Galati Returns To SPEED GT at Cleveland in ...
Galati Returns To SPEED GT at Cleveland in #24 Volvo
SAVAGE, Md. (16 June 2005) -- At Speed Motorsports owner Bob Miller announced today that five-time SPEED World Challenge champion Michael Galati, of Olmsted, Ohio, will drive the #24 Volvo S60 R for the next race at Cleveland. He will be filling in for Derek Bell, who has a schedule conflict for that race.
"We've known for some time that these races were a problem for Derek." said Miller. "He has a long-standing prior commitment in the UK during this time period, which is most unfortunate. Originally, it was only an issue for Lime Rock, and Derek was willing to fly from the UK for the race and then turn around and fly back immediately afterwards. Then, the World Challenge schedule changed and added the Cleveland race the week before. We'd been trying to find a solution, but ultimately Derek and I agreed it would be easier for him to just spend the two weeks meeting this other obligation and for us to get another driver. We were very lucky that Michael was available and willing for Cleveland."
Bell was sanguine about the situation. "I hate to miss any race, but these kind of contractual conflicts are not that uncommon. It was easier for the team to find another driver than for the people in the UK to re-arrange their entire schedule around my absence. Michael and I are former teammates (at Champion Audi in World Challenge GT) and great friends, and I can't think of anyone I'd rather have in my place. His experience in the series and in all-wheel drive cars will serve Volvo well."
Galati was his usual energetic self when questioned about getting into the world's fastest Volvo. He noted, "I definitely feel up to it, and am excited to be driving in GT again. At Speed Motorsports is a great operation, and I'm glad to be able to help Bob and Derek out. Of course, friends or not, Derek may have to pry me out of the seat when he gets back" he joked.
Galati, who is also competing in the SPEED Touring Car Championship, will be driving alongside Rookie Jameson Riley in his #26 car. Riley was the 2005 Sunoco Hard Charger Award Winner at Sebring in March of this year. No final decision has been made regarding the driver line-up at Lime Rock, for which Bell is also in Europe. Bell will return to the Volvo for the following race in Sonoma.
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