Pobst wins WCGT pole position at Laguna keeps Porsches hopes alive in 11th hour Monterey, California (October 20, 2007): Randy Pobst, or Gainesville Georgia, driving the ...
Pobst wins WCGT pole position at Laguna keeps Porsches hopes alive in 11th hour
Monterey, California (October 20, 2007): Randy Pobst, or Gainesville Georgia, driving the #22 K-PAC/3R Racing Porsche GT3 won the pole position for Sunday's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship race to be held here at Laguna Seca on Sunday. Pobst also won the pole position for tomorrow's Touring Car race driving a Mazda.
Pobst's pole gave him 5 more points in the drivers' championship and combined with Lawson Aschenbach's 8th place qualifying position gave Randy a 9 point cushion on the defending champion going into the race.
"I am just absolutely thrilled," said Randy Pobst. "This pole is just fabulous for us because it extends my points lead. And I do mean us because even though it is a drivers' championship I really consider it a team prize and this K-PAX/3R Racing team has done everything possible for me to win it!"
Randy did express surprise that the lap times were so slow during this qualifying run.
"Frankly in the Porsche the track wasn't what it had been because the track has been continually changing," Pobst said. "The first lap was not my hot lap, which it usually is, because the Toyo tires didn't really come in until the second lap and man that lap was barely enough! They say that this is a Porsche track but everyone else is really close!
"The track was excellent when I went out in my Mazda Touring Car but for the GT session that followed the track wasn't as good. I think that it might have been because the Touring Cars were putting wheels off and that might have brought a lot of dirt and mud onto the track because I did notice that the track got much worse as the Touring Car session went along."
Randy Pobst indicated that his primary goal is to stay out of trouble and stay just ahead or just behind the his closest two contenders for the championship, Lawson Aschenbach who will start 8th and Andy Pilgrim who will start 2nd. But Randy's primary concern was that the team could nail down a working setup for tomorrow's race.
"We did a few extra laps at the end of the session to work on setting the car up for the race," Pobst said. "I think we need to continue to adjust if we hope to win tomorrow because the track will probably change again. If we get the setup right I think I can win the race but if not the car is strong enough to finish in the top five which will be enough to win the drivers' title.
"A good start will be very important tomorrow and after that I will have to see hot it (the race) goes. My plan right now is to drive the race to win it because I usually do my best when I am running at a race pace but my number 1 goal for tomorrow is to win the drivers' championship. Winning the race is number two!"
Pobst's time of 1:29.764 moved Porsche one very valuable point closer to Cadillac in the Manufacturers' Championship. To win the manufacturers title Post or Galati must win the race and the Cadillacs must get shut out of the top 6.
Michael Galati, of Olmstead Ohio, clocked a time of 1:30.121 in his #23 K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche GT3 to claim the third starting position just about one tenth of a second off the front row as Andy Pilgrim qualified his Cadillac 2nd with a time of 1:30.007.
Michael was quickest after his first lap but fell back to third after the first three laps of qualifying as Pobst and then Pilgrim recorded faster laps. Galati lowered his time on his 4th lap but could not improve after that.
"I was actually disappointed with the times at first and I thought I would be lower in the order because I was slower than yesterday," Galati said of his qualifying run. "But the track was a little green after the rain last night. The track was dry but not as good as it was yesterday.
"The first two laps were within one tenth and I stayed out but the tires had gone off a bit so I couldn't do any better. The session went well enough. We made some changes but the track seemed a little slipperier than it had been. On the first lap I was P1 and then on the second lap I was going faster but got the car a little bit sideways and that was it."
"I think that the crew did a good job to get the car where it is on the grid so I am looking forward to the race tomorrow," Galati concluded.