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Galati wins Las Vegas GT race

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Michael Galati, of North Olmstead, Ohio, led flag-to-flag to score Audi's first-ever Speedvision World Challenge GT Championship win at the Grand Prix of Las Vegas, Presented by enjoythedrive.com from Las Vegas Motor ...

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Michael Galati, of North Olmstead, Ohio, led flag-to-flag to score Audi's first-ever Speedvision World Challenge GT Championship win at the Grand Prix of Las Vegas, Presented by enjoythedrive.com from Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Terry Borcheller, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Bill Cooper, of Bozeman, Mt., completed the top-three. Starting from the pole in the No. 9 Champion Audi S4 Competition, Galati's all-wheel drive gave him an advantage at the standing start. Unlike the two previous races, in which Galati took the early lead, his car ran strong the entire event, at one point building a 12.834-second lead over Borcheller. A late-race caution to retrieve a disabled car closed the gap between the two, allowing Borcheller a shot on the final lap restart. Galati missed a shift coming out of the last corner, allowing Borcheller to get a run, but held on as the two crossed the finish line side-by-side. Officially, Galati averaged 88.761 mph en route to his 0.105-second victory--the closest in the 11-year Speedvision World Challenge history. "I missed a gear coming out of the last turn, but I thought I had enough," said Galati, who earned his ninth-career Speedvision World Challenge win. "Terry [Borcheller] was coming really fast, but I would have jumped out of the car in front of him if I had to. "This is a big win for Audi. Everyone has worked really hard to get here. After all of the gremlins we've had the last few races, this is fantastic." Borcheller, who started third in the No. 52 AASCO Performance Saleen SR, was in the hunt the first half of the race, but fell back as the leaders encountered traffic. The second-place was Borcheller's second-consecutive and third-straight podium finish. "We were good in our qualifying and rain setup, but our race setup had a push," said Borcheller. "I figured it would come around and be really good in the middle of the race as the fuel level went down, but it didn't. We didn't give up though. I got a great restart and thought we had a chance at the finish." Cooper's third place was his second-straight in the No. 01 Les Stanford/Pirate Racing Chevrolet Corvette C5--moving Chevrolet into a tie with Porsche for the Manufacturers' Championship with one race remaining. "I'm not a fan of one-lap dash restarts, but this time it worked out for us--sometimes you're the windshield, other times you're the bug," said Cooper, who sits third in Championship points. "[Bobby] Archer anticipated the start and flew by [Dave] Schardt and I, but I got a run on him coming out of turn five and was able to get into third." Boris Said was in the hunt early for the lead in the No. 41 AER/Bob McGraw Racing Ford Mustang, but received a stop-and-go penalty for a pass under yellow. He fell back to 12th, and made his way back up to fourth at the finish, followed by Schardt's Wheel Source/Hikari Racing Porsche, who earned the Borla Performance Award for running as high as third prior to the restart. Bobby Archer finished sixth, gaining one point on Jeff McMillin, who finished eighth, in the Championship race. McMillin now leads 190 to 182 with only one race remaining. Cooper is third (169), followed by Galati (167) and Justin Jackson (149)--who clinched the 2000 Rookie of the Year title. Peter Cunningham, who started 45th and last in his BMW M3 after a technical violation in qualifying, made it back to as high as fifth before finishing seventh.

-SCCA/SCCA ProRacing-

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Series PWC
Drivers Boris Said , Terry Borcheller , Michael Galati , Peter Cunningham , Jeff McMillin , Bobby Archer , Justin Jackson