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Champion Racing returns in 2004

Champion Racing's Audi RS 6 Team Returns to SCCA SPEED World Challenge -- but with Changes SMYRNA, Ga. (March 8, 2004) -- The Champion Racing Audi RS 6 team returns to the SPEED World Challenge GT Series to defend last years Drivers' Title ...

Champion Racing's Audi RS 6 Team Returns to SCCA SPEED World Challenge -- but with Changes

SMYRNA, Ga. (March 8, 2004) -- The Champion Racing Audi RS 6 team returns to the SPEED World Challenge GT Series to defend last years Drivers' Title (awarded to Randy Pobst) and Manufacturer's Title. Teammates Randy Pobst and Michael Galati will reunite with Champion Racing (Pompano Beach, FL) in their quest for more victories sporting a new look and a new sponsor, Audi Certified pre-owned. The team will officially be called the Audi Certified Champion RS 6 Team.

Supporting the winning efforts of the two car team is new sponsor Audi Certified pre-owned. Audi Certified pre-owned vehicles are fast becoming the most sought-after European import pre-owned vehicles. This comes as no surprise when you consider that German luxury cars, and Audi's in particular, are engineered to be among the most innovative and exciting vehicles on the road.

"My customers are the race fans, especially the young people who share the same emotional tie of passion for motorsports," said Reinhard Fischer, Audi Certified pre-owned Corporate Sales Team Leader. "We want to capture those young people and let them know there is an affordable way to drive an Audi."

SCCA's platform of maintaining street form versions of Touring cars and Grand Touring race cars is also a reason Audi Certified pre-owned chose to get involved with Champion Racing in the SPEED World Challenge GT Series. "We want to use the halo effect of the 'racing A6' to sell as many Certified pre-owned A6's as possible," said Fischer. "We feel that race cars are used cars and after their first race they still go on to win races. Even the pit-stop of a race car can be compared to a certification process: one driver jumps out, the technicians recondition the car, and the next driver jumps in."

Audi Certified pre-owned vehicles offer consumers many important benefits such as a comprehensive vehicle inspection and other new car benefits including dealer warranty, roadside assistance, and in many cases, the balance of no-charge scheduled maintenance.

"The Audi Certified pre-owned program is truly a great opportunity for buyers to experience the brand. The vehicles are just like new, and they're backed by almost the same warranty and owner programs as new," Fischer said. "It's also a great way for Audi to introduce the brand to more customers. Once they get their first drive in an Audi, in many cases the next new car they buy will also be an Audi."

"We are very happy to have Audi Certified pre-owned join us for the 2004 season," states Rod Bymaster, Motorsports Manager for Audi of America. "We anticipate the 2004 season to be very competitive. Champion Racing has worked long hours all winter in getting the improvements implemented. The cars evolved nicely in 2003, winning the last two races of the season, and with the continued evolution we expect to win some races in 2004."

The 2004 version of the Certified Audi RS 6 will be significantly different in appearance and performance as both cars have undergone a major renovation in order to stay competitive with new factory entries.

One of the major changes to the Audi is with the addition of the 305 sized Toyo RA-1 tires. While increasing the width of the tire is beneficial to Audi's all-wheel drive system, it does come at a cost. The 2004 RS 6 will continue to be powered by a 4.2 liter, V8, bi-turbo engine but the boost will be reduced in comparison to last year.

Other changes have been the significant reduction in weight from last year's chassis and a redesign of all four fenders and rocker panels to accommodate the larger Toyo tires. The original red and silver paint scheme that first appeared on the Audi S4's in 2000 has also returned.

Randy Pobst (Gainesville, GA), recorded two wins, eight podium finishes, three poles and one fast race lap record (Puerto Rico) en route to winning his first SPEED World Challenge GT Drivers' Championship. "My intentions and goals this year are to try and win both titles again," said Pobst. "Last year was a tremendous battle but we won because we were consistent and made few mistakes. Champion Racing has continually made improvements on the RS 6 and with the new tires and of course the quattro system, we should be quite competitive against the new teams coming in. I'm sure it will be great racing right down to the season finale, just like last year."

Michael Galati (Olmstead, OH), finished his 2003 season with three trips to the podium and five top-10 finishes. "Our goal this year is to pick up where we finished off last year," said Galati. "Champion Racing has made incredible improvements to the car this year and I love the new paint scheme. The thing with Sebring is you don't know what the competition is going to be like, especially from the new teams. I feel very positive though. I am looking forward to a good year for myself and my team."

The SCCA SPEED World Challenge season will make its first standing start of 2004 at Sebring International Raceway for the fourth-consecutive year as part of the 52nd Mobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring week March 17-20. In 2004, the series will visit Lime Rock Park, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Infineon Raceway, Portland International Raceway, Mosport International Raceway, Road America, Road Atlanta Motorsports Center and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

-cr-

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Series PWC
Drivers Randy Pobst , Michael Galati