Galati Takes Lime Rock Win, Speedvision GT Points Lead LAKEVILLE, Conn. (May 28, 2001)- Michael Galati, of N. Olmstead, Ohio, jumped into the lead of the SCCA Pro Racing Speedvision World Challenge GT Championship Round Four race at Lime Rock...
Galati Takes Lime Rock Win, Speedvision GT Points Lead
LAKEVILLE, Conn. (May 28, 2001)- Michael Galati, of N. Olmstead, Ohio, jumped into the lead of the SCCA Pro Racing Speedvision World Challenge GT Championship Round Four race at Lime Rock Park and never looked back to take the win and the points lead. Jimmy Adams, of Suffolk, Va., and Mike Fitzgerald, of Phoenix, Ariz., completed the top three.
Starting second in the No. 9 Champion Audi S4 Competition, Galati got the hammer down on the standing start and was able to pull into the lead in turn one. After that, the three-time Speedvision Touring Car Champion was never seriously challenged, taking a 9.098-second victory, averaging 72.685 mph in the 61.2-mile event.
"It was a fantastic race for us," said Galati. "We got a terrific start because of the Quattro system in the Audi. I was really concentrating on the restart this year, because it was bad for us last year. I was able to work to a sizeable lead. This was just a great weekend for us."
Galati was able to take the season Championship points lead when polesitter Peter Cunningham's Acura NSX sustained a broken left rear hub on lap 22. He finished 23rd to score only three race points.
Adams, who started fourth in the No. 77 Caldwell Coach/MCI/Amadas Industries Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, ran third to Galati and Cunningham in the early stages of the race, withstanding furious attacks from both Fitzgerald and Eric Curran. On lap 18 of 40, Fitzgerald dove to the inside of Adams for the position. The two touched, and Fitzgerald spun back to ninth.
"[Mike Fitzgerald] was coming hard," said Adams. "He tried to get inside of me and we both went in really hot. It's unfortunate he spun, but I was able to gather it up and continue."
After Fitzgerald fell back and Cunningham dropped out, Adams came under fire from Curran, who started 13th in his Corvette C5. Just as Curran felt he'd completed the pass for second, his car shut off, and he fell back to fifth at the finish. It was smooth sailing for Adams for the remainder of the race to take his first-career podium finish.
"I'm really happy. We had kind of a heartbreaker here last year. It was fun, and felt good to run up front."
Fitzgerald sliced through the field in the No. 94 Trans Sport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, despite not knowing his position throughout his run.
"At the end of the race, I was looking at the scoreboard to tell what position I was in," said Fitzgerald, who moved to second in points-19 behind Galati. "The last couple of laps, it had me in second and third! I never really knew, and I had lost communication with the pits."
Rookie Bobby Sak, of Kalamazoo, Mich., had a career-best finish of fourth in his Corvette C5, followed by Curran, who earned the Borla Performance Award for his efforts. He also received the Rogaine Hair Raising Pass of the Day, for a move he put on Sak early in the race.
"I had a great run on Bobby, and I even managed to put all four wheels in the dirt on the backstretch getting around him," said Curran, of S. Deerfield, Mass. "He didn't give me any room at all, so I put my foot down and went for it."
The race was slowed by one caution for 10 laps. Phil McClure, of Floris, Iowa, was uninjured when his car flipped between the final two corners on the second lap.