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Detroit: K-PAX/3R Racing race report

Pobst drives his K-PAX/3R Porsche GT3 to SPEED GP win in Detroit Galati moves his K-PAX Porsche up to finish 5th Detroit Michigan (August 31, 2008): Randy Pobst jumped his ...

Pobst drives his K-PAX/3R Porsche GT3 to SPEED GP win in Detroit
Galati moves his K-PAX Porsche up to finish 5th

Detroit Michigan (August 31, 2008): Randy Pobst jumped his #1 K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 from the pole and led every lap on his way to the win in Round 8 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championships on the Belle Isle street track in Detroit Michigan. Michael Galati moved his #23 K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 up from his 8th place starting position to finish 5th.

Randy Pobst, of Gainesville Georgia, scored his 3rd SPEED GT race win of the 2008 season. The win for the defending WCGT champion padded his already generous lead in the 2008 Drivers' Championship to 116. Pobst now has 827 points to 711 for Andy Pilgrim in 2nd while Michael Galati has 621 in 3rd.

Pobst's win also extended Porsche's lead in the Manufacturers' Championship Presented by Racer Magazine to 14 as Porsche leads Cadillac 53 to 39. Dodge is 3rd with 36 followed by Ford and Chevrolet with 33 and 21 respectively.

"We have the smallest engine in the series and it is amazing that my K-PAX Porsche can be this fast," said Pobst after his win. "But it is all due to my K-PAX/3R Racing Team. The team is such a big reason for success because motorsports is such a team sport. In the NFL, a quarterback can't win a game all by himself. Forget about it. I don't care how good he is. It's the same way in racing."

Pobst cited the re-engineering of the suspension in his Porsche 911 as the main reason for his resurgence of sorts in the last two races at Mosport and Detroit where he has finished 2nd and 1st.

"A couple of races ago Will Moody, who is an old timer and a true mad scientist, and our 3R Racing team came up with a new suspension for our K-PAX Porsches," said Pobst. "We have been racing Porsches for the past two years and I have always thought that they were great cars and I didn't think it possible to make them any better but somehow Will and 3R managed to do just that!

"After Road America where I was running 8th and happy with it I thought 'Ok, this is the way it is going to be for the rest of the year', but when we got to Mosport Will put his changes on the car and boy what a difference! It really improved my Porsche in every way!"

For the race in Detroit however, Pobst said that the major key to his win was the emphasis he and race engineer Will Moody put on qualifying because they knew that it was going to be very tough to pass comparable cars on the tight Detroit street course.

"What we did this weekend was all about qualifying well," said Pobst. "It was what we worked on in every session. Then we could concentrate on running well early on free of any traffic. That strategy worked well for us today!"

Pobst got a strong start in his K-PAX Porsche and led the field through the opening turns as his blue and yellow #1 K-PAX Porsche 911 took a lead he would never relinquish.

The course would go to an immediate full course caution as the #29 Olberz Porsche was stalled and stationery on the starting grid.

When the course went green again on lap 4 Pobst immediately opened up a 1 second gap on Pilgrim's Cadillac in 2nd who was closely followed by Porsche of Dino Crescentini and the Mustang of Brandon Davis with Mike McCann fending off Michael Galati for 5th. Early on Pobst seemed to be able to maintain a small gap on the field behind him.

After a couple of aborted pass attempts on Crescentini, Davis booted Crescentini's Porsche into the tire wall moving Galati up to 5th. Actually Galati had gotten past McCann as well just prior to the second full course caution period that flew on lap 9 to retrieve the various rear body parts being shed by Crescentini's Porsche as a result of his contact with the tire wall.

Unfortunately officials didn't see it that way and Galati was moved back behind McCann's Cadillac and that would be right where Michael would finish as the top 5 would run in that order for the remainder of the race.

In the early stages Pobst seemed to have the race well in hand as after each of the race's three cautions Randy would pull his K-PAX Porsche out to a 1 second or so gap on Pilgrim who had his hands full keeping Davis' Mustang behind him.

But as the race wound down the final three laps Pilgrim and Davis were able to close right behind the back bumper of Pobst's Porsche. So close did Pilgrim get that he almost got his Cadillac along side of Pobst's Porsche in turn 8 on the final lap but Andy couldn't quite get enough alongside of Pobst to make any kind of move so Pilgrim backed off settling for a finish just a half second behind with Davis but 4 tenths of a second behind Pilgrim.

"I knew Andy might have a shot at me in that corner and then there he was and I thought, 'uh oh,'" Pobst said. "But it was not quite enough. It's a long way to run around the outside.

"I thought we were doing a really good job in the beginning of the race, but I think the REWARDS weight (140lbs) really took its toll toward the end of the race. Because of the rear engine, we are putting more weight on the drive tires than any other car in the class. The Toyos are worked really hard on a Porsche."

"Late in the race, I started running a more conservative program," Pobst continued. "What looks like a nice point lead can turn to nothing. All it takes is one little problem. We found a little water hose problem in practice, and we were lucky to find it then. If it would have happened in the race, it would have been a totally different story."

Michael Galati, of Olmstead Ohio, started his #23 K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 8th but would jump up to 6th at the start after a hair raising side by side exchange with the Dodge Viper of Jason Daskalos through the first three turns.

"I'll take a 5th and move on to the next race in New Jersey, particularly after the way the weekend started," said Galati. "Congratulations to Randy [Pobst] and the whole K-PAX/3R Racing Team. It was a good day for them and a great day for Porsche in the Manufacturers' Championship."

Galati and Daskalos raced side by side between the cement barrier lined street course until Michael finally found the inside line in turn three and put Daskalos behind him for good.

"I got a good start and we were all bunched up into turn one," said Galati. "Daskalos got next to me but I had the inside line so he backed off."

Galati then settled in and started working on McCann's Cadillac for position but after a race long duel and a pass that was ruled to be under yellow Galati had to follow McCann to the finish line in 5th.

"After the restart when Brandon and Dino got together I was able to close right up on McCann. Later he got a little deep and wide into a turn and I got right up next to him and right before the yellow came out (for debris left by Crescentini's Porsche) I passed him.

"They [SCCA Officials] said I passed him under yellow but I didn't but I had to give the position back.

"When we went back to green the next time my K-PAX Porsche was decent but I didn't really have anything for those guys in front of me. I was driving it ten-tenths and right on the edge and running a nice pace but when they told me that there only 8 minutes left it was pretty evident that I wasn't going to catch the leaders so I backed off a bit to save the car and be sure I finished where I was."

"I think in the long run my Porsche would have come in more and been ok and I might have been able to do something with McCann but we kept having yellows," concluded Galati of his race in Detroit.

You can catch Randy Pobst and Michael Galati in their matching K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars along with the entire coverage of Round 8 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship in Detroit on SPEED TV on Wednesday September 12th at 12:00 pm Eastern Time.

The next race for Pobst and Galati and the K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3s will be Round 9 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship at the new Thunderbolt Raceway in Southern New Jersey on September 26th through the 28th.

For addition information about the K-PAX/3R Racing Porsches got to our web site at www.kpaxracing.com and for more info about the World Challenge Series and live timing results for Round 6 at Road America go to the World Challenge web site at www.World-Challenge.com.

-credit: usac

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About this article
Series PWC
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , Randy Pobst , Michael Galati , Dino Crescentini , Brandon Davis , Jason Daskalos