World Challenge Champions Honored in Atlanta BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 4, 2008) -- Following the exciting season finale at Road Atlanta, the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge paddock gathered at the Gwinnett Place Marriott to celebrate the ...
World Challenge Champions Honored in Atlanta
BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 4, 2008) -- Following the exciting season finale at Road Atlanta, the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge paddock gathered at the Gwinnett Place Marriott to celebrate the accomplishments of the 2008 season.
Family played an important role in the night's festivities. Peter Cunningham was accompanied by daughter Audrey to the stage to accept his 2008 SCCA SPEED Touring Car Drivers' Championship. With his trophy in one hand, and daughter in the other, Cunningham thanked his wife Rainey and RealTime crew for their support throughout the season, with special emphasis on teammates Kuno Wittmer and Pierre Kleinubing, who fought hard for the 2008 Championship all the way to the end.
To accept his second-consecutive SPEED GT Drivers' Championship, Randy Pobst brought his father Gene with him to the podium. Gene Pobst made a point to thank the SPEED World Challenge competitors and staff for the excellent jobs they do before handing the mic over to Randy for his acceptance speech, which he closed by encouraging all drivers to always race with the utmost respect for each other and keep racing clean.
No strangers to the SPEED World Challenge banquet stage, Porsche and Acura both had representatives on hand to accept their SPEED World Challenge Manufacturers' Championships Presented by RACER Magazine. It was the seventh Championship for each.
A year after accepting his 2007 Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship trophy, Jason Saini climbed the steps to the SPEED World Challenge banquet stage to accept his SPEED Touring Car Rookie of the Year prize. Saini expressed his gratefulness to Mazda for their MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder program and his eagerness to return to the series next season.
Gunter Schaldach made his way to the podium with daughter Lala in hand, for whom his team is named. Upon accepting his SPEED GT Rookie of the Year trophy, Schaldach reflected on his roots as a club racer, and the importance of a good crew when making the transition to professional racing.
As voted on by the teams of the paddock, Tindol Motorsports was awarded the SPEED Touring Car Crew of the Year Award and Team Remington Cadillac the SPEED GT Crew of the Year Award.
Advancing more positions from grid to checkered flag than anybody else, Tony Gaples and Seth Thomas were presented with the Sunoco Hard Charger of the Year Awards in SPEED GT and SPEED Touring Car, respectively.
Tindol Motorsports owner Chris Tindol received the Zimmermann Cup, awarded in memory of Championship-winning RealTime crew chief Jerome Zimmermann. Tindol was selected for his limitless enthusiasm and passion for World Challenge racing. A surprised Tindol thanked the paddock for the great competition and reminded the room that only a couple years ago, he was watching them all on TV, wishing for his own World Challenge team.
The Jim Cook Memorial Trophy was presented to Woodhouse Performance team owner and WCVision Co-Chairman Bob Woodhouse. The honor is annually bestowed upon a participant who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to promote the series and has made significant contributions to the success of the series. In addition to the way in which he motivates the entire paddock to strive for their best, it's hard to imagine WCVision could have come together without Woodhouse's charismatic personality.
The night, which was presented by Toyo Tires®, closed with a toast to the champions by Tom Hnatiw, the banquet emcee and voice of World Challenge. The paddock and fans now wait anxiously for the 2009 season to begin.
-credit: scca pro racing