Pobst and Galati finish 7th and 9th at Thunderbolt Raceway in New Jersey Round 9 of SCCA SPEED GT a matter of survival for the K-PAX Porsches Millville, New Jersey (September 27, 2008): Randy Pobst and Michael Galati survived a wild affair in...
Pobst and Galati finish 7th and 9th at Thunderbolt Raceway in New Jersey
Round 9 of SCCA SPEED GT a matter of survival for the K-PAX Porsches
Millville, New Jersey (September 27, 2008): Randy Pobst and Michael Galati survived a wild affair in New Jersey and finished their K-PAX/3R Racing Team Porsche 911 GT3s 7th and 9th in Round 9 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championships at Thunderbolt Raceway in New Jersey.
For Randy Pobst, of Gainesville Georgia, the key word for the penultimate round of the SPEED World Challenge GT Championships in New Jersey was finish and he did just that surviving several near misses along the way that saw plenty of side by side and passing action among the top 10 competitors.
"The moral of my story and the object of this race today was survival," said Randy Pobst who finished his #1 K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 in 7th position. "And there were more than a couple of times when I didn't think that would be possible because there were some hairy moments here in New Jersey.
"I really had a good car to tell the truth. The balance was good and I got about all I could and over all I am happy with my performance and really happy with the performance of the K-PAX/3R team because we finished and we are in a good place right now for the championship."
The first 25 laps of the 30 lap race were hair raising enough for Pobst as he chose not to contest inside passes by the Vipers Brian Simo and Jason Daskalos but he was comfortably in 6th when the only caution of the race came out on lap 26.
The restart was anything but comfortable for the championship leading Pobst as while he was interested in finishing those around him were only interested in gaining one or two more positions as the field took the green flag on lap 28 with the lapped car of Vesko Kozarov just in front of the 3rd place Cadillac of Pilgrim.
"The restart was really bad," said Pobst. "Someone in front of me was brake checking and I got a pretty good jump but the guys behind me got an even better jump. I got hit pretty hard by Daskalos during the restart. He had gotten a jump on Simo and he whipped out from behind Simo and whacked me.
"He knocked me into the dirt a little bit so I was extra careful after that because I didn't want to get into any more trouble. I had to bring my Porsche home in one piece and finish."
Overall Randy Pobst was happy with the finish and thrilled to be heading to the final race in his home state of Georgia at Road Atlanta in just 6 says with a car intact and a 92 point lead over Andy Pilgrim who is the only driver within reach of him.
"I got about as much out of this race as I expected I could in the dry," said Pobst. "I was hoping that it would be a wet race because I think we would have fared better but this was ok.
"With Pilgrim only a couple spots ahead of me I was really focused on 'where is Andy'. I was going as hard as I could but I was careful in traffic and any time cars got near me I got very nervous so when Simo and Daskalos got along side of me I just let them through."
Michael Galati, of Olmstead Ohio, got off to a strong start as Galati moved inside of team mate Randy Pobst into turn one and immediately began working on the Cadillac of Andy Pilgrim for the 3rd position.
Galati would hound Pilgrim lap after lap but could never get his #23 K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 enough alongside to make a clean pass.
"Early on we were running with the Cadillac and I thought we had a chance to get by him because I was a little quicker in some spots but I was only able to get up along side of him once and there wasn't much there so I had to back out of it," said Galati.
Galati was solidly in the 4th position in the first half of the race but the pressure he was putting on Pilgrim would cease as Brian Simo and his powerful V-10 Viper would start applying pressure on Galati.
"We were running pretty well when Simo caught up to me and he nudged me a couple of times just to let me know he was back there," said Galati. "Coming through that fast right hander onto the front straightaway I lost it a little bit. I had to keep making as strong a run through there as I could every lap so Simo wouldn't get by me on the straightaway.
"I went off a bit and lost momentum. I tried to keep Brian behind me going into turn one but he got inside of me and I locked up the brakes and went wide. I think I damaged the splitter at that point. Later the splitter just flew off and when I came down into turn one again the car just washed out. So from that point on the race was just a matter of survival."
"Early on my K-PAX Porsche was really strong but I think I over heated my rear tires just a little bit trying to get by Andy [Pilgrim], it was a shame because the K-PAX/3R guys did a great job during a rough weekend for me," Galati concluded of his New Jersey race that started in search of a podium finish but ended with a 9th place finish.
The best news of the weekend was that the Porsche GT3 of James Sofronas won the race which clinched the Manufacturers' Championship Presented by Racer Magazine for Porsche.
"James [Sofronas] drove in the final nail but these K-PAX/3R Racing guys can feel proud that they were a large part of Porsche's championship in 2008," said Randy Pobst with a smile.
"These 3R guys worked hard all year to give us Porsches that could run up front so all of them should feel proud of winning another championship," agreed Michael Galati.
The race can be seen on SPEED TV on Wednesday October 15th at 12:00 pm Eastern Time.
Next race for the K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche GT3s of Randy Pobst and Michael Galati will be Round 10 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championships the Road Atlanta SPEED GT Finale Presented by Foametix in Braselton Georgia on Friday October 3rd.
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.