World Challenge is one of the least expensive ways to go professional racing, with relatively unmodified sports and sporty cars that look pretty much like the ones you'll find at your local dealership. StopTech has always been right at home in this type of racing because this is where we cut our teeth. The brakes we have developed for this type of racing have been delivering added benefits to the brakes you can get for your street cars. Production based racing, whether at the professional or amateur level, gives us a rolling laboratory to continue our research and development. Born in the extremes of racing, StopTech and Power Slot brake systems are designed to deliver championship winning results even in your daily commute. World Challenge is a natural fit.
The lowest rung on the World Challenge ladder is Touring Car, or TC. Last but not least certainly applies here, with Hondas, Volkswagens, Mazdas, Volvos and the like ripping around Laguna Seca in about 1:40 flat. To put that in perspective, the Dodge Viper ACR holds the production car record at this track at 1:33. In Sunday's race, the top three finishers - Lawson Aschenbach, Tristan Herbert and Robb Holland - were all running Power Slots or StopTechs. Aschenbach actually had to start at the back of the field after missing Saturday's qualifying, but the Compass360 Civic was at the front when the checkers flew after an impressive charge through the field by Lawson. His great launch that brought him from ninth to fourth on the very first lap earned him the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start Award. The win also clinched the championship for this young driver.
The middle rung of the World Challenge ladder is GTS, or Grand Touring Sport. This class features Mustangs, Camaros and a pair of tweaked Acura TSX race cars. These cars run 1:36 laps around Mazda Raceway and are among the most evenly matched cars on the grid. Paul Brown’s GTS class flag-to-flag win in the No. 50 One Hour Heating and Air/Luminox/Kenny Brown Ford Mustang Boss 302S clinched his first career World Challenge title. Brown qualified his StopTech-equipped Boss 302S on the pole, pulled away at the start, and hustled to a 2.713-second margin of victory.
The top class in World Challenge is Grand Touring. This is where the Porsches, Corvettes, Volvos and Cadillacs come to play. The top cars can run a lap in under 1:28 here. While the GMG Porsche of James Sofronas was still in the hunt for the championship as late as the last lap, a collision with a slower car dropped him to tenth. The championship went instead to Patrick Long, who does double duty with the Flying Lizards in ALMS from time-to-time.
One more race remains on the World Challenge schedule, and even though the three championships are already decided, the race at Road Atlanta should be just as exciting as Laguna Seca.