Pobst and Galati finish their K-PAX Porsches in 4th and 14th in Utah SPEED GT race Tooele Utah (May 18, 2008): Round 3 of SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Championships here at Miller Motorsports Park was a bit of a struggle for the SCCA...
Pobst and Galati finish their K-PAX Porsches in 4th and 14th in Utah SPEED GT race
Tooele Utah (May 18, 2008): Round 3 of SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Championships here at Miller Motorsports Park was a bit of a struggle for the SCCA SPEED GT Championship points leader Randy Pobst and his K-PAX/3R Racing team mate Michael Galati today as Pobst could keep pace with the top three cars but could not pass them and finished 4th while Galati had to recover from a first lap penalty and a rock shower to finish 14th.
After problems in qualifying on Saturday Randy Pobst saw plenty of positives in finishing 4th in a race in which he started having no idea how well his Porsche would perform.
"I am actually thrilled with the way this race played out because going into the race we weren't sure what we had going in," said Pobst. "My K-PAX Porsche was pretty good in practice and then we made some minor changes for qualifying and they didn't work. It was a disaster!
"My engineer Will Moody looked back and found a setup that he thought would work but we weren't sure. Will came up with a great solution because my Porsche handled better than it had all weekend! When a car is setup that well it is fun to drive and I had a lot of fun today. My K-PAX Porsche was like an extension of my body it was that comfortable to drive!"
Pobst, of Gainesville Georgia, moved his #1 K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 up early from his 11th starting position and was in 6th by lap 2 and by lap 7 was 5th and dogging Andy Pilgrim's Cadillac for the 4th position which became 3rd when Cindy Lux spun her Viper on lap 11 trying to pass the Mustang of Brandon Davis for 2nd. After a race long battle Pilgrim prevailed for 3rd with Pobst right behind in 4th.
Davis, who won Round 2 at Long Beach, ran 2nd for the duration as he tried but seemingly had nothing for the race winning Dodge Viper of Tommy Archer, who won this race last season, as he paced the field comfortably from the front.
"I was starting 11th so our race strategy was to steadily move up and try to catch Davis and Pilgrim because those are the guys I am fighting for the championship," said Pobst. "My best move of the race was early on when I was able to pass Mike Davis' Mustang going into turn 7. That allowed me to keep up with the leaders."
Later in the race Randy was trying to pass Pilgrim's Cadillac for the final podium position and almost did but lapped traffic ended that bid.
"I had caught Andy (Pilgrim) at one point but we caught some lapped traffic at just the wrong place and time and lost a lot of space getting by them so that was it," said Pobst. "But, I am very happy with the results and really pleased with the way Will has the car handling.
"I am 5 points down to Brandon (Davis) but with the new points system that is nothing. The high level of preparation from 3R Racing and the reliability of the Porsche should become a plus for us as the season goes along!"
Michael Galati, of Olmstead Ohio, got moved to the back of the field when he was forced to visit the pits to serve a Stop-And-Go penalty for jumping the start. Galati and his #23 K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche GT3 certainly could have used a yellow flag but got none as the race went green for all 22 laps around the 4.5 mile Miller Motorsports Park track.
Galati rallied back working his way through traffic looking for an early caution flag that would never come when his race went from bad to worse.
"I stopped to serve the penalty and when I got back out I was passing cars and moving up through the field when a car went off in front of me and showered my car with rocks," said Galati. "It put four or five holes in my windshield. It looks like someone was shooting at me right now, bang, bang, bang right across the windshield!
"The worst part was that a rock went into the left side of the radiator and punched a hole in it. The motor started getting hot and when the alarm started going off I just tried to make it to the finish. I spent the rest of the race short shifting and trying to save the motor."
"As bad as it was and as much as we were out-horsepowered today Michael still stayed in 4th place in the points and although Randy fell out of the points lead he is only a few points behind," said Jim Haughey of K-PAX Racing.
"It was a tough weekend," said Michael Galati of his 14th place finish in the GT race and after getting hit and knocked out of the Touring Car race earlier in the day. "I rolled a bit at the start and I got penalized for it, it was my fault and it was too bad because I good start and the car in front of me stalled so I was up into 5th or 6th position on the first lap."
Randy Pobst's 4th place finish coupled with the 2nd place finish of Brandon Davis dropped Randy to 2nd place in the GT Drivers' Championship as Davis has 310 points to 305 for Pobst. Galati is 4th with 230. Pobst's 4th place finish wasn't enough to keep Porsche in the lead for the Manufacturers' Championship as Davis' 2nd place finish moved Ford into the top spot with 21 points to 19 for Porsche. Cadillac is 3rd with 17 and Dodge is 4th with 13.
The SPEED GT Championship race from Miller Park in Utah will air on SPEED TV on Wednesday May 28th at 1 p.m. Eastern Time.
The K-PAX/3R Racing Team will look to rebound as Round 4 of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT Series will be held on June 6-8 at Watkins Glen. Randy Pobst won that race last year in his K-PAX/3R Porsche.