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Laguna Seca: Season finale preview

To The Wire: SPEED World Challenge Championships Will Be Decided At Laguna This Weekend MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 19, 2006) -- The 2006 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT and Touring Car Championships will be decided this weekend at the 10th...

To The Wire: SPEED World Challenge Championships Will Be Decided At Laguna This Weekend

MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 19, 2006) -- The 2006 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT and Touring Car Championships will be decided this weekend at the 10th and final round of the season, held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Five different point races remain up for grabs, with only Acura securing the SCCA SPEED Touring Car Manufacturers' Championship Presented by RACER Magazine prior to the season finale.

With the Touring Car Manufacturers' title confirmed, Pierre Kleinubing can focus solely on capturing his fourth Drivers' Championship, and first since 2001. The driver of the No. 42 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Racing Acura TSX has an 11-point lead over Randy Pobst, driver of the No. 73 Mazdaspeed/TriPoint Motorsports Mazda 6. Pobst won the most recent round at Road Atlanta in dominating fashion, and gained more than a dozen points in the process.

In the Piloti Rookie of the Year race for SPEED Touring Car, Jeff Courtney can sew up the honor with a solid run at Laguna. The No. 99 MPI Coin/Karavan Trailer/Kenda Audi A4 driver has a 23-point advantage on Robb Holland (No. 67 3R-Racing/Dodge Mtspts Dodge SRT4).

In SPEED GT, the Drivers' Championship battle is even tighter, with five drivers having a mathematical shot at it and three drivers within eight points.

Rookie Lawson Aschenbach (No. 66 AXA Financial Porsche 911 GT3) is in the driver's seat on the Championship entering the finale, with a seven-point advantage over defending Drivers' Champion, and Road Atlanta winner Andy Pilgrim (No. 1 XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/On Star Cadillac CTS-V). Lou Gigliotti hopes to secure his fourth title and has the most wins on the season (two) in his No. 28 LG Pro Long Tube Header Chevrolet Corvette C6. Gigliotti is just one point behind Pilgrim.

The SPEED GT Manufacturers' Championship Presented by RACER is also tight. Dodge, which has never won a series Manufacturers' Championship, holds a five-point advantage over defending Champion Cadillac and five-time Champion Porsche. Both Cadillac and Porsche are pulling out the stops this weekend to try and catch Dodge, with Cadillac running three cars (Pilgrim, Max Angelelli and Johnny O'Connell) and Porsche recruiting former factory driver Randy Pobst to drive the At-Speed Motorsports 911.

The Piloti Rookie of the Year honor will go to a Jon Groom Racing driver, but the race will determine which one. Aschenbach holds a 25-point advantage over teammate Ricardo Imery (No. 64 AXA Financial/Cavenas Elevators Porsche 911 GT3) heading into the weekend.

There are a maximum of 37 drivers' points (five for qualifying, 32 in the race) and 10 manufacturers' points (one for pole, nine for a win) available in each class this weekend.

To follow all of the action, including Friday's practice, Saturday's qualifying and Sunday's races, please visit www.world-challenge.com and select the event home page. Live Timing and Scoring Presented by SRT and live session notes can be accessed via the SCCA Pit Board.

-credit: www.world-challenge.com

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Series PWC
Drivers Johnny O'Connell , Andy Pilgrim , Randy Pobst , Lawson Aschenbach , Pierre Kleinubing , Max Angelelli , Lou Gigliotti , Ricardo Imery , Jon Groom , Robb Holland
Teams RealTime Racing