TOURING DOMINANCE AT LIME ROCK LAKEVILLE, Conn. -- Michael Galati, of North Olmstead, Ohio, scored Audi's first ever Speedvision World Challenge GT pole position, and rookie Neal Sapp ended Pierre Kleinubing's dominance of the...
TOURING DOMINANCE AT LIME ROCK
LAKEVILLE, Conn. -- Michael Galati, of North Olmstead, Ohio, scored Audi's first ever Speedvision World Challenge GT pole position, and rookie Neal Sapp ended Pierre Kleinubing's dominance of the Speedvision Touring Car field. Both drivers will start from the pole of their respective races at Lime Rock Park Saturday, part of the Dodge Dealers Grand Prix Weekend.
Driving the new No. 9 Champion Audi S4 Competition, Galati, the 1999 Speedvision Touring Car Champion, turned a fast lap of 0:57.739 (95.394 mph)--nipping Terry Borcheller, of Phoenix, Ariz., by 0.119-second. The weekend is Galati's second with the new car, and follows a second-place performance in last weekend's Mosport International Raceway race.
"This is fantastic," said Galati, who earned his 12th-career pole position. "I've started a new dream, just like last year. The guys at Audi and Champion have really given me a good car to drive. I was hoping for a top-five, but this is a real bonus. The race is going to be tough--it's real close up at the top, and part way through the race, it'll be like five o'clock traffic."
Filling in for Jorge Trejos in the No. 52 AASCO Performance Saleen SR, Borcheller sat at the top of the time chart for much of the session, but his 0:57.858 (95.198 mph) lap didn't hold up. Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., was third in his No. 42 RealTime Racing BMW M3, after turning a fast lap of 0:58.009 (94.950 mph). Point leader Bill Cooper, of Bozeman, Mt., and Bobby Archer, of Ft. Worth, Texas, completed the top-five. In all, six different automobile makes were represented in the top six.
Boris Said, of Carlsbad, Calif., was uninjured in a spectacular crash during the session, which damaged his Steeda Mustang beyond repair for the weekend. Said had turned a lap good enough for 10th on the grid.
Sapp, also driving a new car for only the second time, and coming off a second place finish at Mosport, shattered the Speedvision Touring Car record with a lap of 0:59.792 (92.119 mph) in his No. 2 ProPartsUSA.net BMW 328ci to take his first-career pole.
The feat ended Brazilian Pierre Kleinubing's run of consecutive poles at seven, and perfect race weekend's (pole, all laps led, win) at three. Kleinubing qualified the No. 42 BuySellorHold.com/RealTime Racing Acura Integra Type R second on the grid, with a lap of 1:00.003 (91.795 mph).
"About five minutes into the session, the throttle cable broke and luckily I was able to coast into the pit lane," said Sapp. "They had the hood up, and [Team Owner] T.C. Kline gave me the 'cut it' sign. A minute or so later, my crew chief said 'get your helmet back on, I think I can fix this,' and we fired it up and got back out for the last five minutes. I was really frustrated, so I just put my foot down and went for it."
Sapp's lap led five other drivers under the old qualifying record of 1:00.233 set by Paul Booher in 1996. Booher's bid to defend the record ended in the morning practice session, when his Mazda 626 flipped in the last turn. Booher was released from Sharon Hospital with a mild concussion.
Hugh Plumb, of Chadds Ford, Pa., who led much of the session in his No. 43 BuySellorHold.com/RealTime Racing Acura Integra Type R, was third with a lap of 1:00.027, followed by teammate Kevin Schrantz, of Boulder, Colo., and Paul Alderman, of Newark, Del.
-SCCA/SCCA Pro Racing-