Pobst and Galati finish 2nd and 3rd in exciting SPEED GT race at Mosport Pobst and Porsche extend their championship leads Bowmanville, Ontario (August 23, 2008): Randy Pobst and Michael Galati survived a late race slide through an oil slick...
Pobst and Galati finish 2nd and 3rd in exciting SPEED GT race at Mosport
Pobst and Porsche extend their championship leads
Bowmanville, Ontario (August 23, 2008): Randy Pobst and Michael Galati survived a late race slide through an oil slick to finished their K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3s in 2nd and 3rd positions in Round 7 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championships Presented by Toyo Tires here at Mosport Park in Ontario Canada.
Randy Pobst, of Gainesville Florida, used a rocket launch in his K-PAX Porsche to jump into the lead as the field behind him scrambled to dodge Brandon Davis' stationery Mustang which had lost the clutch on the standing start.
Pobst led the opening laps even enjoying as much as a 1 second lead while pole sitter Eric Curran tried to find a way around the stout Viper of Jason Daskalos but when Curran nudged Daskalos and slipped past at the end of the long back straight the action for Pobst really heated up as Pobst soon had his hands full of Currans Corvette.
"I got a real good start and Eric [Curran] was real slow off the line so I was able to get a little lead there and Jason Daskalos was second," said Pobst. "It was going great there for awhile but Eric got by Jason and he ran me down in one lap and I knew I was in for a battle.
"If fact I was really surprised that he [Curran] didn't get by me sooner. I was doing everything I could to keep him back there. My Porsche was better in a couple of corners and that helped and I was just determined that I wasn't going to screw up and give it away.
"I almost did though early in the race, I had a little lockup going into turn 5."
Galati also got a strong launch and moved up to fourth by the time the GT field streamed through Mosport's challenging turns one and two.
"I had an incredible start," said Galati. "I took off and went left but the guy in front of me stalled (Brandon Davis) and then I saw Tommy go left so I had to dodge back to the right up against the wall and when I got to turn one I was in fourth place.
"We were pulling away and I was trying to keep up with those guys (Pobst, Daskalos and Curran). It was intense."
After a full course caution intermission brought out when Sean Allen slammed his Porsche into the surprised John Bourassa the battle resumed as Pobst and Curran resumed their Canadian donnybrook now joined by Michael Galati and Tommy Archer as an ignition problem had rendered Daskalos' Viper inoperative during the caution.
It was a give and take battle as Randy and Eric were stronger in differing areas of the track but Pobst doggedly kept his Porsche ahead of Curran's Corvette while Galati's K-PAX Porsche lurked ominously behind while in turn getting pressure from Archer's Viper.
On one occasion Galati even got up alongside of Curran as Pobst and Curran got side by side through turn Moss Corner but the V-8 Corvette had too much straight line grunt for Galati's Porsche 6 and Michael fell back in line as the group entered turn 8.
"I got a couple of runs on Eric like when he got sideways coming out of Moss Corner but I couldn't do anything with him," said Galati.
Finally Curran got the run he was looking for and got along side of Pobst as the duo powered up and then down Mosport's long back straight. Curran was up alongside of Pobst going through the fast right-hand sweeper.
Thus far Pobst and Curran had raced hard but clean and this high speed side by side action was no exception as Randy gave Eric room and when the track turned left Curran held the inside so Pobst, feeling that a second would help build his championship lead much more than a trip into a tire wall, backed off giving the lead and the race win to Curran.
With Curran now in control in front Pobst now had to deal with K-PAX team mate Michael Galati who in turn was feeling heat from Archer.
While it looked like Galati was an ever so slight bit faster than Pobst Michael had no intention of pushing the issue with Pobst and followed dutifully while keeping Archer at bay as that group followed the pace car across the finish line.
"On the restart my car was working really good and I pulled up behind Randy," said Galati. "I was there and Tommy [Archer] was pressuring me. I didn't want to fight with my teammate Randy but Tommy was there too close for comfort. I think because he has more weight than I do his tires started fading earlier than mine that was the main thing.
"He is leading the championship and I didn't want to risk anything. We have to go to Detroit in a week. I didn't want to do something and screw up both of us and have Tommy go by both of us so that was my main goal."
"At the end of the race it was Michael back there and I know Michael is a racer and we don't have team orders but he was good to me," Pobst. "He got a couple of runs on the back straight but he pulled outside to let me know that he wasn't going to attack. But I wasn't 100 percent sure.
"At K-PAX we work together but we both want to win these races so Michael was good to me today!"
"There are no team orders but I am sure that if there was an opportunity to pass, Michael would take it," said Bob Raub of 3R Racing. "But he isn't going to do something dumb or even try something he would do to take a position from another team. I don't think he had too much for Randy but I think if Randy had a mistake Michael would have taken it."
Yes, the second straight race ended in caution as another engine explosion almost had a dramatic impact on the front runners, but unlike Road America all of the leaders got a scare but survived a turn 9 oil slick left by Brian Kubinski's Corvette to finish in order as Pobst and Galati slowly followed the pace car under the checkered flag in 2nd and 3rd.
"I don't know if my brain is not very quick or that white Corvette was blocking my view, those Vettes are really high in the back, but all of a sudden I see this black patch and the tire wall looks wrong and I am heading right for it and I am like 'Oh, no its oil'," said Pobst of his late race scare! "But I just did what I do when it is slippery I just held it steady and waited for it to hook up again and fortunately we all survived."
"When we got into the oil I had a shot at him [Pobst] and I even got next to him but Tommy was behind me but I didn't know if Randy would slide across the track so I backed out of it," said Galati. "I didn't want to take my own teammate out and have Tommy pass both of us! I wasn't sure so I backed off."
"First I have to compliment the K-PAX/3R Racing Team because after the last couple of races with all of the REWARDS weight I didn't think that the Porsche was going to be up front again but they re-engineered the suspension and just came here ready to rock," said Pobst! "The car has been super since we got here at Mosport.
"It is terrific to have more of a lead because in the World Challenge Series you need it. It is just incredible what can happen in a race."
"It was an incredible race and I had a good view trying to keep up, it was good," concluded Galati of his GT race at Mosport. "I have to give it to my guys on the K-PAX Racing; Will Moody gave me a great car. We were not good in qualifying but very good in the race."
"It was a good finish for us and it shows when SCCA gets the competition as close as it is now there is some good this World Challenge racing can be," said Bob Raub. "Eric Curran made a great pass for the lead and we had all of those cars up front just going for it. Michael was pressuring Randy and Tommy [Archer] was pressuring Michael at the end."
Randy Pobst's 2nd place finish coupled with Andy Pilgrim's 6th expands Randy's lead in the Driver's Championship to 102 (Pobst has 705 to 603 for Pilgrim) while Michael Galati moved up to 3rd in the championship with 541 points.
Pobst and Galati also extended the lead for Porsche in the Manufacturers' Championship Presented by Racer Magazine as Porsche now leads Dodge by 7 points (43 to 36) with Cadillac 3rd with 32, Ford 4th with 28 and Chevrolet 5th with 21.
Round 7 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Presented by Toyo Tires at Mosport can be seen on SPEED TV on Wednesday August 27th at 1:00 pm Eastern Time.