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Mosport: GT race one notes

Galati Takes Wild Scca Speed GT Race One at Mosport CANADA (Aug. 7, 2004) -- Italian Michael Galati and teammate Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., finished first and second, respectively, in Round Six of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World ...

Galati Takes Wild Scca Speed GT Race One at Mosport

CANADA (Aug. 7, 2004) -- Italian Michael Galati and teammate Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., finished first and second, respectively, in Round Six of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship at Mosport International Raceway Saturday, as part of the Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport. SPEED GT point leader Tommy Archer, of Duluth, Minn., finished third.

In what proved to be one of the most exciting SCCA SPEED GT races in recent memory, Galati, who started on the outside of row one, led the entire way from the standing start. But, his winning effort wasn't without a bit of drama early on, as the driver's side rear door on the No. 2 Audi Certified Pre-Owned Audi RS 6 continued to open and close when Galati would go in and out of tight corners, prompting SCCA Pro Racing officials to make a determination on whether the door posed a threat to the driver or others. It was concluded that the door was not a serious hazard and Galati went on to narrowly capture his second SPEED GT win of 2004 by 0.956-second over a hard-charging Pobst.

"I didn't know that my door was open," Galati, who had to battle changing track conditions, which included a brief rain shower, said. "I was just trying to concentrate and put my head down to drive as hard as I could to get away from everybody. They told me, 'Lou [Gigliotti] is coming. He is right behind you.' Then, it started to sprinkle and that saved our day. I had my hands full."

Galati led a field of 10 cars throughout the race that ran nose to tail. With the win, Galati set the new average speed record of 102.782 mph on the 10-turn, 2.459-mile circuit. It was his second-career win at Mosport (first win came in 1999) and the 18th of his career.

Driving the No. 1 Audi Certified Pre-Owned Audi RS 6, Pobst got a good start from his fourth starting position following Galati into turn one, which is where he remained for the first 12 laps before Lou Gigliotti passed Pobst for second going down the back straight. But, as light rain began to fall on the track, Pobst drove his quattro powered Audi past Gigliotti exiting turn five (on lap 16) and never relinquished the position.

"We've got quattro and the traction gives us a heckuva start," Pobst said. "We get good track position and it's 'hang on.' Then it started sprinkling in the middle of the race. The other cars were coming and I thought they had us and, in fact, they probably did. But, it sprinkled and that gave us just enough. It was the quattro traction advantage. We're able to get more grip in those slippery conditions and hang onto the lead."

"When we caught traffic, I think something happened," Pobst added about his ability to get back around Gigliotti for second. "I think Lou might have missed a shift or something and I got back by him again."

Archer put on driving clinic with nine laps to go, as he knifed his No. 22 c3controls/Whelen Engineering/3R-Racing Dodge Viper Competition Coupe through the field, making up six positions to finish third. Archer's podium finish was his third in as many races and his sixth top-five through six rounds.

"I didn't know what to expect the first half of the race because I was still ninth," Archer said. "I could see I was chipping away at about a tenth a lap and the lapped traffic [helped us]. There was water [on the track] going down into four and I got in there and got completely backwards. I kept the thing moving, as I fell back another 300 feet. So, I had to make that back up. Then, those guys [leaders] starting mixing it up with each other and I just watched what they were doing. So, I kept taking advantage of their miscalculations. I didn't have the fastest car, but it was consistent."

Polesitter Max Angelelli found himself in third place heading in to turn one on the first lap, a position he held for the first eight laps until Gigliotti passed him in turn eight; a move that would help Gigliotti win the Remus Power Move of the Race. Driving the No. 16 Cadillac/Mobil 1/Motorola/Bose/ Cadillac CTS-V, Angelelli got back by Gigliotti on lap 22 for third. But, seven laps later, Archer passed Angelelli in turn five and he fell back to fourth, which is where he would finish.

Andy Pilgrim, of Delray Beach, Fla., turned in a solid fifth place performance in his No. 8 Cadillac/Mobil 1/Motorola/Bose/ Cadillac CTS-V.

Tony Gaples won the Sunoco Hard Charger of the Race Award for advancing nine positions throughout the race, starting 23rd and finishing 14th.

Toronto native Ron Fellows, who qualified third in his first run with Team Cadillac, made a strong run through the field after starting from pit lane for missing the start of the presentation lap to finish ninth.

Following the race, Michael Culver was penalized 10 Championship points after contact with Gigliotti under yellow, while battling for fourth. Gigliotti fell back to finish 10th.

Archer maintains a narrow SPEED GT Drivers' Championship point lead with 154 points, followed by Galati (153 points), Pobst (138), Pilgrim (136) and McClure (115).

Audi leads the SPEED GT Manufacturers' Championship Presented by Racer Magazine with 39 points, followed by Cadillac (28), Dodge (28) and Chevrolet (18).

The second race of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT doubleheader at Mosport International Raceway gets underway at 4:05 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8.

Today's race will initially air at 1:00 p.m. (EDT), Aug. 15 on SPEED Channel.

For more information, visit www.world-challenge.com.

-scca pro racing-

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Series PWC
Drivers Ron Fellows , Andy Pilgrim , Tommy Archer , Michael Galati , Max Angelelli , Lou Gigliotti , Michael Culver , Tony Gaples