Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., scored his 24th career World Challenge win in his 100th start, taking the GT class win at Mosport International Raceway, part of the Victoria Day Speedfest presented by Optima Batteries. John Heinricy, of Holly, Mich., and Chip Herr, of Lilitz, Pa., earned the GTS and Touring Car wins, respectively.
Pobst led flag-to-flag in the No. 6 K-Pax Racing Volvo S60 to claim the win by 2.532-seconds, moving him into third place on the all-time win chart.
Pobst, teammate Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., and Montreal's Kuno Wittmer gapped the rest of the 30-car field early in the race. When Pilgrim's No. 8 K-Pax Racing Volvo S60 fell off the pace and out of the race with mechanical difficulties on lap 14, it left Pobst and Wittmer all alone.
Despite Wittmer's local knowledge of his home-country track, Pobst was able to hold off the No. 13 Dodge Viper and finish with his second win of the season. Pobst covered the 30-lap, 73.77-mile race in 42-minutes, 33.309-seconds for an average speed of 104.011 mph. Pobst also turned the fastest lap of the race with a 1:23.859 (105.563 mph), faster than the existing Mosport race record.
"I'm lucky to be part of this effort," Pobst said. "It's been quite an effort to develop this car. This weekend we learned a lot, making some suspension changes to help the handling. To come to a place like Mosport and be competitive is really a pleasure.
"I was helped by Andy [Pilgrim] and Kuno [Wittmer] battling at the beginning of the race. The traffic situations were really tough. I think most drivers were making an effort to do their best. The most exciting part of the race for me was when I put a pretty nice pass on a Porsche in Turn Nine, and I don't think he ever knew I was there—even though I was ahead of him—and ran into the side of me pretty hard.
"From then on, I was hearing all sorts of noises and coming around those fast corners wondering if one of the tires was going to let go. But the Toyos held up and the Volvo held up and we brought it home. I'm very happy for the K-Pax team and owner Jim Haughey."
After beginning the standing start from the second row in third position behind the two K-Pax Volvos, Wittmer chased Pobst throughout the race, and while looking for a win, was satisfied with the final result.
"The Dodge Motorsports Viper stayed really consistent," Wittmer said. "The Volvos were quick off the start and I tried to hang on to Andy [Pilgrim]. I was able to draft up to him and unfortunately he had a problem. It's disappointing when a guy you're having a good race with drops out. I was looking forward to trying to put a good pass on him at some point.
"When Andy dropped out, I set my sights on Randy. It was two-tenths here and two-tenths there and then maybe lose a tenth here or there. It was tough out there and it was hot. With 10 to go, some of the power steering fluid started to leak and it was a little tough to drive the car into the high-speed corners, like two. It took more effort and we lost a little time.
"I feel pretty good. We're sitting second in points which meets our goal—our objective right now at this stage of the season. We still have a lot of work to do, and we have another race tomorrow, so we'll put our heads down and do some more work."
Third place was inherited by Patrick Lindsey, of Santa Barbara, Calif., in the No. 57 Horton/Sloan Securities Porsche 911 GT3 when Pilgrim dropped out with a transmission cooler leak. For the final 10 laps, Lindsey fought to hold off defending Mosport race winner Jason Daskalos in the No. 5 Daskalos Developments Dodge Viper.
Despite repeated attempts and a last-corner desperation attempt by Daskalos to take third place, Lindsey earned his first career GT class podium finish.
"I had to fend off Jason Daskalos for a few laps there at the start," Lindsey said. "Unfortunately, we came together at 5B. He had a really fast racecar. I think he got the short end of the stick from our contact. I feel bad for him.
"I had a really pretty boring race until Jason drove back up to our car. It was a good race. It's a great track. We're really happy to be here racing, especially on Victoria Day weekend."
Daskalos fought back to fourth after falling back to as low as ninth, earning the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race for his move by Dino Crescentini on the outside of Turn Eight. Crescentini, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., finished fifth in the No. 4 Centric Parts/Stoptech/GMG Porsche 911 GT3.
Jeff Courtney (No. 99 Kenda Tire Dodge Viper), Tony Gaples (No. 29 Kleinschmidt/Blackdog Racing Chevrolet Corvette) and Rob Morgan (No. 46 TruSpeed Motorsports/Querencia Porsche 911 GT3) finished sixth through eighth respectively.
Toronto-native Fred Roberts (No. 89 Direct Energy Home Services Dodge Viper) earned his best career finish and strengthened his lead in the GameStreamer GT Rookie of the Year standings.
Tony Rivera (No. 97 Nissan/Brass Monkey Racing Nissan GT-R) finished tenth, and earned the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start award for advancing two positions on lap one.
With the win, Pobst has reclaimed the Drivers' Championship lead with 421 points through four of 12 rounds. Wittmer remains in second (400), followed by Crescentini (372), Pilgrim (334) and James Sofronas (290).
Volvo (27 points) now owns a slim lead in the Manufacturers' Championship, followed by Porsche (26) and Dodge (21).
In the GTS class, Heinricy and his No. 35 Torvec/Phoenix/Hawk Chevrolet Corvette pulled away from championship leader, polesitter Peter Cunningham, and slowly stretched his lead throughout the race, earning his sixth career World Challenge win with a 22.099-second margin of victory.
Heinricy, making his first World Challenge start since a July race at Portland International Raceway in 2005, turned the fastest GTS lap of the race with a time of 1:30.763 (97.533 mph).
"This is really a testament to the Corvettes that Joe Aquilante and his team put together," Heinricy said. "These are very stock cars but they make dynamite race cars. To run with the stock brakes with the help of Hawk pads and SKF with the wheel bearings really helped us out to make it through the race. Really, the opportunity was helped by Torvec and the isotorque differential I've been working with them on. I think the differential really helped keep the tires underneath the car today.
"The car was perfect the whole race. It really ran good."
Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., and Tyler McQuarrie, who won the Round Three contest at Long Beach, battled for second for nearly the entire 30 laps. McQuarrie's No. 19 LPL/DRS/Switcars/LCS/Dayco/M&T Lotus Exige S was in front for the first six laps, before Cunningham took second place from the Walnut Creek, Calif. driver with a pass entering turn eight at the end of the long backstraight. On lap 24, McQuarrie worked back past Cunningham's No. 43 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX and, despite sliding sideways through a number of Mosport's fast corners, the drifting star-turned-road racer earned the runner-up finish.
McQuarrie was presented the MTM Special Ops Move of the Race for recovering to finish second.
Cunningham finished third, followed by teammate Nick Esayian in the No. 34 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX.
Cunningham remains in the Drivers' Championship lead, holding a 57-point gap over Esayian. Acura has a commanding lead in the GTS Manufacturers' Championship.
The tightest race of the three classes came in the Touring Car battle, where the Scion tC machines of Robert Stout, of Brownsburg, Ind., and Tom Lepper, of Benecia, Calif., and the Irish Mike's Racing Volkswagen Jetta GLIs of Herr and Greg Shaffer, of Harrisonburg, Va., looked poised for a four car battle early.
Polesitter Stout pulled out to an early lead in the No. 18 DG-Spec/Scion/TRD/Lucas Oil Scion tC, gapping the other three drivers through the first 12 laps. An off-course excursion by Shaffer in the No. 49 Irish Mike's Racing machine sent him to pit lane to check for damage.
That left Herr, in the No. 50 Irish Mike's Racing Volkswagen Jetta GLI, and Lepper, in the No. 36 DG Spec/Scion/TRD/Lepper & Associates Scion tC, to chase down Stout. Together, they caught the 18-year-old Touring Car Championship leader and, after hounding him for a handful of laps in a three-car nose-to-tail train, left themselves in position to strike.
When Stout ran wide in Turn Five, both Herr and Lepper got by and immediately pulled away from Stout. Lepper remained in Herr's tire tracks for the remaining 12 laps, but couldn't complete a pass for the lead.
At the finish, Herr was ahead of Lepper by just 0.224-second. The win was the third for Irish Mike's Racing after Todd Buras' sweep of St. Petersburg, and the seventh career World Challenge win for Herr in his first start of the season.
"I was worried what was going to happen in front of us, starting with the Touring Cars at the back of the field," Herr, who started fourth, said. "We funneled into Turn One and I fell back to fifth. I just put my head down—I knew it was going to be a 50-minute race.
"When you're in fifth, you just don't know what's going to happen. My teammate slid off. Robert [Stout] just went wide in 5B. I don't know if he looked in his mirror, but he just went over the table-top and went a car width wide. I took my regular line and went by and I'm sure Tom did the same.
"Mike Flynn has worked hard to develop these Volkswagens and I feel like I had the easy job today to just jump in the car and drive. It was a great day."
Herr's advancement of six positions overall earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award for the race.
Lepper's runner-up finish was his first World Challenge podium in five career starts.
Eric Meyer, driving the No. 32 XOWii/Samaritan's Feet/Delvira Mazda RX-8, managed to catch and pass Stout on the final lap of the race for his second-consecutive podium finish.
Stout finished fourth, followed by Robb Holland in the No. 22 Track Pro/Emich VW Volkswagen GTI.
Including bonus points for pole positon and most laps led, Stout (460 points) was able to stretch his lead in the Touring Car Drivers' Championship over Eric Meyer (376). Scion (31 points) now leads the Touring Car Manufacturers' Championship by four points over Volkswagen, ahead of Mazda (16) and Honda (13).
The World Challenge Championships' Round Five takes place at Mosport on Sunday afternoon.
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario - Results from Saturday's 30-lap, 73.77-mile World Challenge Championship Round Four race presented by Optima Batteries, part of the Victoria Day Speedfest at Mosport, with finishing position, class, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps, distance behind winner and reason out (if any).
1. GT, (1), Randy Pobst, Gainesville, Ga., Volvo S60, 30.
2. GT, (3), Kuno Wittmer, Montreal, Quebec, Dodge Viper, 30, -2.532.
3. GT, (4), Patrick Lindsey, Santa Barbara, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3, 30, -29.610.
4. GT, (5), Jason Daskalos, Albuquerque, N.M., Dodge Viper, 30, -30.085.
5. GT, (7), Dino Crescentini, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3, 30, -40.688.
6. GT, (6), Jeff Courtney, Milwaukee, Wis., Dodge Viper, 30, -49.537.
7. GT, (8), Tony Gaples, Libertyville, Ill., Chevrolet Corvette, 30, -52.949.
8. GT, (10), Rob Morgan, Costa Mesa, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3, 30, -1:16.391.
9. GT, (9), Fred Roberts(R), Toronto, Ontario, Dodge Viper, 30, -1:30.123.
10. GT, (13), Tony Rivera, Missouri City, Texas, Nissan GT-R, 29, -1 lap.
11. GT, (12), Charles Morgan, Dallas, Texas, Porsche 911 GT3, 29, -1 lap.
12. GT, (14), William Ziegler, Jacksonville, Fla., Porsche 911 GT3, 29, -1 lap.
13. GT, (11), Steve Ott(R), Houston, Texas, Nissan GT-R, 28, -2 laps.
14. GTS, (17), John Heinricy, Holly, Mich., Chevrolet Corvette, 28, -2 laps.
15. GTS, (18), Tyler McQuarrie(R), Walnut Creek, Calif., Lotus Exige S, 28, -2 laps.
16. GTS, (16), Peter Cunningham, Milwaukee, Wis., Acura TSX, 28, -2 laps.
17. GTS, (19), Nick Esayian, San Diego, Calif., Acura TSX, 27, -3 laps.
18. TC, (24), Chip Herr, Lititz, Pa., Volkswagen Jetta GLI, 27, -3 laps.
19. TC, (22), Tom Lepper(R), Benicia, Calif., Scion tC, 27, -3 laps.
20. TC, (25), Eric Meyer(R), Indianapolis, Ind., Mazda RX-8, 27, -3 laps.
21. TC, (21), Robert Stout(R), Brownsburg, Ind., Scion tC, 27, -3 laps.
22. TC, (26), Robb Holland, Denver, Colo., VW GTI, 26, -4 laps.
23. TC, (28), Don Istook, Fort Worth, Texas, Volkswagen GTI, 26, -4 laps.
24. TC, (29), Brett Sandberg(R), Allendale, N.J., Acura TSX, 26, -4 laps.
25. TC, (27), Charlie Solomon(R), Waxahachie, Texas, Mazda RX-8, 25, -5 laps.
26. TC, (23), Greg Shaffer(R), Harrisonburg, Va., Volkswagen Jetta GLI, 24, -6 laps.
27. GT, (2), Andy Pilgrim, Boca Raton, Fla., Volvo S60, 14, Mech.
28. GT, (15), Scott Bove, Conifer, Colo., Porsche 911 GT3, 1, Mech.
29. GTS, (20), Paul Dagis(R), Trois-Riveres, Quebec, BMW M3, 0, DNS.
30. TC, (30), Shea Holbrook(R), Groveland, Fla., Honda Civic Si, 0, DNS.
Time of race: 42 minutes, 33.309 seconds.
Average speed: 104.011 mph, Record
Margin of victory: 2.532 Seconds
Lap leaders: Laps 1-30, #6 Randy Pobst
Fastest race lap: #6 Randy Pobst, 1:23.859 (105.563 mph), Record
Fastest qualifier: #6 Randy Pobst, 1:23.439 (106.094 mph)
Sunoco Hard Charger: #50 Chip Herr advanced six positions
MTM Special Ops Move of the Race: #19 Tyler McQuarrie
Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race: #5 Jason Daskalos over #4 Crescentini
Optima Batteries Best Standing Start: #97 Tony Rivera