Laguna Seca: Audi race report

Randy Pobst of Champion Racing on the podium at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca SALINAS, Ca. (September 7, 2003) - Randy Pobst handed Champion Racing a seventh top-three rostrum finish when he expertly steered his Audi Sport North America supported...

Randy Pobst of Champion Racing on the podium at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

SALINAS, Ca. (September 7, 2003) - Randy Pobst handed Champion Racing a seventh top-three rostrum finish when he expertly steered his Audi Sport North America supported RS 6 Competition in to third place in the eighth round of today's SPEED World Challenge GT race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The result moves Pobst back into second place in the while defending GT champion Michael Galati remains ninth after finishing 11th in California.

For the third time this season, Audi dominated the front row of the 24-car grid, Pobst earning his second Champion Racing pole-position over teammate Galati by 0.481-secs on Saturday.

Pobst and Galati blasted away at the green light but Michael was forced to surrender second place on the final turn of the opening lap when Paul Mumford dived inside and then repeated the maneuver on Pobst two laps later to take the lead.

With seven laps run, Pobst shadowed Mumford's Dodge Viper by less than a second although Galati by now had been jostled down to eighth place as the race went full course yellow after 19 minutes (11 laps).

As the race re-started, Pobst pulled alongside Mumford through Turn 1 but slid straight on and into the gravel/sand trap at Turn 2. Randy resumed in 11th place, his Audi RS 6 Competition thankfully undamaged, as Galati worked up to sixth.

Randy had recovered three places inside two laps and moved ahead of Galati, suffering from a badly worn front, right tire, pulled over to allow his teammate past. Randy was in a determined mood and started the last lap fourth after a series of tremendous overtaking maneuvers.

Randy hauled himself ahead of Michael McCann (Dodge Viper) on the uphill section, a move that put him on to the podium. Pobst took the checker 15.26 secs behind winner Mumford who held a 0.745 secs ahead of Pobst's main title rival Bill Auberlen (BMW M3).

Galati had looked set to register a solid top-eight placing but worsening brake and tire issues combined with a the accelerator sticking open on the last lap dropped the reigning champion to 11th.

Michael Galati:

"I took a couple of hits from a Porsche, one of which damaged the suspension so it was a handful after that. The brakes had been worked hard after only three or four laps and then my tires started to go off. Then a spring on the accelerator broke and I went over the hill at Turn 1 at 140 mph with it stuck open but managed to survive a big moment."

Randy Pobst:

"My Audi RS 6 Competition was the best it's been all year - absolutely fantastic. My only concern during the race was the brakes but the yellow caution period allowed them to cool off. But I asked too much of the brakes at the re-start although the all-wheel-drive traction pulled me through the sand and gravel trap. The final laps were exciting and it's good to reward the team with another rostrum after their hard work."

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Series ALMS
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Randy Pobst , Michael Galati , Michael McCann , Paul Mumford