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Laguna Seca: Champion Audi RS6 preview

The Champion Audi RS6 Team is back in California this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca SMYRNA, Ga. (September 1, 2003) -- The final leg of the SPEED World Challenge GT series begins at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, California, for the Champion...

The Champion Audi RS6 Team is back in California this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

SMYRNA, Ga. (September 1, 2003) -- The final leg of the SPEED World Challenge GT series begins at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, California, for the Champion Audi RS6 Team from Pompano Beach, Florida. Audi driver Randy Pobst is in third position of the drivers' championship with his Audi RS6 Competition heading into the final three races. In the Manufacturers' Championship, defending champions Audi are currently second.

Since the last race at Road America, the organizing SCCA Pro Racing has revised the "base" weights for some cars. An additional 150 pounds have been added to the BMW M3 which now tips the scales at 2800 pounds. While the Porsche 911 Cup, having won two of the last three races, has now had its early season 100 pound weight reduction reversed and also weighs 2800 pounds.

For comparison, the Audi RS6 Competition's base weight is heavy 3200 pounds, a staggering 400 pounds more than its main rivals. Although the big, four-door German sedan features a powerful 500-hp, V8 bi-turbo motor going through an all-wheel-drive transmission system, the weight not only obviously affects its straight-line speed performance, but also makes the Audi particularly hard on its brakes and small tires in race conditions.

The 50-minute race on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will take place on Sunday, September 7th. The track, situated on the Monterey Peninsula of California near the beautiful Monterey Bay, is one of the more popular stops among racers and fans. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is known for the "Corkscrew," a downhill, spiraling series of left and right turns that is among the most famous and unique in the world. The track layout challenges drivers and race teams.

Driver quotes:

Michael Galati (43). Born: Alcaralifusi, Messina, Sicily. Lives: N. Olmsted, Ohio:

"I like Laguna Seca a lot. It is a very technical track but for our RS 6 it is likely to be quite tough due the car's weight. This fact makes the many elevation changes at Laguna Seca difficult for us while the nature of the circuit will also be hard on our brakes. Our RS 6 Competitions should benefit from further shock absorber and aero development."

Randy Pobst (46). Born: Dayton, Ohio. Lives: Gainesville, Georgia:

"I won last year's corresponding Laguna Seca race and would like to repeat that success. After a very consistent start to the season, my luck has run out in the last two races. But I still stand third in the points and Audi remains second in the Manufacturer's championship. I go to Laguna Seca on full throttle and needing to get back on to the rostrum!"

Louis Milone, Champion Racing's RS 6 Team Leader:

"The SCCA has made adjustments that go some way in equalizing the competition and that should help our chances in the final three races. The whole premise of the Speed World Challenge series is for close competition among race-prepared 'street' cars and the Road America result proved that our rivals were too light on a 'power' track that supposedly would favor our Audi RS 6 Competition."

All SPEED World Challenge races are broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on SPEED Channel.

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Series PWC
Drivers Randy Pobst , Michael Galati