Road America: GT race notes

Audi Teammates Galati, Pobst Finish 1-2 in Scca Speed GT Race at Road America ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 21, 2004) -- Michael Galati, of Olmsted, Ohio and teammate Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., finished first and second, respectively, in ...

Audi Teammates Galati, Pobst Finish 1-2 in Scca Speed GT Race at Road America

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 21, 2004) -- Michael Galati, of Olmsted, Ohio and teammate Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., finished first and second, respectively, in Round Eight of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship at Road America Saturday, as part of the Road America 500 weekend. Phil McClure, of Floris, Iowa, finished third.

Starting second in his No. 2 Audi Certified Pre-Owned/Champion Audi RS 6, five-time series Champion Galati grabbed the early lead from his teammate heading into turn one, on lap one. Galati led Pobst by as much as 3.5 seconds at the halfway point, but by the white flag, Pobst had cut that lead to just under a second. But, Galati had just enough car left at the end to capture his third win of 2004 and the 19th of his career. Galati won by 1.324 seconds over Pobst, at a record average speed of 104.656 mph. It was the closest margin of victory in SPEED GT history at Road America.

"I don't know what happened to my car at the start," Galati said of his start. "It made a bobble. I think he [Randy] just let me inside and let me go. After that, I just put my head down and tried to open up a gap because I know that my tires, halfway through, would start to go away. So, I knew they were coming, and I was trying to put as much gap as possible in the first part of the race. I've got to thank Alcon for the brakes. Last year, at this race the brakes were a big problem. Thanks again to them. This Champion Audi Certified Pre-Owned RS 6 was just fantastic."

Galati's win was the third of his career at Road America.

Piloting the No. 1 Audi Certified Pre-Owned/Champion Audi RS 6, polesitter Pobst spent the entire race trying chase down his teammate, but toward the end he, was more concerned with McClure passing him for second. Pobst managed to hang on to record his fourth second-place finish of 2004.

"I saw Michael [Galati] driving hard," Pobst said. "That's all he knows. He drives his heart out and I thought I'd play it a little bit safe. I don't think I had Michael [Galati]. I was worried about [Phil] McClure more than I was thinking about Michael to tell you the truth. His Corvette was strong. It was right on us all day. We were just trying to maintain the gap that we got out of our quattro start."

With McClure's third-place performance in the No. 73 Aggregate Industries/3-R Racing Corvette, he was able "exorcize the Road America demons" that plagued him for past year. With one lap remaining in last year's race, McClure, who was running second at the time, slid wide in turn eight, spinning his Corvette back across the track and into oncoming traffic. The end result was a five-car accident that also included brothers Mike and Jim McCann, Hans Stuck and Bob Woodhouse and found McClure going to the hospital with a concussion.

"I've been thinking about it [last year's wreck] going into that corner that ended our race last year," McClure said. "I'm sure there was a big smile on my face at that point, I was pretty sure we could stay in third and I was very happy to exorcize my demons here at this track.

"Our times came down all weekend long. The 3-R guys gave me a great car. We knew we'd be real consistent during the race and we had to have a few things go right for us. The No. 66 Porsche [Robin Liddell] went around behind me at the end of the second straightaway and that kind of moved the Cadillac back a little bit and gave me a little breathing room to allow me to focus on the track a little better. Michael Culver was coming pretty hard there at the end. I saw him get around Max [Angelelli] and knew he was coming. Two or three more laps and it would have been a little more interesting."

Culver, of Westport, Conn., turned in his career-best finish, bringing his No. 14 First Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup home in fourth. Driving the No. 16 Cadillac/Mobil 1/Motorola/Bose Cadillac CTS-V, Italian Max Angelelli finished fifth.

Scotland's Liddell, driving in his first-career SPEED GT race, won the Remus Power Move of the Race for his pass on Tommy Archer for sixth-place, which is where Liddell finished.

Liddell's teammate Jon Groom won the Sunoco Hard Charger of the Race Award for advancing seven positions throughout the race, starting 25th and finishing 18th.

With the win, Galati took over the top spot in the SPEED GT Drivers' Championship and now leads with 205 points, followed by Archer (193 points), Andy Pilgrim (173), Pobst (167) and Angelelli (153).

Audi leads the SPEED GT Manufacturers' Championship Presented by Racer Magazine with 48 points, followed by Cadillac (39), Chevrolet (30) and Dodge (29).

Today's race will initially air at 1:00 p.m. (EDT), Aug. 29 on SPEED Channel.

The series next heads to the hills of Northern Georgia and Road Atlanta for Round Nine of the SCCA SPEED GT Championships.

-scca pro racing-

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Series PWC
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , Robin Liddell , Tommy Archer , Randy Pobst , Michael Galati , Max Angelelli , Phil McClure , Michael Culver , Jon Groom , Jim McCann
Teams HART