TOPEKA, Kan. (March 24, 2005) – SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge makes its highly-anticipated season television debut this Sunday, with two full hours of SPEED GT and SPEED Touring Car action from the 53rd Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring blasting their way into more than 60 million SPEED Channel homes.-30-
World Challenge fans and enthusiasts who weren’t able to make it to the 3.7-mile Sebring International Raceway will get their first glimpse into what their favorite teams and drivers cooked up during the offseason by watching hour-long shows of both the SPEED GT and Touring Car races.
SPEED Touring Car leads off, scheduled to show at 1 p.m., followed by the SPEED GT race at 2 p.m. Both shows are scheduled to replay in their entirety in the same order beginning at on Thursday, March 31, at 3 p.m. All times are Eastern.
Two-time defending Sebring and Touring Car Drivers’ Champion Bill Auberlen is back in the No. 1 Turner Motorsports/H&R Springs BMW 325i, ready to start his run at a three-peat. He’ll have to battle the most successful driver in World Challenge history as Peter Cunningham (and his 28-career victories) slides back behind the wheel of an Acura for the first time in two years in the form of the No. 42 A-SPEC/RealTime Racing Acura TSX.
If Cunningham isn’t there at the end, a host of others including the Tri-Point Motorsport trio of Jeff Altenburg, 2004 Rookie of the Year Dino Crescentini and team newcomer Randy Pobst (2003 SPEED GT Champion) are locked and ready to rock with the team’s Mazdaspeed/Tri-Point Motorsport Mazda 6 effort.
Tommy Archer wowed everyone last year in SPEED GT, earning his first Drivers’ Championship despite winning just one race in the No. 22 c3controls/3R-Racing Dodge Viper. He’s back this year with the champion’s No. 1 on the door, and hopes to get his title defense started off on the right foot.
However, a hungry SPEED GT field of is primed to pick Archer off, including Lou Gigliotti, in the No. 28 LG Pro Long Tube Headers Corvette C6, Wolf Henzler (who is a perfect two-for-two after winning both starts last season) in the No. 55 Applied Materials/Jongbloed Wheels Porsche 911 Cup, and “Mad” Max Papis, who makes his debut as a driver for Team Cadillac in the No. 16 XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/Bose/On Star Cadillac CTS-V, which dominated this event a year ago.
The SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge next heads to St. Petersburg, Fla., April 1-3, as part of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. For more information, visit www.world-challenge.com.
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