Randy Pobst on his survival on the steets of St. Petersburg

A Volvo kinda year: Randy Pobst in his own words following the first two rounds of the new season.

St. Petersburg, FL (March 25, 2013) – Randy and his No. 6 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 team came to the streets of St Petersburg with the number one goal of winning the Manufacturers' Championship in the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge GT Class Championship. The weekend started out strong in qualifying with both Volvos breaking the lap record, with Alex on the pole and Randy next to him on the front row. In the first race of the doubleheader of the St. Petersburg Sports Car Challenge presented by StopTech, Alex and Randy got off to an early lead. Randy developed brake and tire issues and wound up finishing fifth, and Alex first, with a little help from the technical inspectors. On Sunday, Randy benefited from adjustments, and a few lucky breaks, to finish second. Not a bad way to start a season.

Randy Pobst, K-PAX Racing/Volvo S60
Randy Pobst, K-PAX Racing/Volvo S60

Photo by: Martin W. Spetz

"I'm not thrilled, but I'm kinda pleased. My whole strategy this weekend was one of survival. Its the first race of the season at a super tight, twisty course. St Pete is really tricky in the Turn 4 to Turn 9 section and its almost impossible to pass a lower class GTS car through there. You just have to wait and follow them. The track is also hard on brakes and so is the Volvo, because if its weight and weight distribution. We have the advantage of all-wheel drive and the disadvantage of more weight and brake issues. The K-Pax team has worked so hard to improve the brakes and we have made progress but they are still not as good as our competition, at least not at this track. Its just one of the factors of racing."

"In the first race, I was doing battle with the cars behind me while Alex got out to a nice lead. I got slowed down in traffic and the Porsche got a run on me at the kink in Turn 9A, which was my nemesis in the races. I would get caught in traffic there and that's where the cars would pass me. I got passed there again and was in fourth position until there was a late yellow for a stalled car. We ran around for awhile on a really hot day and the Pirelli tires got sticky and started picking up rubber off the track. I worked so hard to clean them off but didn't do enough to clean the back tires. As I was going through that kink, the car snapped sideways and both Cadillacs got by me. That's how we ended up where we came home. Alex also had a problem with tire build up and almost lost it in Turn 1 on the restart, allowing the Porsche to get by. Alex finished in second and I finished in sixth until the Porsche failed post inspection due to having an illegal front splitter. So now Alex is the winner and I moved up to fifth."

"In the second race we did a standing start and the Volvos jumped into the lead like we often do, from the second and fourth starting positions. I had that Porsche on my tail again but Will Moody at K-PAX Racing had made some adjustments and the Volvo was better and more fun to drive. But once my brakes and tires got good and hot, I couldn't quite stop like he did and he dive bombed me and got by. I had a good battle with the Audi for awhile, but with the same braking issues, he got me in Turn 10. Alex had a nice lead but broke the suspension right near the end. Then the Porsche got a flat tire and all of a sudden, I was in second place behind the Audi. I gave it all I had but ended up on his bumper across the finish line. We got a couple of lucky breaks. We come out of here in first in Manufacturers' points and that is out goal. Maybe we can find the Voo Doo dancer in Long Beach that came by last year at Party on Pine and put a spell on the car."

"The real victory of the weekend was that my car was utterly reliable and ran perfectly all weekend which is a testament to K-PAX and Volvo. Our team will continue to work to improve on it. I'd like to thank Jennifer Drews for her tremendous support as my business manager, home contractor and girlfriend. It was nice to see my father Gene, my sister Judi and her husband Kurt, Kurt's parents and my old high school friends Bob and Julie. We also had the Volvo North America execs Tim Fissinger and Dan Maida with us for the race. We always have great support from Volvo and from family and friends. I would also like to thank my personal sponsors Saferacer and TPC Racing. I look forward to working with them this year."

Round Three of the Pirelli World Challenge will take place April 19-21 at the Long Beach Grand Prix presented by Kia, as part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Randy Pobst

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About this article
Series PWC
Drivers Randy Pobst
Article type Race report
Tags k-pax racing, pirlli world challenge, pobst, scca-wc, st. petersburg, volvo