Pobst and Galati finish their K-PAX/3R Porsches in 3rd and 15th at Road America Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (August 10, 2008): The K-PAC/3R Porsches of Randy Pobst and Michael Galati survived what was a most interesting SPEED World Challenge GT...
Pobst and Galati finish their K-PAX/3R Porsches in 3rd and 15th at Road America
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (August 10, 2008): The K-PAC/3R Porsches of Randy Pobst and Michael Galati survived what was a most interesting SPEED World Challenge GT race here on the worlds famous 4 miles of Wisconsin asphalt known as Road America in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin.
Round 6 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championships at Road America will be long remembered by Randy Pobst as a race that went from the predictable to surprising and quickly migrated to the bizarre as not only did Pobst leave Wisconsin with his Championship lead in tact he actually extended it!
Randy Pobst, of Gainesville Georgia, qualified his #1 K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 in 8th and for the first 12 laps Randy was languishing in 7th position unable to close up on the leading Vipers, Cadillacs, Corvettes and Mustangs as pole sitter and eventual race winner Tommy Archer had the field covered.
When the course went caution on lap 13 to pick the Pontiac GTO of Joey Scarallo out of a gravel trap the race started to take a strange but very desirable change for Randy Pobst, Michael Galati (who at the time was in 9th trying to find a way past the Viper of Rob Foster) and their K-PAX/3R Racing Porsches.
"The first restart was pretty normal but on the second restart I think Tommy made it a really slow one," said Pobst. "I almost hit McCann when someone said 'green' and I went hard right around McCann in the Cadillac. Brandon Davis saw me coming and he pulled right so I went back left right between them and there was Galati who had gotten a better start than I did and I almost hit him and ran him in the grass. I just booked it down to the first corner.
"Actually Galati acted like a buffer for me to hold McCann and Davis and everybody else back a little bit because those cars were definitely faster than us so we needed a bit of a traffic jam to keep them behind us."
"On the first restart I almost stopped and the guys behind be almost got me so on the second restart I made sure I gapped myself and gave myself one car-length more," said Galati of the restart. "They told me it went green so I just nailed it and went to the right, to the left and to the middle and I went by four guys and then I was alongside Randy so I let him have the corner and thought 'at least this is better than we had hoped for the weekend' because I was really surprised to be in 6th position."
Pobst and Galati had caught much of the field napping and Randy moved from 7th 5th while Michael moved up to 6th!
As fortunate as their sudden and swift elevation in the running order Pobst at least would have this race unfold even better as on that restart lap Brandon Davis who began the race 3rd in the points chance got tagged by Foster and spun into the wall. Davis limped to the pits where he would retire his potent Mustang to a 23rd place finish.
A lap and a half later Andy Pilgrim, who had been running a strong second to Archer all day, found that the contents of his oiling system was being dumped and set afire coming down the straight into turn 5.
The guy who began the race only seven points behind Pobst and looked certain to take the points lead had left the race in a fiery crash.
The really good news for Pobst was that the third place Viper of Jason Daskalos also spun in Pilgrim's oil slick moving a very surprised but happy Pobst up to a third place finish as the field finished the race behind the safety car.
"The really crazy change in the race was when Pilgrim blew his motor going into turn five," said Pobst. "I was running about fifth and what saved me I think was that I like to run straight over the hill towards five and I was just a little further back in the line. It allowed me the time to see what was going on and to hold it to the inside and stay on the track.
"For us this was a really big step towards the championship and job one to winning championships is being there in the end and that was what we did today."
The oil slick while good news for Pobst was bad news for Michael Galati as he was one of the several cars which spun in the oil dropping Michael's #23 Porsche back to a disappointing 15th place finish.
"The K-PAX/3R Racing guys gave me a good car today and for awhile I thought that I was going to steal a good finish but I got caught up in the oil going into turn 5 under braking and before I knew it I was going backwards at 120 miles-per-hour," said Galati. "I just let go of the wheel and pulled my feet back but fortunately I didn't hit anything.
It was a good race it is too bad it ended the way it did for me, but it was good for Randy and Porsche.
Pobst's fortunate 3rd place finish coupled with Andy Pilgrim and Brandon Davis finishing in the 22nd and 23rd positions allowed Pobst to extend his lead in the Drivers' Championship to 68 over Pilgrim (595 to 527) and 111 over Davis (595 to 484). Michael Galati remains in 4th in the championship with 449 just one point ahead of Archer who has won the last two races.
The K-PAX Porsches also kept Porsche in the lead for the Manufacturers' Championship Presented by Racer Magazine as Porsche has 36, Dodge 33, Cadillac 30 and Ford 28.
The race can be seen on SPEED TV on Thursday August 20th at 12:00 pm Eastern Time.
For addition information about the K-PAX/3R Racing Porsches got to our web site at www.kpakracing.com and for more info about the World Challenge Series and live timing results for Round 6 at Road America go to the World Challenge web site at www.World-Challenge.com.