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Galati extends Speedvision GT point lead with Road Atlanta win

BRASELTON, Ga. (October 5, 2001) - Michael Galati, of N. Olmstead, Ohio, charged to his fourth win of the season today over Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., and teammate Derek Bell, of England, at Road Atlanta. With the victory, Galati...

BRASELTON, Ga. (October 5, 2001) - Michael Galati, of N. Olmstead, Ohio, charged to his fourth win of the season today over Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., and teammate Derek Bell, of England, at Road Atlanta. With the victory, Galati kept his lead in the point race secure as he searches for his first-ever SCCA Pro Racing Speedvision World Challenge GT Championship. Eric Curran, of S. Deerfield, Mass., and Boris Said, of Carlsbad, Calif., completed the top five. Cunningham, pilot of the No. 42 RealTime Racing Acura NSX SC, qualified on the pole, but knew the pressure would be on from the drop of the lights on the standing start. The Audis of Galati and Bell, who started second and third on the grid, respectively, utilized their all-wheel drive Quattro systems and pounced on the NSX off the line. "What can I say, I had a fast start," said Galati, who has three titles in the Speedvision Touring Car division. "The Audi Quattro is perfect for that. I was pushing hard because Peter was tough today. The win is extremely important for us in the championship and we're looking forward to Sunday's race." Galati took the point heading for turn one and the Audi duo paced the 26-car field until lap nine, when Cunningham made a move on Bell and made it stick for second. As Galati increased his advantage to almost four seconds, Bell got the best of Cunningham on lap 18 in their battle for position. But it was on lap 26 that Cunningham made a pass on Bell for good in the esses, which earned him the Rogaine "Hair Raising Pass of the Day" award. "We would have liked to have been in Michael's shoes today," said Cunningham. "I don't believe we would have had anything for him if I could have closed in. He just had the upper hand this time." Bell, who recorded his first podium finish in World Challenge history, was pleased with result, even though he failed to provide Audi with a one-two sweep of Round Nine. "(On Galati) He's the guy going for the Championship, I'm just here for the money," joked Bell. "Peter kept coming and passed me late in the race when I locked up my brakes. He's a real professional driver and when I knew I couldn't hold it, I let him go." Galati held on for a 2.331-second margin of victory, averaging 87.504 mph in the 68.58-mile event. The race was slowed by one caution on lap 15, when the No. 01 Pirate Racing Chevrolet Corvette C5 of Bobby Sak came to a halt of the entrance of pit lane. Curran earned the Borla Performance Award for his charge from 10th to fourth. Galati now leads Cunningham 256 to 239 heading into Sunday in the hunt for the Championship. He can clinch the title with a 10th place finish, regardless of Cunningham's performance. Porsche holds a one-point advantage over Audi for the Manufacturers' Championship (55 to 54), with Acura still in contention, with 51. The upcoming Round 10, which is the last leg of the doubleheader weekend at Road Atlanta, and will decide the Championships.

BRASELTON, Ga. -- Results from Friday's SCCA Pro Racing Speedvision World Challenge GT Round Nine Race, part of the Petit Le Mans Weekend at Road Atlanta, with finishing position, starting position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car, laps complete, time behind winner and reason out, if any.

<pre> 1. (2), Michael Galati, Olmstead, Ohio, Audi S4 Comp., 27. 2. (1), Peter Cunningham, W. Bend, Wis., Acura NSX SC, 27, -2.331. 3. (3), Derek Bell, Pagham Sussex, England, Audi S4 Comp., 27, -2.815. 4. (10), Eric Curran, S. Deerfield, Mass., Corvette C5, 27, -4.321. 5. (6), Boris Said, Carlsbad, Calif., Ford Mustang, 27, -10.1. 6. (5), Mike Fitzgerald, Phoenix, Ariz., Porsche 911 Cup, 27, -15.724. 7. (4), Justin Jackson, Alpharetta, Ga., Porsche 911 Cup, 27, -16.226. 8. (9), Jeff McMillin, Erie, Pa., BMW M3 E46, 27, -21.334. 9. (15), Jimmy Adams, Suffolk, Va., Porsche 911 Cup, 27, -28.535. 10. (8), Andy Lally(R), Northport, N.Y., Corvette C5, 27, -29.212. 11. (7), Johannes van Overbeek, Danville, Calif., Porsche 911 Cup, 27, -30.71. 12. (12), James Sofronas, Newport Beach, Calif., BMW M3, 27, -31.776. 13. (16), Justin Marks(R), Woodside, Calif., Porsche 911 Cup, 27, -34.888. 14. (13), Phil McClure, Floris, Iowa, Corvette C5, 27, -35.746. 15. (19), Daniel Eastman, Braselton, Ga., Porsche 993 RSR, 27, -43.312. 16. (18), Bill Cooper, Bozeman, Mont., Corvette ZR1, 27, -57.828. 17. (14), Bob Miller(R), Oakton, Va., Porsche 911 Cup, 27, -58.487. 18. (22), Walter Swick, Concord, Ohio, BMW M3, 27, -1:01.8639. 19. (17), Trip Goolsby, Mufreesboro, Tenn., Porsche 911 Cup, 27, -1:02.2389. 20. (21), Hank Cohn(R), Atlanta, Ga., Porsche 911 Cup, 26, -1 laps. 21. (23), Peter Tonelli(R), Northboro, Mass., Toyota Supra T, 26, -1 laps. 22. (25), Carol Hollfelder(R), Covina, Calif., Ferrari 355 C, 25, -2 laps. 23. (20), Alain Chebeir, Pelham, N.Y., BMW M Coupe, 25, -2 laps. 24. (11), David Farmer, Albemarle, N.C., Corvette C5, 20, Crash. 25. (24), Mark Dixon, Longmont, Colo., PontiacFirebird, 18, Mech. 26. (26), Bobby Sak(R), Kalamazoo, Mich., Corvette C5, 8, Mech. Time of race: 47 minutes, 01.434 seconds. Average speed: 87.504 mph Margin of victory: 2.3309 seconds Lap leaders: Laps 1-27, #9 Michael Galati Fastest race lap: #42 Peter Cunningham, 1:34.510 (96.751 mph) Fastest qualifier: #42 Peter Cunningham, 1:33.918 (97.361 mph) Cautions: One for three laps

-SCCA Pro Racing

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Series PWC
Drivers Boris Said , Andy Lally , Michael Galati , Bobby Sak , Derek Bell , Justin Marks , David Farmer , Alain Chebeir , Bob Miller , Phil McClure , Peter Cunningham , Jeff McMillin , Johannes van Overbeek , Eric Curran , Peter Tonelli , Justin Jackson , James Sofronas , Carol Hollfelder
Teams RealTime Racing