Euro Motorworks

 

Team Cardiosport/Euro Motorworks

Grand-Am KONI Challenge Racing Series

The Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series is Grand-Am's showcase for the latest in international and American-made high performance sports cars, coupes and sedans straight from the dealer showroom floor. With major modifications permitted only in the area of safety, the KONI Challenge Series is home to the same cars seen on streets and highways around the world every day. The 2008 season marks the eighth year that Grand-Am has owned and sanctioned the now, KONI Challenge Series, which was previously known as the Grand American Cup Series before KONI signed on as the title sponsor of the series in 2006.

          The #07 Euro Motorworks/Cardiosport Porsche 997 at Lime Rock

 

The starting fields for KONI Challenge Series races typically feature more than 90 of today's hottest import and domestic production cars that usually race together while competing for both class honors and the overall victory. Series races--which will be 400 kilometers in length except for the three-hour season-opener at Daytona and twin six-hour events to close the season at Virginia International Raceway--are primarily run as the featured support events for the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve, although the KONI Challenge Series will step into the spotlight with a few feature races of its own in 2008.

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Like the Rolex Series, the KONI Challenge Series is made up of two classes of race cars. The big-bore Grand Sport (GS) class features a rules package that allows exotic international machines like the Porsche 996 and 997, Nissan 350Z, BMW M3 and others to go head-to-head with American iron such as the Pontiac GTO and the Ford Mustang GT. The smaller Street Tuner (ST) class is Grand American's offering to the import and compact car crowd, with the Mazda RX-8, Chevrolet Cobalt SS, Dodge SRT4, Mini Cooper S, Acura RSX and TSX, a variety of BMWs and other models eligible. In 2007, the GS and ST classes will run separately from each other in every race with the exception of the Daytona opener and at Watkins Glen International in July.

 

                 The #07 Euro/Motorworks Porsche 997 at Daytona

All KONI Challenge Series classes run on Hoosier tires, and at least two drivers must drive in each competing race car under green flag conditions, making at least one driver change mandatory.

Beginning in 2007, the KONI Challenge Series instituted a separate points race for competitors using KONI shocks, which is considered an independent championship throughout the season. This "championship within a championship" is worth $10,000 to the top point earners in both the Grand Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (ST) classes using KONI shocks.

 

   The #07 Euro Motorworks/Cardiosport Porsche 997 Racing in Daytona at night


GRAND SPORT (GS)

The Grand Sport (GS) class is made up of several factory sports and muscle cars from around the word with minimal performance modifications, but full safety systems. Minimum weights range from 2,900 lbs. to 3,300 lbs.

Engines are tuned to produce between 350 and 405 horsepower depending on the car, and the competition is further equalized by a variety of fuel tank capacities that range from 19 gallons for the Porsche 997 to 20 gallons for the BMW M3, Pontiac GTO, Cadillac CTS-V and Ford Mustang. Top speed for most GS cars is 160 mph.


STREET TUNER (ST)

The Street Tuner (ST) class features a variety of sports cars and high-performance compacts that are as equally popular with KONI Challenge Series competitors as they are with today's consumers. Unlike the bigger GS class where V-8s are allowed, ST is limited to four- and six-cylinder engines, although turbochargers and superchargers are permitted.

Engines produce between 170 and 240 horsepower depending on the car, while minimum weights range from 2,200 lbs. to 3,125 lbs. Fuel tank capacities range from 16.9 gallons to 17.9 gallons in the Mazda RX-8. Most competing ST cars have 17-gallon fuel tanks, including the Acura RSX-S, and the BMW 330i. Other popular vehicles in the ST class include the Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged, Acura TSX, Subaru Legacy and the Mini Cooper S. Like the GS class, the only major modifications allowed in ST are in the area of safety. Top speed for ST race cars is about 135 mph.

 

                           Crossing the finish line at Daytona

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