DG-Spec Scions Take St. Pete by Storm, Racking up Awards at World Challenge Season Opener
Drivers Gardner and Stout Put Scions on Podium and Secure Five Awards Along the Way
TORRANCE, Calif. — This past weekend, at the World Challenge season opener in front of an estimated 150,000 fans, the DG-Spec Scion road racing team proved again that Scion is the real deal, even at the top of the pro ladder. Three podiums, and five awards of distinction were racked up by drivers Robert Stout and Dan Gardner, driving the number 18 and 36 DG-Spec Scion tC Touring Cars, respectively.
The event was a double-header, with a race on Saturday and another on Sunday, both for season championship points. Stout qualified well, putting the number 18 car third on grid, with Gardner a couple rows back. The Qualifying session would determine starting order for both races.
Saturday’s race saw Stout battle with the pole sitter, big-motor Honda Civic, eventually getting the best of the Civic and finishing second place, along the way collecting the MTM Special Ops Best Move of the Race award for avoiding the spinning Civic. Gardner blasted through the field, gaining 9 positions overall, which netted him the third spot on the podium along with the Sunoco Hard Charger award.
Sunday began with a bang, as Gardner laid the rubber down on the start, zipping through the field, earning the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start of the Race award. He also repeated, again collecting the Sunoco Hard Charger award, en route to a fourth place finish. Stout’s 18 car partially collected a spinning GT Porsche three turns after the start. Even with the damage to the body and suspension, Stout pushed his way back up, battling the Honda Civic, and eventually getting the best of him. The pass on lap 24 earned him the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race award, en route to another second place finish.
“Aweome, awesome, awesome,” said team owner and driver, Gardner. “First place would have been nice, but it’s hard to have expected more at the season opener. This is great for the team, the drivers, our sponsors, and especially Scion, who just showed the world that even at this level, we’re still the real deal.”
Stout, at just 18 years old, is the youngest driver in the series. That made no matter, as he piloted the number 18 DG-Spec Scion to the second step on the podium both days, proving that he knows how to get the job done. Both drivers are rookies in the series, but showed their mettle all weekend long.
“What a great run,” Stout Said. “My hat’s off to Dan and the entire team. I had a great car the whole weekend. It’s hard to be more pleased with my first pro race starts. A podium both races…it doesn’t get much better than that!”
Credit the crew of Sean Morris, Brad Allen, John McNulty, David Fredrickson, and Jayson Altmiller with keeping the cars 100-percent bulletproof, as the cars didn’t blink all weekend. Tom and Robyn Lepper supported everyone all along the way.
Stout ends the event second in the championship points race, with Gardner in fourth. The two also netted Scion 14 manufacturer points, instantly launching the brand to second in the manufacturers’ championship standings. Scion trails VW by just 4 points.
Standings and results can be viewed at http://www.world-challenge.com/index.php. The race will be broadcast on the Versus Network on Sunday, April 18 at 2 p.m. Eastern.
The team now readies for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the only race of the season in the team’s backyard. The event will take place through the historic streets on April 16-18. The World Challenge race starts that Sunday at 4:15 p.m.
The team’s progress throughout the season can be followed at www.scionracing.com and www.facebook.com/scionracing.
The DG-Spec team uses and is supported by:
• Scion-supplied OE parts
• TRD-supplied supercharger and intercooler, front big brake kit
• Jackson-Dawson Communications
• Pilot Automotive HID driving lamps
• Nitto NT-01 tires for testing
• Enkei PF01 17×8 wheels
• OS Giken Super Lock Limited Slip Differential (LSD)
• Dezod-supplied AEM standalone engine management, plug-and-play harness, fuel rail, injectors, end links, and stainless clutch line
• Church Automotive Testing dyno tuning
• Moton Suspension remote reservoir coilover shocks
• Vogtland springs
• DG-Spec Progress Technology rear swaybar and camber kits
• Motul brake fluid, engine oil, transmission fluid, and super coolant
• Racepak IQ3 logger dash and VNET sensors
• AEM sensors, EMS, and dry flow air filter
• Kaminari carbon-fiber roof and composite headlights
• Reflections body work
• America’s Tire Co. tire mounting and balancing
• Racetech Viper head-restraint race seat and 6-point harnesses
• Centerforce clutch and low-inertia steel flywheel
• AIT carbon-fiber hood and hatch
• DG-Spec Wild Pony Motorsports-supplied camber/caster plates
• Goodridge fittings and lines
• Carbotech XP10 and XP8 brake pads
• G-Force racing suit, gloves, helmet, window nets, and other safety and crew gear
• DC Sports header
• Energy Suspension bushings and motor mounts
• HoseTechniques silicone hoses
• Tri-Mountain Racewear team gear
• NST supercharger pulley, Braille batteries, and shifter bushings
• SquareSkull designs
• Sampson Racing Communications (SRC) radio systems
The World Challenge is North America's top production car-based racing championship. Divided into three separate classes (World Challenge Touring Car, World Challenge GTS, and World Challenge GT) races follow a sprint format and are 50 minutes start to finish. Each race features thrilling standing starts, adrenaline filled door-to-door action, and top-notch drivers. Drivers pilot cars from the world's most popular manufacturers. Race prepped versions of the cars we drive on the streets! The World Challenge is sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing and races at North America's premier road and temporary street courses.
DG Spec is a line of parts designed and endorsed by National Champion Scion road racer Dan Gardner. Gardner draws up the specifications for the parts himself. The parts are then tested and proven on the track. The goal of DG Spec is to provide enthusiasts with parts that have been developed on the track and that have significant performance advantages at an honest price. Parts are offered either in hardcore track trim, identical to what Gardner and his team race with, or in Gardner-specified standards more appropriate for enthusiast use on the street.