Grand-Am KONI Challenge Champions Honored in Monday Evening's Banquet in Greensboro, N.C.
GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 7, 2008) - Ford and Chevrolet, along with drivers Joe Foster, Scott Maxwell, Jamie Holtom and their respective teams, captured top honors Monday evening at the annual Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series Awards Dinner at the Sheraton Greensboro at Four Seasons. Foster, Maxwell and Hyper Sport were recognized as champions in the Grand Sport (GS) division. While Maxwell - who missed the affair due to a family commitment - was the series' 2002 champion, this was the first title for Foster and Hyper Sport - a team owned jointly by Foster, Rick Skelton and Patrick Dempsey."This has been an incredible season for all of us," Foster said. "Everybody in the series has raised the bar so much this year. I would like to thank everyone for having the opportunity to live the dream I had since I was eight years old."Foster and Maxwell finished fifth in the season-ending Bosch Engineering Twin Six Hour GS class race Sunday at Virginia International Raceway to win the title by six points over JBS Motorsports and drivers Bret Seafuse and James Gue, who received second-place trophies at the dinner. Taking third in the competitive GS division were Automatic Racing's Jep Thornton and Jeff Segal, the 2007 champions.The performances of the No. 55 Hyper Sport Mustang GT - winners of two races in 2008 - helped Ford win the GS Manufacturers award. Ford's Jamie Allison accepted the honor.Holtom, a four-time winner in 2008 Street Tuner (ST) division, won the ST driver championship in addition to helping Georgian Bay Motorsports and Chevrolet capture the team and manufacturer awards in the division. Georgian Bay owner Mike Kuznicki and Chevrolet Cobalt road Racing Project Manager Dwight Woodbridge accepted the respective awards.Holtom was joined by Eric Curran, who co-drove with him in six of the 10 races, including three of the victories.Adam Burrows, driver of the No. 76 Compass360 Racing/Skunk2/Sunday Management Group Acura TSX, took second in the ST driver championship, followed by Kuno Wittmer, driver of the No. 32 i-MOTO Racing Cybernation/Alpinestar Acura TSX. Peter Cunningham, who co-drove with Wittmer on seven occasions, was named the KONI Challenge Mesko Building Solutions Rookie of the Year. Mesko Senior Vice President Stephen Owen made the presentation.Among the other awards were the SunTrust Improve Your Position Awards, presented by David Pijot, Marketing Manager and Senior Vice President of SunTrust's Sports and Entertainment Banking Division. Freedom Autosport's No. 145 Mazda MX-5 took the award in ST, while the No. 154 Hyper Sport/Jim Click Racing Ford Mustang took honors in GS. The $10,000 Hoosier Pacesetter Program awards went to Foster and the No. 55 Hyper Sport Mustang in GS, while Karl Thompson accepted the ST award on behalf of the No. 76 Compass360 Racing Acura team.Jim Vance, General Manager of KONI North America, presented the $10,000 KONI bonus awards. Georgian Bay won the award in ST for owner Mike Kuznicki, while Jim Seafuse and the No. 37 JBS Motorsports Ford Mustang team won the honor in GS.The respective GS and ST champions also both received $10,000 checks as part of a new program from Grand-Am contingency sponsors.