Speed World Challenge Finals

Speed World Challenge Finals

Photography byMark Weber


Almost as soon as the start lights flickered off to begin the 2009 World Challenge GT Finale, the yellow flags came out and the pace car was deployed, so that workers could remove Dino Crescentini’s No. 4 StopTech/GMG Porsche 911 GT3 from the sand in Turn Three. On the ensuing lap five restart, second-starting James Sofronas in the No. 14 StopTech/GMG Porsche 911 GT3 was sandwiched between the No. 10 Applied Computer Solutions/SunMicro Ford Mustang GT of Davis and the No. 3 Applied Computer Solutions Ford Mustang Cobra of Boris Said. Sofronas was not keen on spending any more time between the teammates, and made his move to the inside of Davis in Turn Two to take the lead on lap six. The pass earned Sofronas the AutoWeek Move of the Race Award.

From there, Sofronas, of Newport Beach, CA, never looked back capturing his second SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Presented by Toyo Tires win of the season, taking the checkered flag at the Applied Computer Solutions Monterey Sports Car Championship Presented by Bondurant. Sofronas’ victory handed the SPEED World Challenge GT Manufacturers’ Championship Presented by RACER Magazine to Porsche.

Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, GA, and Eric Curran, of Easthampton, MA, completed the podium at Mazda 

ST3_0367_optRaceway Laguna Seca. Finishing fourth, Brandon Davis, of Huntington Beach, CA, claimed his first World Challenge GT Championship.

Finals Touring Car Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, FL, led Sunday’s Applied Computer Solutions Monterey Sports Car Championships Presented by Bondurant from start-to-finish and captured his fifth SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Presented by Toyo Tires Championship. Teammate Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, WI, and James Clay, of Blacksburg, VA, completed the podium at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Kleinubing started his No. 42 Acura/RealTime/Red Line Acura TSX on the pole, and knew he had to win if he was to have a chance to secure the Drivers’ Championship and the Manufacturers’ Championship Presented by RACER Magazine for Acura. He did just that, taking the lead on the standing start and leading every lap to secure his second win of 2009, the 29th of his career.

Kleinubing tied Cunningham and Michael Galati in securing his fifth World Challenge Championship - all of Kleinubing’s have come in the Touring Car class while Cunningham and Galati have won in multiple categories. Kleinubing finished with 973 points to Jason Saini’s 960 while defending Champion Cunningham finished third, with 921.

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