World Challenge Concludes 2010 By Honoring Champions In Salt Lake City SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (October 7, 2010) -- The World Challenge Championships concluded the 2010 season on Sunday night with a Champions' Banquet in the Grand Ballroom of the...
World Challenge Concludes 2010 By Honoring Champions In Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (October 7, 2010) -- The World Challenge Championships concluded the 2010 season on Sunday night with a Champions' Banquet in the Grand Ballroom of the Grand American Hotel in Salt Lake City.
Tom Hnatiw, the voice of World Challenge, hosted the gala that gathered competitors, teams, family and friends to honor Randy Pobst, Peter Cunningham, and Robert Stout as the newly-crowned Drivers' Champions, and Volvo, Acura and Scion as the newly-crowned Manufacturers' Champions.
Pobst took his fourth career GT Drivers' Championship this season, and, along with teammate Andy Pilgrim, helped Volvo to its first Manufacturers' Championship behind the wheel of the No. 6 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60. Pobst took the title on the strength of four wins and eight pole positions through the season, also earning his team the Team Championship.
Pobst credited his team for his success throughout the season.
"I'm an airhead," Pobst admitted to laughs on the podium. "These people, over at K-PAX racing, know when I put my helmet on and get in the race car, all of a sudden I'm a different person. It's up to K-PAX Racing to take me by the hands and lead me around. A special thanks to the families of everyone on this team, because the amount of work that these guys put in is incredible. That's the effort that goes into this, and I love them for it."
Cunningham essentially rewrote the record books in the inaugural season of GTS competition. With World Challenge single-season records of eight wins and 10 pole positions, Cunningham extended his all-time best marks of 40 wins and 42 pole positions. His sixth Drivers' Championship is also a World Challenge record, as is the ninth Manufacturers' Championship to which he and teammate Nick Esayian helped Acura. Those honors added up to a Team Championship for the No. 43 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX entry.
"I have to thank Acura for 23 or 24 years of being with Honda and Acura, I couldn't do it without the equipment that they give us," Cunningham said while accepting his awards. "Of course, the RealTime gang. Thank you to those guys for their tireless efforts to make these Acuras handle so well and go so fast."
The 18-year-old Stout took the Touring Car Championship by storm, sweeping the Drivers' Championship, the GameStreamer Rookie-of-the-Year award, and helping Scion to a Manufacturers' Championship. Stout was the youngest race winner in Series history when he won at Long Beach, and four wins later became the youngest Champion in Series history. The No. 18 DG-Spec/Scion/Lucas Oil/TRD Scion tC team also captured the Touring Car Team Championship.
"I have so many people to thank for making this such a great season," Stout said. "The DG-Spec team, Scion, Lucas Oil, Rock Star, I couldn't have done it without that help. This season was so great and I'm already looking forward to next year with all of this great competition."
Stout also won the Sunoco Hard Charger award for advancing 59 overall positions throughout the season.
In addition to the Champions awards, all of the top drivers in the series were given special recognition. Fred Roberts and Ernie Jakubowski took home the GT and GTS GameStreamer Rookie-of-the-Year Awards, respectively. The teams of GMG Racing, RealTime Racing and XOWii Racing took home the Crew of the Year trophies in their respective classes. The Crew of the Year award is voted on by the teams in the paddock.
Two special awards were given during the course of the evening. The Jim Cook Memorial Trophy is given annually in honor of James Edwin Cook (1939-1985) to an entrant or diver who has made significant contributions to the overall success of World Challenge through promotional activities and a consistent display of good character and sportsmanship. This year's winner, Eric Meyer, joined previous winners Pilgrim, WC Vision co-chair Bob Woodhouse, and WC Vision Director of Operations Scott Bove on the stage to receive the award. The Zimmermann Cup, an annual award presented in the memory of multi-time Championship winning crew chief Jerome Zimmermann (1967-2003) to the team member that best exemplifies the similar passion, dedication and success that Zimmermann had in World Challenge went to Rick Maxwell, of Woodhouse Performance.
Prior to the awards presentation, WC Vision co-chairs Woodhouse and Cunningham, and SCCA Pro Racing President Bob Wildberger each addressed those in attendance. While no official announcements were made, each discussed the successful season after off season changes, citing the cooperation between WC Vision, SCCA Pro Racing, and the staff and competitors and hinted at more positive changes for 2011.
Stan Chen, of Toyo Tires, was presented with a helmet autographed by each driver in the World Challenge Championships as a token of the dedication that Toyo showed during its 10-season run as the exclusive tire supplier to the Championship.
-source: scca pro racing