Second place earns Pobst championship lead Â Galati crashes out in rain. Randy Pobst leads the Speed GT World Challenge after finishing second in the fourth round of the series at Lime Rock today (26 May). Defending GT champion Michael Galati...
Second place earns Pobst championship lead Galati crashes out in rain.
Randy Pobst leads the Speed GT World Challenge after finishing second in the fourth round of the series at Lime Rock today (26 May). Defending GT champion Michael Galati crashed his similar RS 6 "Competition" in the abysmal wet conditions although Audi remains joint second in the Manufacturers' title race.
For the second consecutive race, it was an all Audi front row, constant heavy rain making the seven-turn, 1.53-mile track near Lakeville, Connecticut, awash with standing water for qualifying in which Galati snatched "pole" from team-mate Pobst by 0.212secs in the closing seconds of the 20-minute session.
There was no sign of the rain relenting as the 20 cars lined-up on the grid and it was Galati who got the jump on Pobst at the green light. But Michael overshot Turn 1 allowing Randy in to the lead with a recovering Galati completing lap one in third place behind Bill Auberlen.
Despite briefly losing the lead to Auberlen on lap nine for half a lap, Pobst was at the head of the field as a full course yellow was declared on lap 21 after fourth-placed Galati, having survived a number of "moments", slid in to the guard rail and in to retirement.
Pobst led Auberlen by over four seconds after the re-start but just three laps later and with less than 15 minutes to run, Randy aquaplaned wide on the exit of Turn 1, his all-wheel-drive Audi RS 6 "Competition" ploughing its way back on to the track through thick mud - minus its front "splitter" and now second, 8.5-secs down on new leader Auberlen.
Randy finally took the checker 6.2-secs down on Auberlen and over 15secs ahead of third-placed Hans Stuck the only cars on the lead lap - after an eventful race which saw just 13 cars running at the finish.
Michael Galati (43)
"There were a lot of puddles on my `line' going in to the first corner at the start. I braked but aquaplaned straight on. I had a big `moment' on to the grass on lap eight but stayed in third before sliding wide at Turn 1 again which allowed Hans [Stuck] to get third on the 15th lap. Then I hit a stream [of water] across the track, the back contacted the guard rail and then the front end. It was not my day out there!"
Randy Pobst (45)
"I was aquaplaning a lot but when the rain eased it was better. I gave it all I had but made a mistake when I put two wheels off at Turn 1 and went in to the mud - without quattro [all-wheel-drive] I wouldn't have got back on the track! I'm happy with second place having finished the opening three races in third position and to have taken the series lead. We can now use the break to further improve the Audi."
Rod Bymaster, Audi Sport North America's Motorsport Manager:
"It's another rostrum position for Audi, Randy leads the Driver's series and Audi is joint second in the Manufacturer's division. There is now a month before the next race so we can get out testing and further develop the new RS 6 which has finished in the top-three in all four races this year."