Pobst and Galati qualify 5th and 6th for Round 9 of SCCA SPEED GT in New Jersey K-PAX Porsches caught in the pits as qualifying red flagged to early end Millville, New Jersey (September 26, 2008): Randy Pobst and Michael Galati qualified...
Pobst and Galati qualify 5th and 6th for Round 9 of SCCA SPEED GT in New
K-PAX Porsches caught in the pits as qualifying red flagged to early end
Millville, New Jersey (September 26, 2008): Randy Pobst and Michael Galati qualified their K-PAX/3R Racing Team Porsche 911 GT3s 5th and 6th for Round 9 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championships at Thunderbolt Raceway as rapidly drying track conditions made for an unusual qualifying session.
Unlike the two rainy practice sessions earlier in the day the rain and grey and overcast southern New Jersey skies broke allowing the track to begin drying as the half-hour qualifying session progressed and as expected lap times plummeted.
Unfortunately for both Pobst and Galati they were making pit stops for final adjustments to facilitate a late session run at the pole when Dino Crescentini crashed his Porsche into the pit straight wall ending the session 7 minutes early and ending any hope of improvement for the Porsche duo.
"This was so frustrating," said Randy Pobst of Gainesville Georgia. "I have this feeling like a man in the desert dying of thirst and that cold glass of water is just lifting to my lips as it is taken away!
"I took my K-PAX Porsche out on the track initially but I saw that the track was going to dry rapidly so I came back in the pits and stopped. We waited for 15 minutes. I have been around and I know that if someone crashes the session could go red, which happens a lot in World Challenge qualifying particularly on a slimy track. But it was a half hour session so I went back out and the car was handling really well."
Pobst lowered his best time on his fifth lap and was looking to go even lower when he slid wide.
"The grip was only coming in only in certain places," said Pobst. "The track kept improving but not everywhere and I took too much speed into the decreasing radius corner which had good grip on the way in but bad grip on the way out where the turn tightens up. I slid wide and since that lap was screwed up anyway I came into the pits to check the tire pressures because Will was concerned that they might be getting too high."
Pobst pitted, with a best time of 1:27.498 on what would be his final hot lap because was exiting the pits the session came to an abrupt end. Brandon Davis won the pole position recording a 1:25.940 in his Mustang on his final lap.
"Every lap I ran was a new pole but the other guys were out there doing the same thing and I just know I could have put the K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche on the pole but I never got the chance to prove it today," said Pobst.
Michael Galati, of Olmstead Ohio, turned in his best lap of 1:27.928 on his final lap in his #23 K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 and was heading down pit lane when the red flags flew.
For Galati qualifying at Thunderbolt Speedway was both a blessing and a curse as he felt that he and his K-PAX Porsche had a lot more in them but in many ways Michael was happy just to make the session at all after a practice spin caused by heavy standing water while attempting a pass severely damaged his K-PAX Porsche during the second practice session.
"As I was spinning through the mud and headed towards the tires I thought 'This is going to be really bad' but it wasn't as bad as I thought and the crew did a magnificent job getting the car fixed," said Galati. "Considering what I did this morning the 3R boys did a great job getting me out for qualifying at all so in a way qualifying 6th was a victory for us!"
Actually Galati did hold the pole briefly as he recorded a lap early on while the track was still wet and parked in the pits to wait while other cars dried the track. Due to the ever changing track conditions 10 different drivers held the pole position including both Galati and Pobst.
"You knew that it was going to dry out," said Galati of the conditions. "Every lap out after that I was learning more and the track was getting faster and faster. We came up short when it (the qualifying session) ended early because we were putting in some pretty hot laps at the end. Of course everyone was.
"My K-PAX Porsche was good and you could see the times dropping by a second a lap but at the end the red flag came out just as I was coming into the pits to make one final adjustment to see what we had. The session ended, so that was it."
Pobst and Galati will qualify their K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars on Friday September 245h 2008 at 2:15 pm and Round 9 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship at the new Thunderbolt Raceway in Millville New Jersey will take their standing start at 1:00 pm Eastern Time on Saturday September 27th.
The race can be seen on SPEED TV on Wednesday October 8th at 12:00 pm Eastern Time.
"Tomorrow we don't know what we are going to have in terms of the weather," said Galati. "It could be like this session or it could be raining so we will worry about the race tomorrow."
"I am right behind Andy Pilgrim and fifth is a good place to start this race so we will take that," concluded Randy Pobst of his qualifying effort for Round 9 in New Jersey. "Will [Moody] has my Porsche working really well in the wet and slimy conditions and it may well rain tomorrow so we will see what happens in the race tomorrow."
For addition information about the K-PAX/3R Racing Porsches got to our web site at www.kpaxracing.com and for more info about the World Challenge Series and live timing results for Round 9 at Thunderbolt Raceway go to the World Challenge web site at www.World-Challenge.com.