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Audi season GT finale report

Galati wins Speed GT Title at Virginia. Alton, Virginia -- Michael Galati, driving the number one Champion Audi/Audi S4 Competition, won his second consecutive drivers' title with a third place finish in today's final round of the SCCA Pro...

Galati wins Speed GT Title at Virginia.

Alton, Virginia -- Michael Galati, driving the number one Champion Audi/Audi S4 Competition, won his second consecutive drivers' title with a third place finish in today's final round of the SCCA Pro Racing Speed Channel GT Series race at Virginia International Raceway.

Galati was able to get a good start from his fifth place qualifying position and put some distance between himself and title rival P.D. Cunningham. "I pushed hard at the start so as to build up a sizeable lead over P.D. The yellow caution period after four laps cancelled that out. After that I just concentrated on driving my own race - taking it steady and no risks and at my own pace - especially having previously had the Audi sideways through the esses. The Audi ran well throughout the race and it's good to reward the Audi Sport North America and Champion who have done a fantastic job throughout the season which has ultimately enabled me to claim my second title in a row," said Galati.

Marino Franchitti, driving the number three Champion Audi/Audi S4 Competition, in his first start with the team drove to a seventh place finish. Improving on the start from his third place qualifying effort, Franchitti ran as high fourth before losing a few places following a restart. "I made a good start but then got pushed towards the grass on the straight which forced me to back off allowing Michael through before the first corner. But the early laps were good, I was content to sit behind Michael and learn from him. But at the restart following a full course yellow, I lost out on the drag down to the first corner and then lost another place that same lap. I was challenging for fifth place but locked up under braking and slid on to the grass, dropping to eighth. I'm disappointed - but delighted to have had my first Audi drive and hope in some way I helped Michael."

Derek Bell, driving the number two Legends of Motorsport Audi S4 Competition, finished in eighth. "My start was good from 11th on the grid and I had Cunningham alongside. Going in to Turn 1 P.D. and I had another two cars join us and we went in four abreast. Unfortunately I touched P.D. and he went on to the grass. After that it was a case of keeping my head down and try to reel in the Porsches - they were so fast on the straights."

"Michael ran a really smart race, did what he needed to do to win the championship. He had a great year with wins at Sebring, Mid-Ohio and Road America. Marino drove a good race running as high as fourth. Derek ran a consistant race and was able to move up from his eleventh place qualifying session to finish eighth. The Champion team has done a great job all year preparing cars," said Rod Bymaster, manager of motorsport, Audi of America.

The Virginia race will air on the Speed Channel, Saturday, November 9 at 9:00 p.m.

-audi-

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About this article
Series PWC
Drivers Michael Galati , Marino Franchitti , Derek Bell