Galati dominates the field in SPEED GT at Road America. ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (July 6, 2002) -Michael Galati, of N. Olmstead, Ohio, led every lap today to dominate Round Five of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT at Road America, part of...
Galati dominates the field in SPEED GT at Road America.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (July 6, 2002) -Michael Galati, of N. Olmstead, Ohio, led every lap today to dominate Round Five of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT at Road America, part of the Road America 500 Weekend, Presented by the Chicago Tribune. Johannes van Overbeek, of Danville, Calif., and Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., completed the top three.
Starting from the Woody's Ice Pole, Galati was able to get away clean from the start in his No. 1 Champion Audi S4 Competition. Next to him, second-starting van Overbeek was a little slower on the standing start, allowing Cunningham and Jeff McMillin, of Erie, Pa., to get by him going into turn one.
Galati pulled away as drivers battled behind him, and captured his second-straight SPEED GT win by 3.971 seconds, averaging 99.504 mph.
"The Champion Audi was fantastic at the start," said Galati. "When I got to turn one, I saw them running in a pack for second so I put my head down and tried to open up a gap."
Driving the No. 81 Flextronics/Shoreline/Brocade Porsche 911 Cup, van Overbeek was able to make up the ground on McMillin's No. 25 McMillin Motorsprts/JJ's Snacks BMW M3 going into turn five, but wasn't able to make the pass stick. One lap later, he would move past McMillin heading into Canada Corner to take third position. Using the same move on the very next lap, van Overbeek moved past Cunningham for second place and set his sights on Galati, who, by this time, was four seconds up on the field.
"I gifted the start to Michael [Galati], much to my dismay," said van Overbeek, who recorded his fourth straight podium finish. "Struggling with Jeff [McMillin] and PD [Cunningham] allowed Michael to open up a gap that I couldn't make up."
Van Overbeek would spend the rest of the 17-lap, 68.815-mile event trying to run down the lead, which had stretched to over seven seconds before finally being whittled down to three seconds, at the finish. Cunningham and McMillin would run together once van Overbeek moved past them, but McMillin was not able to make a serious move on Cunningham. Phil McClure, of Floris, Iowa, completed the top five.
"It's great being on the podium with the RealTime Racing Acura NSX SC," said Cunningham, a Wisconsin native. "It's been fun for the team to race at our home track, a place we haven't been at since 1998."
Farther back in the field, Derek Bell, of Pagham, England, made a daring move, going through the Kink, to pass Bob Miller, of Ellicott City, Md. The move would be named the Rogaine "Hair Raising Pass of the Race" by the Speed Channel television crew.
Galati's victory allowed him to open up a 19 point gap on second place Cunningham. The win also pushed Audi ahead of Porsche by one point in the Manufacturer's Championship, 30 to 29.
The series now takes a week off and will race next in Washington, D.C., July 19-21. Today's race will air on SPEED Channel, July 27 at 9:00 p.m. (EDT).
-scca pro racing-