 rules. The preparation of the vehicles was more closely aligned with Grand-Am Cup and the Sports Car Club of America’s Improved Touring classes. Makes competing in the category included the Scion tC, Mazda RX-8, Honda Civic, Mazda Speed 3, Volkswagen Jetta and Golf.

2010 also marked the end of races for each group. In the new season, all classes competed in the same contest – 1996 was the last time that different categories competed together.

The World Challenge Championship kicked off at St. Petersburg, Florida, in March as a support event for the IndyCar series. In previous years, the series shared race weekends with the American Le Mans Series, but in 2010 World Challenge began competing at more IndyCar venues. The season ended mid-September at Miller Motorsports Park. In all, there were a total of twelve races at eight different tracks (Streets of St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Mosport, Watkins Glen, Toronto, Mid-Ohio, Virginia International Raceway and Miller Motorsports Park).

Rounds one and two of the 2010 World Challenge champion were conducted at Saint Petersburg, Florida. Competitors in the Grand Touring, Grand Touring Sport and Touring Car classes would race in two fifty-minute contests around the fourteen-turn 1.800-mile temporary street course. The teams and series officials were fortunate that the heavy rains held off until after Sunday’s race. The IndyCar event was postponed until Monday.

The Grand Touring Sport podium for round two at the Streets of Saint Petersburg. The RealTime team swept the weekend with the results from round one repeated on Sunday. In the center is the winner and team principal, Peter Cunningham. On the right is 2009 World Challenge GT champion, Brandon Davis who captured the runner-up position. Completing the rostrum is the third-place finisher, Nick Esayian.
Randy Pobst led the season’s first race flag-to-flag. His victory was made that much easier when fellow front row starter, Dino Crescentini pitted on the formation lap with an electrical issue. On Sunday, pole-sitter, Pobst was the one to suffer misfortune. The engine in K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 began to overheat early in the race forcing him to pit. Pobst returned to the contest two-laps down and finished fourteenth in class.
Despite being challenged by slower and faster traffic during the weekend, RealTime Racing team principal, Peter Cunningham led both rounds one and two flag-to-flag. These results gave the driver of the No. 43 Acura TSX, his thirty-third and thirty-fourth wins in World Challenge competition. It also allowed Cunningham to take a commanding lead in the Grand Touring Sport title chase.
Dino Crescentini driving the No. 4 GMG prepared Porsche 911 GT3 qualified on the outside of the front row for the first race of the season. Unfortunately for Crescentini, the Porsche developed an electrical issue on the formation lap and he pitted. His race went much better the following day. Starting second, Crescentini got away first and led the entire contest – scoring his third World Challenge series career victory.
Series rookie, Robert Stout raced TRD/Lucas Oil sponsored Scion tC. Stout started round one third in the Touring Car class and challenged the leaders, Todd Buras and Mark Hein. When Hein retired, he inherited a second place finish. It was much the same on Sunday until a mid-race caution caused him to lose a lap to Todd Buras. Unable to overcome this deficit, he scored his second runner-up result of the weekend.
Todd Buras made things difficult for himself in his first World Challenge outing. In race one, Buras found himself staged ahead of his assigned starting spot and backed-up. Unfortunately, he was still in reverse when the starting lights went out and lost several positions. Buras chased down the other TC competitors and earned the victory. Round two went much better; he regained a couple of places lost at the start and won.
2009 World Challenge GT champion, Brandon Davis was a late entry. Davis joined his former teammates, Peter Cunningham and Nick Esayian driving an Acura TSX in the GTS division. As a late addition to the entry list, he did not participate in qualifying and started at the back of the grid for both rounds. On Saturday and Sunday, Davis worked his way through the field and finished second in class.
World Challenge veteran, James Sofronas drove the No. 14 GMG prepared Porsche 911 GT3. Sofronas qualified third on Saturday but inherited second when his teammate, Dino Crescentini retired. During the race, he lost a position to Andy Pilgrim and finished third. The following day, an aggressive pass on Pilgrim netted Sofronas the runner-up position and gave him the GT points lead heading to Long Beach.
Sunday’s World Challenge Touring Car podium at the Streets of Saint Petersburg. On the left is the local competitor and third place finisher, Mark Hein and to the far right is the runner-up, Robert Stout. Between these two is the race winner, Todd Buras. For Stout and Buras this was a repeat of Saturday’s finishing order.
K-PAX Racing entered two Volvo S60s in the 2010 World Challenge series. The No. 8 Volvo was driven by the 2005 Grand Touring champion, Andy Pilgrim. In round one, Pilgrim was gridded fourth but with the demise of Dino Crescentini and a pass on James Sofronas, he finished behind his teammate, Randy Pobst. Pobst’s retirement on Sunday allowed Pilgrim, to capture the final position on the GT podium.
Local racer, Mark Hein driving the No. 38 Honda Civic Si was the quickest Touring Car competitor. On Saturday, Hein was first in class when he lost the lead to Todd Buras on the lap-16 restart. He was challenged by the Scion of Robert Stout until lap-28 when he retired with a flat tire. The following day, he battled with Buras and Stout and captured the final position on the Touring Car podium.
RealTime Racing entered three Acura TSX for the opening rounds of the 2010 World Challenge series. Peter Cunningham and Nick Esayian were scheduled to compete in all the races with Brandon Davis being a late addition to the Saint Petersburg event. Esayian drove the No. 34 Acura and had a steady run both days – he started the season with a pair of third-place finishes in the Grand Touring Sport category.
Robert Stout’s teammate, Dan Gardner drove the No. 36 Scion tC. Gardner was gridded seventh in class for the season’s first race and captured the final spot on the podium when Mark Hein retired. His efforts during the contest earned him the Sunoco Hard Charger of the Race award for advancing the most positions. On Sunday, Gardner finished fourth and was again, the recipient of the Hard Charger award.
The overall and Grand Touring class podium for Sunday’s round of World Challenge series at the Streets of Saint Petersburg. On the right side of the podium is the runner-up and points leader, James Sofronas. And, on the left side is the driver of the No. 8 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 and third place finisher, Andy Pilgrim. In the center, and earning some redemption for Saturday’s results is the winner, Dino Crescentini.

11GTRandy PobstVolvo S6033-
22GTAndy PilgrimVolvo S6033-
33GTJames SofronasPorsche 911 GT333-
44GTPatrick LindseyPorsche 911 GT333-
55GTBrian KubinskiChevrolet Corvette33-
66GTKuno WittmerDodge Viper33-
77GTTony RiveraNissan GT-R33-
88GTRob MorganPorsche 911 GT333-
99GTTony GaplesChevrolet Corvette33-
1010GTJeff CourtneyDodge Viper33-
1111GTCharles MorganPorsche 911 GT333-
1212GTJason DaskalosDodge Viper32-
131GTSPeter CunninghamAcura TSX32-
142GTSBrandon DavisAcura TSX32-
153GTSNick EsayianAcura TSX32-
161TCTodd BurasVolkswagen Jetta GLI31-
174GTSMichael PettifordPontiac Solstice GXP31-
182TCRobert StoutScion tC31-
193TCDan GardnerScion tC30-
204TCBrett SandbergAcura TSX30-
215TCEric MeyerMazda RX-830-
226TCShea HolbrookHonda Civic Si30-
237TCMark HeinHonda Civic Si28Tire
248TCAlexander LvovHonda Civic Si20Mechanical
2513GTFred RobertsDodge Viper10Clutch
2614GTDino CrescentiniPorsche 911 GT310Electrical
275GTSTom LepperPontiac Solstice GXP9Electrical
286GTSKevin HelmsHonda Civic Si6Steering
299TCTony WedderburnChevrolet Cobalt SS6Mechanical
3015GTSSteve OttAcura TSX0Accident
3116GTWilliam ZieglerPorsche 911 GT30Accident

11GTDino CrescentiniPorsche 911 GT331-
22GTJames SofronasPorsche 911 GT331-
33GTAndy PilgrimVolvo S6031-
44GTJason DaskalosDodge Viper31-
55GTKuno WittmerDodge Viper31-
66GTRob MorganPorsche 911 GT331-
77GTBrian KubinskiChevrolet Corvette31-
88GTTony RiveraNissan GT-R31-
99GTJeff CourtneyDodge Viper31-
1010GTTony GaplesChevrolet Corvette31-
1111GTCharles MorganPorsche 911 GT331-
1212GTWilliam ZieglerPorsche 911 GT331-
1313GTFred RobertsDodge Viper31-
141GTSPeter CunninghamAcura TSX30-
152GTSBrandon DavisAcura TSX30-
163GTSNick EsayianAcura TSX30-
174GTSKevin HelmsHonda Civic Si30-
181TCTodd BurasVolkswagen Jetta GLI30-
1914GTRandy PobstVolvo S6029-
202TCRobert StoutScion tC29-
217TCMark HeinHonda Civic Si29-
223TCDan GardnerScion tC29-
235TCEric MeyerMazda RX-829-
246TCShea HolbrookHonda Civic Si28-
254TCBrett SandbergAcura TSX28-
264GTSMichael PettifordPontiac Solstice GXP15Steering
274GTPatrick LindseyPorsche 911 GT311Accident
2815GTSSteve OttAcura TSX9Wheel
295GTSTom LepperPontiac Solstice GXP9Mechanical
309TCTony WedderburnChevrolet Cobalt SS8Mechanical
318TCAlexander LvovHonda Civic Si0Did Not Start

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