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Utah: K-PAX/3R Racing race report

K-PAX/3R Racing Porsches finish 4th and 5th in Utah World Challenge GT race Tooele Utah (May 19, 2007): The K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche GT3s of Randy Pobst and Michael Galati finished 4th and 5th in today's Round 3 of SCCA Pro Racing's SPEED World...

K-PAX/3R Racing Porsches finish 4th and 5th in Utah World Challenge GT race

Tooele Utah (May 19, 2007): The K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche GT3s of Randy Pobst and Michael Galati finished 4th and 5th in today's Round 3 of SCCA Pro Racing's SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Series here at Miller Motorsports Park in northern Utah. Robb Holland overcame an early over steer problem to finish his Motorsports Gallery/K-PAX Porsche in 23rd position.

Both Randy Pobst, of Gainesville Georgia, and Michael Galati, of North Olmstead Ohio, got off to strong starts as the GT field launched from their standing start and rocketed down the long Miller straightaway into turn 1. On the opening lap of the 4.486 mile track Pobst was 3rd in the #22 K-PAX Porsche with Galati 5th in the #23 Porsche.

"The start went well but it was hard because I couldn't see the starting lights because they were reflecting in the sun," Pobst said of the standing start that begins every World Challenge GT race. "It looked like they were already on!"

Early on Pobst had to fend off repeated challenges from GT point leader Eric Curran while trying to pass Lou Gigliotti for second. Passing the start finish line beginning lap 3 Randy tucked in behind Gigliotti's Corvette and dove past into turn 1 to take over the 2nd position.

Pobst immediately started working over race leader and eventual race winner Tommy Archer through the twisty parts of the course only to see Archer's powerful Viper motor away down the front straight.

As the leaders headed into turn 1 for lap 5 Pobst tried an out breaking maneuver on Archer but ran out of room as the cars were under heavy breaking. Pobst got into the Viper slightly spinning his Porsche to avoid heavy contact.

"I couldn't quite pull off the pass on Tommy and then I was trying my best to make the corner," Randy said with a slow shake of his head still wet from the heat of the race. "Doggone it that was too bad because the team gave me a good car today and I think that we had a shot at winning the race today!"

Randy got back into the action quickly but the spin dropped Pobst back to 5th temporarily. Undaunted Pobst set the fastest time of the race and a new GT track record of 2:57.759 on lap 7 catching back up to the lead trio of Archer, Gigliotti and Dou Peterson.

Randy Pobst caught the lead group but try as he might Randy couldn't get past Peterson's Corvette and had to settle for a very close and hard fought 4th place finish only 1.5 seconds behind the race winner after 63 miles of sprint racing. The P-PAX Porsches have finished 4th in all three World Challenge GT races in 2007.

"I just couldn't get the K-PAX Porsche any further up towards the front at the end," Pobst said of the final laps of the race. "We had the handling but we didn't have the power to get close enough at the end of the straightaway.

"The changes the crew made for the race really improved the car after the race. Will Moody and the entire K-PAX/3R Racing team never quit working and my K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche GT3 was really good in the race."

Michael Galati ran in the top 5 all day but couldn't quite catch the four leaders but drove his K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche GT3 to a well deserved 5th place finish as he battled with the factory Cadillac CTS-V of defending GT driver's champion Lawson Aschenbach for most of the race.

"I am going to try to go as fast as I can," Michael Galati said of his race strategy before the race. "I don't think that we have any chance to get up front and win because those top 4 cars are too fast but we will do the best we can and fight it out for 5th or 6th. I am three seconds from the pole so I think that those guys are going to check out."

"Michael's car was a little loose in the beginning of the race but it came back to him at the end," said Bob Raub.

Michael Galati's pre race words turned out to be a bit of fortune telling as he finished only 14 seconds off the leaders pace in 5th position.

Bob Raub of 3R Racing hesitated when asked how the weekend went for the K- PAX 3R racing team but then replied to the positive.

"Overall it was a good weekend for us," Raub said. "We were competitive, more competitive that I thought we would be. The issue we have is that we just can't seem to get to the podium!

"I really like the way SCCA has set up the points but you have to qualify in the points and you have to finish in the podium to remain competitive in the point's race!"

Robb Holland, of Denver Colorado, had said at the start of the weekend that this race, being his first in the GT Porsche would be a learning and developmental race and the race played out as had the weekend as his Porsche started out with a bad over steer problem but settled down for the final laps.

"It was a little tough in the first half of the race because the car was super loose and my lap times really suffered," Holland said of his race. "Fortunately with about 4 or 5 laps left came in a bit and I was able to drop 3 or 4 seconds off my lap times!"

As indicated Robb's best laps in the Motorsport Gallery/K-PAX Porsche GT3 were his last two laps.

"The race was just like the rest of the week here," said Holland. "We are making progress but we don't have the results just yet to show for it. We will keep at it and we will get better I can promise you that!"

-credit: k-pax

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Series PWC
Drivers Tommy Archer , Randy Pobst , Lawson Aschenbach , Michael Galati , Lou Gigliotti , Eric Curran , Robb Holland