LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Four-time Speed World Challenge GT Champion Michael Galati led wire-to-wire this morning to win his second race of the season at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. "It looked like walk in the park, but it wasn't," exclaimed ...
LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Four-time Speed World Challenge GT Champion Michael Galati led wire-to-wire this morning to win his second race of the season at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
"It looked like walk in the park, but it wasn't," exclaimed Galati after his 15th career win. "Early on, I had a good start and I tried to pull away from Johannes and Randy. And then I saw them running side-by-side, so I was hoping that they would keep battling with each other so that I could pull away from them. My brakes were my only concern."
Luckily, a spin by Greg Merril brought out a yellow in the middle of the race that enabled Galati's brakes to cool off for a couple of laps as course workers extricated Merril's stranded Porsche from the Turn 4 gravel trap.
"Once I saw the yellow, I said, 'Thank God,' because it allowed my brakes to cool off," added Galati.
While Galati pulled away from the rest of the 25-car field once again on the restart, the Porsches of Johannes van Overbeek and Randy Pobst ran nose-to-tail for the rest of the race, with van Overbeek holding on to the runner-up spot at the checkered flag.
"Randy was pressuring me from behind and I just couldn't catch Mike," said van Overbeek. "Before the first yellow, I thought that I was catching Mike under braking. I thought I had a legitimate shot at Mike. But after the yellow, I couldn't make up the difference on him."
"I went faster in the race than I did in qualifying, but Johannes only made one mistake -- he missed a shift -- and I couldn't take advantage of it," explained Pobst. "I was going full on every moment and Mike and Johannes gave me all I could handle. I went door-to-door with Johannes at the start and I could get in to the corners a little deeper than the other guys, but the brakes and the engine in my car weren't cooling very well today because of all the humidity in the air. Mid-Ohio seems to favor the all-wheel drive cars, like the Audis."
Jeff McMillin and Derek Bell rounded out the top-five.
Galati's convincing win enabled him to take an 11 point lead over Peter Cunningham, who finished seventh, in the Speed GT point championship standings.