Pobst and Galati qualify 5th and 10th for Round 10 of SCCA SPEED GT in Georgia Braselton, Georgia (October 2, 2008): Randy Pobst and Michael Galati qualified their K-PAX/3R Racing Team Porsche 911 GT3s 5th and 10th for Round 10 of the SCCA Pro...
Pobst and Galati qualify 5th and 10th for Round 10 of SCCA SPEED GT in Georgia
Braselton, Georgia (October 2, 2008): Randy Pobst and Michael Galati qualified their K-PAX/3R Racing Team Porsche 911 GT3s 5th and 10th for Round 10 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championships at Road Atlanta Raceway.
Coming to the Road Atlanta track is always a homecoming event for Randy Pobst who resides just down route 53 in Gainesville Georgia and while the defending WCGT Drivers' Champion showed front row potential all week during practice in search of a repeat championship a slick track during Thursday caught Pobst and his K-PAX/3R Porsche a little off guard.
"I'm a little disappointed, I thought that we'd run faster," was Randy Pobst's assessment of qualifying. "It was one of those days when you don't feel really good.
"I felt really good about my K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche going in and we have been very strong in every practice but today the track just didn't seem to have the grip it had yesterday. I really noticed it under braking. I could attack the brake zones in practice but today I couldn't.
"Grip is very important for the Porsche in this series because we don't have the power that the other cars have so we have to make up ground under braking and by carrying speed through the turns. Low grip tracks don't lend themselves well to that."
As was the case with several competitors today, Randy's second qualifying lap was his fastest as he turned a 1:26.604 on lap 2. Pobst returned to the track late in the session after some minor adjustments but couldn't improve on his best time.
"I blew my first lap by making little mistakes in several corners so I actually slowed down to get in a good second lap," said Pobst. "I drove some good laps but my times were about the same or slower than they were in practice which is unusual."
"I got in some clean laps later in the session, clean but slow," said Pobst with a laugh.
Randy Pobst's closest rival in the Drivers' Championship, Andy Pilgrim, qualified 3th and is still mathematically alive for the championship at 88 points behind Randy. Should Pobst finish last in the 26 car field scheduled to begin tomorrow's race he will score 23 points for a total 926. Should Pilgrim win the race and lead the most laps in doing so he will score the maximum of 112 points and have 927 points and that would beat Pobst by one single point.
Any other scenario will result in back to back championship seasons for Randy Pobst and his #1 K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3!
"We are still after the championship and we are starting in a good spot on the grid but we still have to survive tomorrow's race," Pobst said of the race on Friday. "Round 10 will be a matter of survival for me and my trusty K-PAX Porsche!"
Michael Galati, of Olmstead Ohio, turned in his best lap of 1:26.998 on his first qualifying lap in the #23 K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 despite an early miscue. Michael clocked a 1:27.006 on his second pass and pitted to cool his tires and let the crew make adjustments.
"I messed up my first qualifying lap," said Michael Galati honestly. "I got my Porsche completely sideways in turn 5 on my flier lap. We only got in two qualifying laps and I went out later in the session after some adjustments but couldn't improve on my time."
Galati also mentioned that the track Road Atlanta seemed slicker for qualifying.
"Yes the grip level was down a little bit today because one, it is the middle of the day in Georgia and the track is hot and people have been spreading dust all over the track so, yes, the grip was down," said Galati. "In the Touring Car I did a 33.3 but I was doing 33.4s in practice on old tires so I think everyone was a little slower today.
"But I was really struggling all day yesterday and the day before so having a car I could drive harder made me feel more comfortable that I did before. The good thing is that the car was better than it has been all week so we are going in the right direction.
"I think we will have a good car for the race so we should be able to move up from where we qualified during the race."
Pobst and Galati will take the always exciting World Challenge standing start in their matching K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars on Friday October 3rd 2008 at 12:20 pm in the Road Atlanta SCCA SPEED GT Finale Presented by Foametix® which will conclude the 2008 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship season.
The race will be shown on SPEED TV on Wednesday October 15th at 1:00 pm Eastern Time.