Winkler held on to finish third, the second of the Mustangs converted from the recently completed Ford Racing Mustang Challenge based at Miller Motorsports Park, to cross the finish line.
Nick Esayian capped a career-best runner-up season in the Drivers' Championship with a fourth-place finish in Utah. Driving the No. 34 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX, Esayian also teamed with Cunningham to bring Acura a record ninth World Challenge Manufacturers' Championship, breaking a tie with Porsche.
Oli Thordarson finished fifth in his World Challenge debut behind the wheel of the No. 23 Alvaka Networks/Exposites.com Chevrolet Corvette.
Ernie Jakubowski was one of the cars who passed Cunningham at the start from his sixth position on the GTS grid, but cut a tire on lap one and finished 13th in GTS. That finish, however, clinched the GameStreamer GTS Rookie of the Year award for Jakubowski.
Stout's Touring Car win in the Series finale was an exclamation point to the rookie's first season of professional racing.
Stout started sixth in the Touring Car class and got a tremendous launch from the standing start, propelling him past polesitter Taylor Hacquard, Jeff Mosing (No. 08 Frank's International Mazda RX-8), Eric Meyer, Pierre Kleinubing, and Robb Holland and into the lead on the opening lap to earn the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start award.
In the lead, but not clear of the field, Stout's No. 18 DG-Spec/Scion/TRD/Lucas Oil Scion tC, locked into a wheel-to-wheel battle with Hacquard's No. 31 Mazda/Cybernation MAZDASPEED3 and Holland's No. 22 3Zero3 Motorsports/Track Pro/Emich VW Volkswagen GTI. Hacquard officially led lap five, and the trio continued to battle – so closely that Stout's right-side mirror was knocked loose.
Stout and Hacquard swapped positions numerous times, with the 18-year-old Stout claiming the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race award on lap seven with a Turn 15 pass for the lead. Holland remained just behind, ready to capitalize on any mistakes the leaders may have made.
Bad luck struck Hacquard and Holland in separate lap 10 instances, however. Holland had the hood of his VW fly open on the front straight and pulled off the track in Turn 1, while Hacquard was shown a mechanical black flag and forced to pit to repair defective rear brake lights. The developments essentially left Stout alone on the track, relegating the two front-runners to the end of the Touring Car field at the finish.
Despite the No. 1 Mazda/Cybernation MAZDASPEED3 of Kleinubing lurking seconds behind for most of the race, Stout maintained his lead and crossed the finish line with a 6.909sec margin of victory. Stout also earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award for improving eight positions overall from start to finish.
The win punctuated a season that saw the 18-year-old become the youngest World Challenge Drivers' Champion, the GameStreamer Touring Car Rookie of the Year, clinch a Team Championship for DG-Spec, and a Manufacturers' Championship for Scion.
“This has been such a fantastic season,” Stout said. “Lucas Oil and Rockstar Energy have been so supportive of us and helped us win the Championship, Rookie of the Year, the Team and Manufacturers' Championships. Almost everything you can get, I was able to claim this year and I couldn't do that without so many people helping me out.
“I got a great start, and didn't expect to have the first spot in Turn 1, but I managed to. Rob Holland and one of the I-MOTO cars [Hacquard] were right there and we were swapping positions left and right. Next thing I know, the I-MOTO car is getting black flagged and Rob had some technical trouble and I just was able to pull a gap over Kleinubing and we came out with the victory. What a fantastic way to end the season.”
Kleinubing, of Coconut Beach, Fla., finished second in his first race in the World Challenge Championships in 2010. Kleinubing was, however, entitled to run the No. 1 plate as a nod to his 2009 Touring Car Championship.
Meyer, of Indianapolis, Ind., finished third in the race behind the wheel of his No. 32 XOWii/Samaritan's Feet/Delvira Mazda RX-8, leaving him second in the Drivers' Championship.
Tom Lepper, a teammate to Stout, finished fourth in the No. 36 DG-Spec/Scion/TRD/Lepper & Associates Scion tC, followed by Branden Peterson in the No. 64 Competition Clutch/Supertech Performance Honda Civic Si.
Michael Pettiford (No. 41 Go 4 It Racing Schools/Hawk Volkswagen Jetta GLI) finished sixth, followed by Mosing.
The Toyo Tires Utah Grand Prix Presented by Bondurant will be broadcast along with the doubleheader from VIRginia International Raceway on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 3 p.m. (Eastern) on Versus.
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TOOELE, Utah - Results from Sunday's 22-lap, 67.056-mile SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge Championship Round 12 race, the Toyo Tires Grand Prix of Utah Presented by Bondurant at Miller Motorsports Park, with finishing position, class, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps, distance behind winner and reason out (if any).
1. GT, (2), Kuno Wittmer, Montreal, Quebec, Dodge Viper, 22.
2. GT, (3), Andy Pilgrim, Boca Raton, Fla., Volvo S60, 22, -.346.
3. GT, (1), Randy Pobst, Gainesville, Ga., Volvo S60, 22, -10.142.
4. GT, (4), Jeff Courtney, Milwaukee, Wis., Dodge Viper, 22, -17.399.
5. GT, (7), James Sofronas, Newport Beach, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3, 22, -19.452.
6. GT, (6), Jason Daskalos, Albuquerque, N.M., Dodge Viper, 22, -25.688.
7. GT, (8), Rob Morgan, Conway, Ark., Porsche 911 GT3, 22, -53.407.
8. GT, (9), Fred Roberts(R), Toronto, Ontario, Dodge Viper, 22, -1:23.523.
9. GT, (10), Bret Curtis, Westlake Village, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3, 22, -1:26.157.
10. GT, (11), William Ziegler, Jacksonville, Fla., Porsche 911 GT3, 22, -1:26.444.
11. GT, (12), Robert Prilika, Castle Rock, Colo., Porsche GT3 Cup, 22, -1:50.251.
12. GT, (5), Tony Gaples, Libertyville, Ill., Chevrolet Corvette, 22, -2:00.995.
13. GTS, (13), Peter Cunningham, Milwaukee, Wis., Acura TSX, 21, -1 lap.
14. GTS, (14), Ben Crosland(R), Salt Lake City, Utah, Ford Mustang FR500S, 21, -1 lap.
15. GTS, (15), George Winkler(R), Frederick, Md., Ford Mustang FR500S, 21, -1 lap.
16. GTS, (16), Nick Esayian, San Diego, Calif., Acura TSX, 21, -1 lap.
17. GTS, (21), Oli Thordarson(R), Trabuco Canyon, Calif., Chevrolet Corvette, 20, -2 laps.
18. GTS, (20), Pratt Cole(R), Salt Lake City, Utah, Ford Mustang FR500S, 20, -2 laps.
19. GTS, (22), Kris McCoy(R), Pleasant Grove, Utah, Acura RSX, 20, -2 laps.
20. GTS, (19), Richard Colinello(R), Tampa, Fla., Ford Mustang FR500S, 20, -2 laps.
21. GTS, (23), Brad Adams(R), New Orleans, La., Ford Mustang FR500S, 20, -2 laps.
22. GTS, (24), Karl Poeltl(R), Knoxville, Tenn., BMW E46 325i, 20, -2 laps.
23. TC, (31), Robert Stout(R), Brownsburg, Ind., Scion tC, 20, -2 laps.
24. TC, (29), Pierre Kleinubing, Coconut Creek, Fla., MAZDASPEED3, 20, -2 laps.
25. TC, (28), Eric Meyer(R), Indianapolis, Ind., Mazda RX-8, 20, -2 laps.
26. TC, (33), Tom Lepper(R), Benicia, Calif., Scion tC, 20, -2 laps.
27. TC, (34), Branden Peterson, Breckenridge, Colo., Honda Civic Si, 20, -2 laps.
28. GTS, (17), Kyle Kelley(R), Huntington Beach, Calif., Chevrolet Corvette, 20, -2 laps.
29. TC, (32), Michael Pettiford, Louisville, Colo., Volkswagen Jetta GLI, 20, -2 laps.
30. TC, (27), Jeff Mosing(R), Austin, Texas, Mazda RX-8, 20, -2 laps.
31. GTS, (25), Robert Korzen(R), Fredericksburg, Va., Ford Mustang FR500S, 20, -2 laps.
32. TC, (35), Carolyn Kujala(R), Tucson, Ariz., Volkswagen Jetta GLI, 19, -3 laps.
33. GTS, (18), Ernie Jakubowski(R), Oakville, Ontario, Porsche Cayman S, 19, -3 laps.
34. TC, (26), Taylor Hacquard, Vancouver, British Columbia, MAZDASPEED3, 19, -3 laps.
35. TC, (30), Robb Holland, Denver, Colo., VW GTI, 9, Mech.
36. GTS, (36), Fabryce Kutyba, Santa Ana, Calif., BMW M3 E46, 0, DNS.
Time of race: 44 minutes, 14.484 seconds.
Average speed: 90.941 mph
Margin of victory: 0.346-Second
Lap leaders: Laps 1-8, #6 Randy Pobst; laps 9-22, #13 Kuno Wittmer
Fastest race lap: #6 Randy Pobst, 1:58.936 (92.258 mph)
Fastest qualifier: #6 Randy Pobst, 1:57.256 (93.579 mph)
Optima Batteries Best Standing Start: #18 Robert Stout advanced six positions on lap one
Sunoco Hard Charger: #18 Robert Stout advanced eighth positions in the race
MTM Special Ops Move of the Race: #13 Kuno Wittmer's pass for the GT lead
Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race: #18 Robert Stout pass for the TC lead
Attached: Kuno Wittmer (13), Peter Cunningham (43) and Robert Stout (18) earned GT, GTS and Touring Car wins at Miller Motorsports Park.
Credit: Mark Weber/SCCA