PWC

Millville: GT penultimate round preview

SPEED GT Makes Garden State Debut Millville, N.J. (Sept. 27, 2008) -- It's understandable why the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT teams might be a little nervous heading into Round Eight at Thunderbolt Raceway. Not only is it the ...

SPEED GT Makes Garden State Debut

Millville, N.J. (Sept. 27, 2008) -- It's understandable why the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT teams might be a little nervous heading into Round Eight at Thunderbolt Raceway. Not only is it the penultimate round of the season, but it's on a brand new course, rain is in the forecast and they'll be headed straight to Road Atlanta for the finale afterwards. That's a lot of pressure to learn the track quickly, run up front and bring the car home in one piece. It also sounds like prime conditions for a Championship shakeup.

Pobst appears to have a comfortable lead in the SPEED GT Drivers' Championship with 116 points over Andy Pilgrim, but with 110 points awarded for the win and two rounds to go, anything is possible. Arriving at a new course, success depends just as much on the team's ability to find the right setup as it does on driver skill, and Pobst and Pilgrim have some of the best teams behind them in the paddock. Pilgrim will be attempting to put as much space as possible between his No. 8 Remington Shaving Cadillac CTS-V and Pobst's No. 1 K-PAX Racing Porsche 911 to ensure the title fight continues onto the final round. That will be tricky to do if it rains, as Pobst is the master of changing track conditions.

Pilgrim and Pobst's teammates Michael McCann and Michael Galati could prove especially useful in both the Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championship Presented by RACER Magazine. McCann's No. 16 Remington Shaving Cadillac CTS-V or Galati's No. 23 K-PAX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 may serve as one additional points-paying spot between Pilgrim and Pobst as well as Porsche and Cadillac. The only manufacturer yet to score a win this season, Cadillac trails Porsche by 14 points and is in danger of being caught by Dodge and Ford, who are three and six points behind, respectively.

Speaking of Ford, the No. 10 ACS/Sun Microsystems Ford Mustang pilot Brandon Davis is currently fourth in the Drivers' Championship, only 20 points behind Galati. Currently riding an up-and-down season of DNFs and podium finishes, if Davis' car is on point and a good qualifying position allows him to keep his nose clean, he'll be the one Pobst and Pilgrim are chasing.

Dodge is currently chasing Cadillac in the Manufacturers' Championship. On the strength of three wins by Tommy Archer, the marque trails Cadillac by only three points. Without Archer in the field this weekend, it will be up to Jeff Courtney and Jason Daskalos to lead the charge. Courtney is still working on his qualifying game in the No. 99 Kenda/TJM/MPI Coin Dodge Viper, but has already won two Sunoco Hard Charger awards for picking up the most positions in a race. After disappointing finishes at Road America and Mosport, Daskalos finally put the No. 5 Coastal Pet Products Dodge Viper where it belongs at Detroit, in the top 10. Courtney and Daskalos are currently eighth and ninth, respectively in the Drivers' Championship.

Which way will Eric Curran's weekend go at New Jersey Motorsports Park? After a string of frustrating DNFs, Curran broke through at Mosport for his first win of the year, only to hit trouble once again at Detroit in the No. 30 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Corvette. Perhaps a new track will be a fresh start for Curran.

The team missed Detroit, but Tommy Milner is back in the No. 21 Sinders Racing/Rahal Letterman Aston Martin DB9. Brian Simo is also back to pilot the No. 13 Woodhouse Performance Dodge Viper.

Round Nine of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Championships begins with two morning practice sessions on Friday, Sept. 26, followed by qualifying at 2:15 p.m. (EDT). Racing will commence at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27. Live timing and notes are available throughout the weekend at www.world-challenge.com. The race will air on SPEED, Wednesday, Oct. 15, at noon (EDT).

-credit: scca pro racing

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Series PWC
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , Brian Simo , Tommy Archer , Michael Galati , Eric Curran , Michael McCann , Brandon Davis , Tommy Milner , Jeff Courtney , Jason Daskalos